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Wealthier = Healthier

Infographic | 29-05-2016
Wealthier = Healthier

The liveability and safety of Dutch cities have improved tremendously over the past few decades. Transport and manufacturing have become safer, cleaner, and less noisy. Levels of hazardous substances, such as nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and fine particulate matter (PM10), have decreased, dramatically, as has the crime rate, both real and perceived.

Crime, nuisance and feelings of unsafety, of course, have not gone away completely (CBS, 2014). This is especially true in the four large cities, but sometimes small towns, suburbs and rural areas are also plagued by ‘urban problems’. On average, inhabitants of large cities are less healthy and live shorter lives. This is mainly linked to the relatively large number of low-income people with a low level of education who tend to live in social housing in the least attractive neighbourhoods. Low educated people have substantially shorter lifespans than the highly educated, partly because they have not learned how to take care of their health, e.g. by healthy food and sufficient exercise (RIVM, 2014). Other factors may include unhealthy work environments or time schedules, and the costs of fresh food and fitness. Life expectancy in well-to-do urban neighbourhoods with highly educated residents, in contrast, tends to be long.

Source data

The scatter plot graphic on life expectancy per municipality in relationship to socio-economic status is based on data provided by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).

Use of infographics

Unless stated otherwise, the Creative Commons (BY) licence applies to this infographic. For more information on this licence or the use of this infographic, please contact our graphics department (beeldredactie@pbl.nl).