By The Numbers

Income inequality is affecting life expectancy

Tony Wagner and Beidi Zhang Apr 1, 2015
21%

That’s the price jump in one local seafood restaurant in Seattle. This iconic eatery plans to raise base wages for the whole staff. In addition, the management team aims to get rid tipping, an effort to prevent servers from taking a hit when tips went away. The move comes right after Seattle put into effect a higher minimum hourly wage at 11 dollars today. 

143,355

That’s the current population of Dayton, Ohio. The former industrial city has experienced decades of brain drain, causing its population to shrink by more than 100,000 people in the last half century. Recently, the city has actually witnessed a small growth spurt, thanks to low housing prices and high rates of entrepreneurship. 

$300

Despite paying for $300 a month for health insurance, a lawyer from Indiana who has suffered from depression for 20 years still pays out of pocket for her weekly psychotherapy treatments. One study shows today that health insurance industry discriminate against the mentally ill, even though the federal law and the affordable healthcare act both require insurer to provide patients suffering mental illnesses with the same level of coverage. 

Five years per 1,000 people

That’s the drop in average life expectancy for every 1 percent rise in income inequality, according to a University of Wisconsin analysis reported by New York Times’ the Upshot. It’s a similar impact to what you might expect with a 3 percent rise in obesity, or a 4 percent increase in smoking. The method researchers used is complex, but fascinating, and points an a persistent correlation between inequality and poorer health.

82 percent

 The portion of pregnant women in the late 2000s that continued to work within a month of having their first child, according to Pew Research. The opposite was true 50 years ago, when only 44 percent of women remained in the workforce during their pregnancy at all.

77.6 percent

The portion of people who successfully switch jobs without actively searching or applying, according to a new paper from the San Francisco Fed. Quartz crunches the numbers on why the workforce can be unfriendly to those without connections or existing experience. 

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.