Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Health and Society

Thesis Type

College of Arts and Science Honors, Honors College

First Advisor

Jennifer Strickler


Covid-19, social determinants, state health funding, health outcomes


Population health is shaped by various social and governmental factors, many of which are determined at the state level. My thesis aims to contribute to current research by analyzing the relative importance of state health spending on Covid-19 outcomes. Using variables including state health data, state funding, and social determinants of health, I conducted a state level analysis of 2020 Covid-19 outcome data and state profiles to focus on the role these variables have on population health. Using the Covid-19 crisis as a case study, I identified the role of state funding, social factors, and public health infrastructure in protecting the population during the emergence of Covid-19. In addition, I compared of Vermont and South Dakota to further explore the role social factors had on outcome data. I was able to conclude that the influence of social factors, specifically political party affiliation, on population health held the greatest significance among data analyzed. The influence of party ideology played a role in inequalities in state responses and in the lack of a cohesive response among state governments. This research demonstrates the need for public health professionals to consider social factors when designing policies and programs for future state crisis response programs.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.