Powerful open data tool illustrates life expectancy gaps are larger in more racially segregated cities

Jul. 8, 2019

Ben Spoer

Build Healthy Places Network

Racial segregation has been associated with lower life expectancy. A new analysis using the City Health Dashboardshows that, overall, cities with higher levels of racial residential segregation have disturbingly large gaps in life expectancy—up to 30 years.

The City Health Dashboard provides data on 37 measures of health and drivers of health for the 500 largest US cities, those with populations of approximately 66,000 or greater. These data are available at the city level and, for many of the measures, the census tract level. Furthermore, the Dashboard provides multi-year data for many of its measures, depicting how these measures vary over time. These data help local officials, community leaders, and residents pinpoint and take action on gaps in health and its drivers, such as poverty, education, and housing.

These data can also help researchers explore health disparities across the entire 500 city dataset. The Dashboard team used life expectancy data provided by the U.S. Small-area Life Expectancy Estimates Project (USALEEP) to explore life expectancy gaps in the Dashboard’s cities at the census tract level.

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