Despite national prosperity which improved health outcomes for urban children from 1992-2002, disparities between children in distressed versus non-distressed cities, and between Black versus White urban children, did not improve.
There has been little examination of how “different trajectories of city distress” impact the health of urban populations. This study used census data to identify the 100 most populous U.S. cities and, within that group, the 30 most economically distressed. Researchers then compared select mortality and birth rates of children under age 18 in the distressed versus non-distressed cities, and of Black versus White children in those cities, in 1992 and 2002.
The authors note youth are affected by services provided by local government which distressed cities are in a poor position to provide. They call for stronger federal and state leadership to address disparities among urban children, as well as for research into how economic ills of political jurisdictions impact health.