“I can pretty much predict your life expectancy by where you live.”
That is what Anthony B. Iton, senior vice president of healthy communities for California, told Colorado Health in a recent article.
“[An address],” he said, “tells me about your income, your education, health amenities [and] employment opportunities.”
To put this into perspective, take the city of Oakland, California. Residents there have an average life expectancy of 74 years, compared to much of the rest of the country’s average of 80. America’s poorest zip code of Orleans Parish, Louisiana, has an average life expectancy of just 54.5, according to WKKF.org. Orleans Parish has a majority population of African Americans.
So what does this mean? It means that health is yet just another divide that we can tack onto income inequality. Not only are neighborhoods segregated, but so are their resources, which gives particular neighborhoods, ethnicities and groups of people segregated life expectancies to go along with it.
Like many other components of inequality, the issues that arise with health are something that won’t be easily changed. As Culture of Health reports, this is not a new concept, nor is neighborhood segregation. According to them, the only way to tackle this once and for all is to give us all a level playing field: access to equal health, resources and living conditions.
But in a world full of vast inequality, is that even possible?