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Two Chicago Neighborhoods—Same City, But Starkly Different Worlds

A dataset on health measures in U.S. cities shows the difference in life expectancy between two Chicago neighborhoods is 30 years.
June 30, 2019, 7am PDT | Camille Fink
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Natapong Ratanavi

Jamiles Lartey reports on an analysis of health outcomes in U.S. cities that shows the biggest discrepancy in life expectancy between two neighborhoods in a city is in Chicago. "In predominantly white Streeterville, Chicagoans can expect to live to 90. In Englewood, where the population is virtually all black, life expectancy is just 60."

The City Health Dashboard is a project from NYU Langone Health that has compiled data on a series of health measures for the 500 largest American cities. The 30-year gap in life expectancy in Chicago highlights the extreme differences that can exist within the same city as a result of factors such as poverty, access to health care, and violence.

In Englewood, public health researchers are trying to understand what is driving the problematic health outcomes, writes Lartey:

[Rodney] Johnson is one member of a team of "community health navigators" who this week began conducting a door-to-door survey. One of the most pressing questions they’re trying to answer is why there seems to be a disconnect between services that are actually available in the community and residents who do not use them.

Lartey notes that while the situation in Englewood is dire, residents are also taking initiative to improve health and the quality of life in their neighborhood. Empty lots have become gardens and community spaces, residents advocated to bring a Whole Foods into Englewood, and nonprofit organizations are working with youth to address gun violence.

Full Story:
Published on Sunday, June 23, 2019 in The Guardian
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