Population health is an approach to health that aims to improve the health of the entire population and to reduce health inequities among population groups. In order to reach these objectives, it looks at and acts upon the broad range of factors and conditions that have a strong influence on our health.
The population health approach recognizes that health is a capacity or resource rather than a state, a definition which corresponds more to the notion of being able to pursue one's goals, to acquire skills and education, and to grow. This broader notion of health recognizes the range of social, economic and physical environmental factors that contribute to health. The best articulation of this concept of health is "the capacity of people to adapt to, respond to, or control life's challenges and changes" (Frankish et al., 1996).
- Health Impact Assessment as a Tool for Population Health Promotion and Public Policy by C.J. Frankish et al., Institute of Health Promotion Research, University of British Columbia, Vancouver: 1996
Difference in health insurance status between rural and urban people takes on additional importance when one considers that rural populations tend on average to be older, poorer, and have lower levels of education-all of which can contribute to a lower health status and a higher need for health care.
Issues related to health insurance vary as well, as shown in differences between rural areas that are adjacent to urban areas and rural areas that are not, and between different subgroups of the rural population.
Given the importance of health insurance coverage in affecting access to health care and subsequent health status, it is essential to continue monitoring the extent to which the rural population is receiving such coverage.
The Center for Demography and PopulationHealth at Florida State University is an autonomous, interdisciplinary unit of the College of Social Sciences.
The Center's mission is to coordinate and conduct demographic and populationhealth research and training throughout the university by bringing together faculty and students from various academic departments and programs who are working in these areas.
The Center also offers graduate-level training in demography and populationhealth, including a program leading to a Master of Science degree in Demography and the facilitation of an undergraduate program leading to a Certificate in Demographics.
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