Place matters for health in important ways, according to a growing body of research. Differences in neighborhood conditions powerfully predict who is healthy, who is sick, and who lives longer. And because of patterns of residential segregation, these differences are the fundamental causes of health inequities among different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and the Jefferson County, Alabama PLACE MATTERS Team are pleased to add to the existing knowledge base with this report, Place Matters for Health in Jefferson County, Alabama: The Status of Health equity on the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, Alabama (A Special Report). This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the range of social, economic, and environmental conditions in Jefferson County and documents their relationship to the health status of the county’s residents. The study finds that social, economic, and environmental conditions in low-income and nonwhite neighborhoods make it more difficult for people in these neighborhoods to live healthy lives.
The overall pattern in this report — and those of others that the Joint Center has conducted with other PLACE MATTERS communities —suggests that we need to tackle the structures and systems that create and perpetuate inequality to fully close racial and ethnic health gaps. Accordingly, because the Joint Center seeks not only to document these inequities, we are committed to help remedy them.