Income and Concerns About One's Own Health

Finger Lakes Residents (50-64 Year Olds)

For people living under persistent financial strain, longer-term concerns like aging are eclipsed by more immediate needs.  The mental strain of constantly worrying about food, shelter, multiple jobs, staying safe from neighborhood crime, fueling the car, and literally keeping the lights on is overwhelming and destructive. These concerns take top priority, leaving little capacity for other thought like longer-term health.

This effect is seen in the results from the 2018 My Health Story survey.  Participants were asked an open-ended question to identify their biggest concern about their own health and well-being.  Among 50-64 year olds with income over $75K, the most commonly cited concerns were related to aging, which is not surprising for that age group.  However, people in the same age group with low income were much less likely to identify aging-related concerns – they are more concerned about the immediate challenges related to financial security.

This data visualization is part of Overloaded: The Heavy Toll of Poverty on Our Region's Health Report.

Images are available for download at no cost and free of any copyright restrictions. We ask that you keep the Common Ground logo on the images to identify the source. To help us improve, we’d love to hear how you are using these resources. Email us at

Share Insight