New Online Resource Gives Hundreds of U.S. Cities Access to Key Neighborhood-Level Health Data to Create Thriving Communities

May 10, 2018

NYU Langone Health

News Wise

The City Health Dashboard—an online resource with community-level health, social and economic data for the nation’s 500 largest cities—was launched today by the Department of Population Health at NYU School of Medicine with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and in partnership with NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, the National Resource Network, ICMA, and the National League of Cities. This online resource enables local leaders to identify and take action around the most pressing health needs in their cities and communities.

The Dashboard reports on 36 key measures of health, such as obesity and opioid overdose deaths, as well as the conditions that influence health such as housing affordability, third grade reading proficiency, and income inequality. It represents a first-of-its-kind effort to provide city- and neighborhood-level data from multiple national sources--creating a one-stop online resource to help city leaders and residents pinpoint and take action on gaps in health and opportunity. The City Health Dashboard gives users the ability to view many of its measures according to race and gender. The Dashboard also allows users to compare their city to others and provides resources for best practices and policies, creating an opportunity to explore how to address specific challenges.

The City Health Dashboard data offer a revealing look at how health outcomes and opportunities for health vary widely depending on where you live. For example, City Health Dashboard researchers found that chronic absenteeism—missing 15 days or more of the school year—is higher for the 500 cities included in the Dashboard than for the United States as a whole. The Dashboard’s data also show that students of color have a higher rate of chronic absenteeism overall. Black and Hispanic students are 29 percent and 16 percent, respectively, more likely to be chronically absent from school than their white peers living in the same city. Regionally, the West has the lowest rate of absences, while the Northeast has the highest rate. This is a critical national problem that puts millions of children at risk for falling behind academically and dropping out of school, which can lead to serious long-term health, employment and financial consequences.

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