Health and social cohesion: Why Care about Income Inequality?

Health and social cohesion: Why Care about Income Inequality?

According to the article, income and wealth are becoming much concentrated. The population health is much determined by the distribution of income in addition to the livings standards that individual. The article postulates that the gap between the poor and the rich usually result in a highermortality rate through the precise breakdown of social cohesion (Kawachi, &Kennedy, 1997). The increase in the residential segregation of affluence and poverty in many countries has been as a result of income inequalities. The opportunity for social cohesion is much diminished by residential segregation. Income inequality impacts the society significantly and results in various activities including impaired functioning of representative democracy, impeded productivity and economic growth, and even increased rates of violence and crime. Public choice and explicit policies mostly lead to the extent of inequality. Prospects of greater social cohesiveness and better population health are precisely offered by reduction of income inequality.

According to the article, the world’s wealth is becoming more concentrated. Additionally, the author depicts that no one would dispute that poverty is bad for health. Usually, the level of standards of living is measured by indicators like income. Usually, lower standards of living lead to worse levels of health. Despite the levels of health being measured either by quality life, morbidity, or mortality, the standard of living will always affect the health level. According to the author poverty in the United States accounts to up to 6% fall the adult mortality rate(Kawachi, & Kennedy, 1997).

The article goes further to describe social cohesion and income inequality. The author depicts that the repeat corroboration of the hypothesis that income inequality is harmful to health has spurred the search for the mechanisms underlying this relationship. Additionally, the article depicts that several factors account for both income inequality and excess mortality such as racial discrimination. The social fabric is damaged by the widening of the gap between the poor and the rich(Kawachi, & Kennedy, 1997).

The author depicts that social cohesion usually enhances wellbeing. Usually, socially isolated people die two to three times the rate of people with a network of social relationships and sources of emotional support, instrumental support and other forms of support(Kawachi, & Kennedy, 1997).  However, epidemiology has neglected the possibility that the entire society due to the outcomes of socially isolated individuals hence may result in the community lacking social connections.

The author goes a step further to explore the relationship between income inequality and social cohesion. A study on the relationship between the two within American citizens was done. The study found that social capital among the black residents of Chicago neighborhoods with low poverty was 20-30 percent and those with extreme poverty were 40 percent.

The article concludes by speculating the social consequences of income inequality. The much concern is on the care about the extent of income inequality. It is usually a matter of public choice of how much inequality a society should tolerate. People’s quality of life is much affected by income inequality hence the need for a lot of concern to be put on it.  The halt to the growth in income inequality could bring the hope of revitalizing social capital at the same moment with improvement being done on the health of the entire population (Kawachi, & Kennedy, 1997).




Kawachi, I., & Kennedy, B. P. (1997). Health and social cohesion: why care about income inequality? Socioeconomic determinants of health, part 2. British Medical Journal, 314(7086), 1037-40.

Do you need high quality Custom Essay Writing Services?

Custom Essay writing Service