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Poverty, children's health, and health care utilization


  • Barbara L. Wolfe


This paper was presented at the conference "Unequal incomes, unequal outcomes? Economic inequality and measures of well-being" as part of session 1, "Health status of children and households in poverty." The conference was held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on May 7, 1999. This paper discusses health as a direct measure of economic well-being and draws attention to those suffering the worst outcomes and the link between poverty and health. According to the author, in 1994 only 10 percent of children under age five in families making $35,000 or more were in less than very good or excellent health. By comparison, one-third of young children in families with income below $10,000 were in less than very good health. Moreover, in recent years the number of poor children whose health is fair or poor has increased relative to the number of nonpoor children in these same health categories. In 1987, for every nonpoor child with health problems, there were close to two children in poverty in poor health; by 1996, that ratio had risen to 2.7.

Suggested Citation

  • Barbara L. Wolfe, 1999. "Poverty, children's health, and health care utilization," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sep, pages 9-21.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednep:y:1999:i:sep:p:9-21:n:v.5no.3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Maria Cancian & Robert Haveman & Thomas Kaplan & Daniel Meyer, 1999. "Work, Earnings, and Well-Being after Welfare: What Do We Know?," JCPR Working Papers 73, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    2. Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2002. "Income Inequality and Health Status in the United States: Evidence from the Current Population Survey," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(3), pages 510-539.
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    Cited by:

    1. Helje Kaldaru & Kaie Kerem & Andres Vırk, 2004. "Health as Factor of Economic Growth: the Estonian Case," Working Papers 110, Tallinn School of Economics and Business Administration, Tallinn University of Technology.

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    Poverty ; Income ; Medical care;


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