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Ohio Report: How Long You Live Depends On Where You Live

According to a new report from the Center for Community Solutions, there is a 23 year difference in life expectancy between these two neighborhoods less than two miles apart [Center for Community Solutions].
Map of life expectancy in Cuyahoga County from the Center for Community Solutions

Poverty is a predictor of life expectancy in Ohio, according to a report released Monday by the nonprofit think tank Center for Community Solutions.

The report found life expectancy tends to be lower in census tracts where the population is poorer and in areas where the majority of the population is black.

Report author Kate Warren says life expectancy is an indicator of the overall health of a community, and where a person lives can impact how long they will live.

“It’s not just about chronic disease prevention, although that’s important, and it’s not just about access to health care, although that’s important. It’s about making sure that people have access to the opportunities they need to live a healthy life,” Warren said.

An example of a life expectancy disparity can be found in census tracts that are less than two miles away from each other. Residents in an area of Shaker Heights can expect to live 23 years longer than residents of a census tract near Buckeye-Woodhill and University Circle.

Warren points to social and environmental factors.

“Access to information, high-quality education, and safe housing — all of these things play into our health a lot more than just health care and making healthy choices,” she said. “Our community and the factors around us influence our health.”

The report includes an interactive map to type in any address in Ohio to see life expectancy data.

It’s not the first time a report has found drastically different life expectancies between those living in close proximity to each other, as a 2016 study showed a 12 year difference in life expectancy between people who live in Lyndhurst versus the St Clair-Superior neighborhood of Cleveland.

lisa.ryan@ideastream.org | 216-916-6158