Indicators in this section identify critical trends in the health and social well-being of Southern Arizona residents. Measures of the local cost of living gauge the resources that households require to purchase a typical basket of goods and services, relative to the U.S. This provides important information about household purchasing power, which influences the local standard of living. Households that are housing-cost burdened or whose income is at or near the poverty level are more likely to endure adverse social, economic, and health conditions. Likewise, those who lack health insurance coverage are at greater risk for bankruptcy and preventable illness. These data present residents and policy makers with performance measures crucial to gauging the overall well-being of a region.
The health and social well-being of a region is closely tied to performance in other categories, such as economy and education. For example, the presence of an innovative and highly educated workforce can influence the location of firms, and consequently, the availability of jobs in a region. This can in turn influence median household incomes, and as a result, affect poverty levels, as well as residents’ ability to access healthcare and other goods and services.