It’s a known fact that adults who have attained a higher education level have better health and live longer than those that are less educated. Yet, the median wage for college graduates is twice that of high school dropouts and one and a half times more than high school graduates.
Even high-income countries such as the U.S. have worse overall health than other rich countries and have been falling even further behind in the last few decades. Just like playing in an online casino, there is always some risk involved for people that don’t have access to top-quality healthcare. There have historically been health inequalities among uneducated adults with poor health as education’s benefits are critical in improving the overall well-being of humans in the 21st century.
Less educated individuals also are more likely to be employed in high-risk jobs that offer few benefits. Despite extensive research on the subject, many questions remain unanswered as health and education are interlaced across generations and are ingrained in the broader social environment.
Government Policies A Major Contributor
In the 21st century, education is the principal route to having a stable job and financial security. With the manufacturing sector in severe decline and the rise in globalization continuing to reduce the middle class, the increase in returns to higher education has made the economic gaps among working families and adults more apparent.
Government policies that used to protect at-risk social groups have been drastically reduced or have disappeared altogether. These changes have sparked the growth of social and economic inequality in both education and healthcare.
Although the association between health and education has been well established, past research has shown that this association is complicated. There is an extensive range of indicators, including demographic and family background. In addition, there are more resources for those with higher education levels, access to social networks, and an understanding of healthy behaviors. Education also helps people sustain a healthy lifestyle, make positive choices, and enhance the overall well-being of family and community.
Education in the classroom and other opportunities beyond the classroom can build skills and encourage traits that are important throughout a person’s life. In addition, the skills can help when encountering many of life’s professional and family challenges and managing overall health by navigating the sometimes confusing system.
Adults with higher education typically have more extensive social networks, which gives them access to resources that may help with financial, emotional, and psychological well-being while helping reduce stress and improve overall health. However, studies also have shown that education can also have some adverse effects on healthcare.
For example, higher education sometimes results in people putting increased emphasis on preventative care, which is beneficial but can increase the total cost of healthcare in the long run. It has also been shown to have less of an impact on the general happiness of individuals with higher education.
Social policy is essential in driving educational opportunities and will affect all factors in the relationship between education and healthcare. For example, discrimination and underperforming educational institutions will affect not only the education level of individuals but also the social environment and access to the best healthcare.
In addition, while involving the education system, social policy can give individuals with lower education levels access to fewer resources, making them more vulnerable to policy decisions that can affect things like the eligibility for aid and the overall access to healthcare services.
Making A Difference
Health and education are critical to the well-being of individuals and the overall population. However, more research is needed to go beyond the analyses of individuals and take a more indirect approach to understanding the issue. This will help find solutions that will lead to more effective policies in education and health.
The differences between highly educated and less-educated individuals are getting wider. As a result, more extensive research and policy changes will make a big difference and help improve the overall health and well-being of the entire population.