(BLOOMBERG) — Does being poor mean being less healthy? In the United States, the answer is generally yes: Income and health are intertwined, and the richer you are, the healthier you’re likely to be.
Still, the link between poverty and poor health isn't ironclad. Take Costa Rica, where the poorest 25 percent of people live longer than their counterparts in the U.S., according to an analysis published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Costa Rica punches above its weight on many measures of health and social welfare. It’s a middle-income democracy with a population of 4.8 million—about the size of Alabama—and a per-capita gross domestic product about one-fifth that of the U.S. In other words, it's much less wealthy than the U.S. As you would expect, the rich in America enjoy lower mortality rates than do the rich in Costa Rica. But when you look at the other end of the socio-economic scale, the reverse is true.
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