I think the most important factors affecting the standard of living is the cost of food and the availability of food.
Why do the African American neighborhoods in Washington DC have some of the lowest standards of living in America? There are many factors like availability of jobs, crime, cost of housing, but the most basic one is food. Did you know that most African American neighborhoods in DC don't have a grocery store? People can't buy vegetables! Some neighborhoods rely on gas stations to buy milk and bread.
I think this is embarrassing for all of us. We need to improve the standard of living in Washington DC.