Study calls for the integration of public health and economic strategies in every locality across the UK when planning economic recovery in the context of aiming to reduce spatial inequalities.
Places with similar capabilities and economic structures tend to achieve similar rates of economic performance, but does this relationship also hold for health outcomes? The present study investigates the association between the economic complexity of local authorities in the UK and their Covid-19 morbidity and mortality rates.
We find that localities with a lower economic complexity index (ECI) registered significantly higher numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths, controlling for a range of confounders including age structure, ethnic population, obesity rate, community-level socio-economic status (i.e. deprivation level and housing price), and population density.
This result indicates that local economic structures in the UK shape people’s pandemic (and public health) experiences. This finding calls for the integration of public health and economic strategies in each locality when planning economic recovery in the context of aims to reduce spatial inequalities; health outcomes cannot be influenced independently of fundamental economic structures.