Joint Center Releases Reports on How Poverty Concentration and
Racial Segregation Exacerbate Health Inequities in Bernalillo County, NM
WASHINGTON, DC – The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies today released a report, “Place Matters for Health in Bernalillo County: Ensuring Opportunities for Good Health for All,” that provides a comprehensive analysis of the range of social, economic, and environmental conditions in Bernalillo County, NM, which includes Albuquerque, and documents their relationship to the health status of county residents.
The study, supported by a grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the National Institutes of Health, finds that social, economic and environmental conditions in low-income and non-white neighborhoods make it more difficult for people in these communities to live healthy lives. Among the study’s key findings is that there is a twelve-fold difference in the percentage of low-birthweight infants across the county’s census tracts. In addition, the study found that life expectancy varies by as much as 22 years in the county depending on the census tract—in census tracts with lowest life expectancy, people can live to be only about 68 years or less, while people can live to be 90 years or more in census tracts with the highest life expectancy. Zip codes with the lowest life expectancy and highest rates of low birthweight babies tend to have a higher percentage of Hispanic and low-income residents.
“Place matters for health in important ways,” said Ralph B. Everett, President and CEO of the Joint Center. “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.”
Download the full press release below.