Short Distances to Large Gaps in Health
Across America, babies born just a few miles apart have dramatic differences in life expectancy. Developed by the RWJF Commission to Build a Healthier America, the following city maps display show life expectancy values alongside common geographic landmarks such as subway stops and highway exits to show how opportunities to lead a long and healthy life can vary dramatically, by neighborhood, in communities across the United States.
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This map shows the average life expectancy for babies born to mothers in New Orleans can vary by as much as 25 years across neighborhoods just a few miles apart.
This map shows babies born to mothers in Maryland's Montgomery County and Virginia's Arlington and Fairfax Counties can expect to live six to seven years longer than babies born to mothers in Washington, D.C.--just a few subway stops away.
This map shows just a few miles can mean a 9-year diff. in life expectancy for babies born in the San Joaquin Valley.
This map shows average life expectancy for babies born to mothers in Kansas City can vary by as much as 14 years across neighborhoods just a few miles apart.
This map shows just a few miles can mean a 13-year diff. in life expectancy for babies born in Minneapolis & St. Paul.
Gaps in health across neighborhoods can stem from multiple factors, ranging from scarce educational or income opportunities, to unsafe or unhealthy housing, to limited access to good hospitals and primary care. An expanded series of city maps developed by RWJF and the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Center on Society and Health show how these types of disparities can lead to significant differences in life expectancy depending on the neighborhoods where we live.
As health disparities in the U.S. continue to grow, RWJF's health equity toolkit provides resources, data, and examples of communities working to achieve better health for all.