Life Expectancy Gaps in US Cities Linked to Racial Segregation: Study

Jun. 14, 2019

Imogen Francis

In major cities across the United States, life expectancy can differ between 20 to 30 years depending on what neighborhood you live in, and the gap is widest in cities with extreme racial segregation, a recent study found.

An analysis by the Department of Population Health at New York University’s School of Medicine, using data from the City Health Dashboard, showed that of the 500 cities across the country with over 66,000 residents, life expectancy varied the most in cities that have higher levels of racial segregation.

Chicago had the largest life expectancy gap of 30.1 years among its population, while also being ranked as one of the most segregated cities in the U.S. And in New York, a person living in East Harlem has a life expectancy of 71.2 years, while a few blocks away on the Upper East Side the average life expectancy is 89.9 years. New York is also second on the list of the most segregated cities in America according to the U.S Census Bureau’s 2013-2017 American Community Survey.

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