July 13, 2012
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, alongside the Orleans Parish PLACE MATTERS team recently published a new report titled “Place Matters for Health in Orleans Parish: Ensuring Opportunities for Good Health for All.”
Released in June, the report analyzes a range of social, economic and environmental conditions in low-income and non-white neighborhoods in Orleans Parish, Louisiana and documents their relationship to the health status of the Parish’s residents.
Key findings demonstrate the life expectancy average in Orleans Parish varies as much as 25 years depending on the zip code of residence and that those zip codes with the lowest life expectancy have a higher population of low-income and people of color. The poorest zip code in the city with a majority population of African Americans, 70112, has an average life expectancy of 54.5 years while the zip code with less poverty and a mostly white population, 70124, reaches 80, a 25.5 year difference.
The report states “Differences in neighborhood conditions powerfully predict who is healthy, who is sick, and who lives longer. And because of patterns of residential segregation, these differences are the fundamental causes of health inequities among different racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.”
“This research confirms in Orleans Parish a troubling reality that we see in many other communities,” said Dr. Gail Christopher, vice president of program strategy for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “Our nation’s history of racial residential segregation continues to affect the well-being of families, particularly families of color, who are most likely to live in zip codes where poverty—and the resultant disparities in health and other social outcomes—are concentrated. This report provides powerful evidence that if we are serious about solving these disparities than we must also do more to deal with the persistent racial residential segregation.”
Download the report here for more findings.