The health of marginalized populations

Richard Ingram, Julia F. Costich, Debra Joy Pérez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The health status of the United States as a whole can be described as reasonably poor relative to other industrial nations. Evidence suggests that, while the United States ranks first among all countries in health care spending, it ranks thirty-sixth in life expectancy, thirty-ninth in infant mortality, forty-second in adult male mortality, and forty-third in adult female mortality.1 This may be due, at least in part, to an underperforming health care system; the U.S. health care system performs poorly when compared with other nations, ranking last or next to last in quality, access, efficiency, equity, and healthy lives while ranking first, again, in terms of cost.2 These statistics, though compelling, do not tell the entire story. The comparatively poor health of the United States is just one symptom of a deeper problem: health inequity. The United States is rife with pockets of both good health, where citizens have access to excellent health care and a large share of the nation's plenty, and poor health, where citizens are marginalized economically and educationally and do not have access to their fair share of the nation's wealth or to good health care.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary Public Health
Subtitle of host publicationPrinciples, Practice, and Policy
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780813141244
StatePublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2013 by The University Press of Kentucky. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (all)


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