How can the life expectancy in Roxbury, Massachusetts be 58.9, when just 3 miles away in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood one's life expectancy is 91.9?
This project aims to bring awareness to this massive disparity.
The Neighbourhoods of Boston
Home to almost 700,000 people (2019 US Census estimate), the twenty-three neighbourhoods of Boston form a metropolis, small in comparison to sprawling cities like New York or Chicago. Historically, each neighbourhood is distinct ethnically, socially, and economically.
From the picturesque brownstones of the Back Bay, its high traffic pedestrian shopping streets and towering skyscrapers to the grounds of Northeastern University and parts of Harvard Medical School just three miles away in Roxbury, the life expectancy between these two neighborhood vary drastically. Census information found that life expectancy varied by as much as 33 years between the two neighborhoods. Roxbury held the lowest life expectancy at only 58.9 years.
In 1859, Back Bay was built on reclaimed land in the Charles River basin. Non-hispanic whites account for 76% of Back Bay’s population (46% higher than the rest of Boston) and the median household income is $88,469 (37% higher than the rest of Boston).
Roxbury historically has been the center of African American, Hispanic, and Asian culture in Boston, with 68% of the inhabitants identifying as such. The median household income is $25,937 (54% lower than the rest of Boston).
Roxbury has been under-financed and over-policed due to Boston's history of segregation and racism.