Black Children in the Nation’s Largest Cities Fare Worst in Well-Being and Other Factors, Report Finds
Black children across the nation's largest metropolitan areas fare the worst of all racial and ethnic groups in terms of health and other factors, according to a report released last week by the Harvard School of Public Health, the Scripps Howard/AXcess News reports (Clark, Scripps Howard/AXcess News, 1/25). Data for the report come from DiversityData.org, a new Web site from the Harvard School of Public Health, the Center for the Advancement of Health and W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Web site pulls together data from various sources on well-being factors, including health, housing, neighborhood conditions, residential integration and education. It also ranks metropolitan areas based on their performance in a particular factor and creates maps. In addition, the site breaks down most data by racial/ethnic group. The report focuses on the 100 metropolitan areas with the largest populations of children. Rankings were based on such indicators as health, population diversity, housing and economic opportunities, education and crime. According to the report, black children fared most poorly in health at birth and in other indicators, followed by Hispanics, then Asians and whites, who consistently ranked the highest. In 90% of metropolitan areas, the share of low birthweight infants to black mothers was more than 9%, higher than a target rate of 5%, while in 60% of metro areas, the preterm birth rate for blacks was higher than 15%, a rate found in virtually no metro areas for other racial groups (Acevedo-Garcia et al., "Children Left Behind: How Metropolitan Areas Are Failing America's Children," January 2007). Denver; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Raleigh, N.C., were the best cities for a black child to live in, while Chicago, New York City and Bakersfield, Calif., were the worst, the report found. Barbara Krimgold, a report author and co-director of the Kellogg Health Scholars Program, said the disparities could lead to "devastating consequences" and should serve as "an urgent signal of policy reforms that should be started now." Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, an associate professor at the Havard School of Public Health, said, "The entire range of opportunities is more limited for blacks and Hispanics," noting "vast inequalities" in health care, poverty and home ownership (Scripps Howard/AXcess News, 1/25).
The report is available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the report.