Healthy People, Healthy Economies (Moody’s Analytics with Dan White)

This study investigates the relationship between the health of a population and the health of an economy using a new health metric, the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Health Index. The Health Index captures the relative health of nearly every county in the U.S. using rigorous statistical analysis and health insurance data from millions of members.Overall, the BCBS data clearly indicate that healthy populations are related to strong local economies. Where populations are healthier, we observe lower unemployment, higher income, and higher pay. Moving from a county of average health to the 99th percentile is associated with an increase in average annual pay of $5,302 and a 0.6-percentage point decline in the unemployment rate.