In the four years we’ve been talking about the relationship between health and economic vitality at a community level, the one question we’ve gotten more than any other is the chicken-and-egg question. Which comes first? Which is the driver? Does health make wealth? Or vice versa?
My answer is that the relationship between health and economic productivity is pretty clear first and foremost at a personal level. We all know we’re more productive when we’re in good health than when we’re down with a cold or the flu, let alone something more serious. We also know that when we’re sick, we inevitably have to divert some of our income to medical care.
The same thing plays out at a community level. Recently we updated an analysis of the Georgia counties that came in at the top and bottom of our 2013 Partner Up! for Public Health Power Rankings – Oconee County at the top and side-by-side South Georgia neighbors Crisp and Wilcox counties tied for last.