Macro-Level Influences of Income on Individual Mortality Risk: An HLM Analysis

Lynne Cossman, Mississippi State University
Wesley James, Mississippi State University

The effect of a community’s income on individual health has not been studied in conjunction with income inequality. Though contextual effects of income have been examined in conjunction with mortality, it was for a small geographic area (Chicago). Given the sub-state variations found in both mortality and income inequality, previous research calls for a county-level analysis of the relationship between an individual’s personal mortality risk and the context of their community's income and income inequality. We link individual mortality data (Compressed Mortality File) to county-level information on income and income inequality (US Census Bureau) to determine the importance of one's economic environment on risk of death, using HLM to assess the effects of county-level income and income inequality on individual mortality risk. Our model accounts for the direct effects of individual demographics on mortality while examining direct and indirect effects of contextual level income measures on individual demographics and mortality.

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Presented in Poster Session 5