Segregated cities mean higher death rates

October 20, 1999

ANN ARBOR---Living in cities with high levels of racial segregation is linked to higher death rates for whites as well as Blacks, according to a study in the current issue of Sociological Forum.

For the study, researchers at the University of Michigan and the University of California at Berkeley examined the link between residential segregation and mortality in 107 U.S. cities with a population of at least 100,000 and a Black population of at least 10 percent.

Leading the list of segregated cities are Atlanta, Ga.; Cleveland, Ohio; Detroit, Mich.; Chicago, Ill.; and Gary, Ind. The least segregated cities, as measured by the index of Black social isolation used in the study, are Sacramento, Calif.; Long Beach, Calif.; Virginia Beach, Va.; Tacoma, Wash.; and Aurora, Colo..

Their analysis correlates national mortality and U.S. Census data with two different measures of Black residential isolation from whites, showing that residential segregation is linked with higher rates of mortality for both Blacks and whites, and that the more segregated the city, the stronger the association.

In Atlanta, Ga., for example, the death rate (per 100,000 population) for Black males is 1,369.2 and for white males 895.6, while in Aurora, Colo., the death rate for Black males is 397.6 and for white males 177.7.

"It's not that living next to someone of your own race is bad for your health," says Chiquita Collins, the Berkeley scholar who is the first author of the paper. "The problem is the concentration of poverty and disadvantage associated with high levels of segregation."

The co-author of the paper is David R. Williams, senior research scientist at the U-M Institute for Social Research and professor of sociology.

Collins and Williams found that the effect of segregation on mortality varied by cause of death, with deaths from cancer most strongly linked to levels of segregation.

Approximately one-third of the cities studied had extreme levels of Black isolation, and in these cities, mortality rates among both Black and white residents were especially high, from all causes.

"Racial residential segregation has long been known to adversely affect the quality of life for Blacks," says Williams. "This study adds to a small but growing body of research showing that it also increases susceptibility to illness and death, not only for Blacks but also for whites.

"This finding is important because it suggests that the poor living conditions associated with very high levels of segregation are costly for the entire society."

The study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
-end-


University of Michigan

Related Mortality Articles from Brightsurf:

Being in treatment with statins reduces COVID-19 mortality by 22% to 25%
A research by the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) and Pere Virgili Institut (IISPV) led by LluĂ­s Masana has found that people who are being treated with statins have a 22% to 25% lower risk of dying from COVID-19.

Mortality rate higher for US rural residents
A recent study by Syracuse University sociology professor Shannon Monnat shows that mortality rates are higher for U.S. working-age residents who live in rural areas instead of metro areas, and the gap is getting wider.

COVID-19, excess all-cause mortality in US, 18 comparison countries
COVID-19 deaths and excess all-cause mortality in the U.S. are compared with 18 countries with diverse COVID-19 responses in this study.

New analysis shows hydroxychloroquine does not lower mortality in COVID-19 patients, and is associated with increased mortality when combined with the antibiotic azithromycin
A new meta-analysis of published studies into the drug hydroxychloroquine shows that it does not lower mortality in COVID-19 patients, and using it combined with the antibiotic azithromycin is associated with a 27% increased mortality.

Hydroxychloroquine reduces in-hospital COVID-19 mortality
An Italian observational study contributes to the ongoing debate regarding the use of hydroxychloroquine in the current pandemic.

What's the best way to estimate and track COVID-19 mortality?
When used correctly, the symptomatic case fatality ratio (sCFR) and the infection fatality ratio (IFR) are better measures by which to monitor COVID-19 epidemics than the commonly reported case fatality ratio (CFR), according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Anthony Hauser of the University of Bern, Switzerland, and colleagues.

COVID-19: Bacteriophage could decrease mortality
Bacteriophage can reduce bacterial growth in the lungs, limiting fluid build-up.

COPD and smoking associated with higher COVID-19 mortality
Current smokers and people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have an increased risk of severe complications and higher mortality with COVID-19 infection, according to a new study published May 11, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Jaber Alqahtani of University College London, UK, and colleagues.

Highest mortality risks for poor and unemployed
Large dataset shows that income, work status and education have a clear influence on mortality in Germany.

Addressing causes of mortality in Zambia
Despite the fact that people in sub-Saharan Africa are now living longer than they did two decades ago, their average life expectancy remains below that of the rest of the world population.

Read More: Mortality News and Mortality Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.