There’s a 25 year life expectancy difference across neighborhoods in Georgia.
In Georgia, the neighborhood with the shortest life expectancy is just five miles south of Macon, Ga. With a poverty rate over fifty percent, the life expectancy is just over 63 years. However, Vinings, a suburb northwest of Atlanta, has a poverty rate under 5 percent, and a life expectancy of over 87 years.
Where you live impacts the quality of education your children get, the availability of healthy food, the safety of your neighborhood and the affordability of good housing.
These differences are so strong between Georgia neighborhoods, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that it profoundly impacts the length and quality of our lives. Without equitable access to healthcare, good paying jobs and quality education, we have vastly different outcomes in our lives.
You can plug in your own address here to find out exactly how much where you live affects how long you may live.
Should the simple fact of someone’s geography so greatly impact their life expectancy? What does this say about just how large the disparities are in our ability to be safe and healthy in our own neighborhoods?
Georgia Health News, which first reported on this story earlier this month, quotes Morehouse associate dean for community engagement Tabia Akintobi as saying:
“These differences are not only related to individual behaviors, but, more importantly, the political investments, or lack thereof, in communities that result in poorer housing, lower community economic and workforce development and educational achievement. All of these issues result in the connection between where people live and how healthy they are.”
As Georgia struggles with rural hospital closures, the growing abuse of opioids and a refusal by policymakers to expand Medicaid we can expect these differences to persist. Are our policymakers willing to act to literally save our lives?