Worlds Apart: Gaps in Life Expectancy in the Indianapolis Metro Area
Article You May Have Missed: The April 11, 2016 issue of the The New York Times featured the article, “The Rich Live Longer Everywhere. For the Poor, Geography Matters.” This topic resonates with the Polis Center and SAVI as we prepared a report on a similar topic, “Worlds Apart: Gaps in Life Expectancy in the Indianapolis Metro Area,” on July 15, 2015. Worlds Apart: Gaps in Life Expectancy in the Indianapolis Metro Area was produced by the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in partnership with The Polis Center at IUPUI for the SAVI Community Information System. Report authors included: Tess D. Weathers, Tamara G.J. Leech, Lisa K. Staten, Elizabeth Alice Adams, Jay T. Colbert, and Karen Frederickson Comer.
The Times story references work published in the April issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association, which compared research on the life expectancy of 40-year-olds with household incomes below $28,000, adjusted for race. According to the article, “One conclusion from this work…is that the gap in life spans between rich and poor widened from 2001 to 2014. The top 1 percent in income among American men live 15 years longer than the poorest 1 percent; for women, the gap is 10 years. These rich Americans have gained three years of longevity just in this century. They live longer almost without regard to where they live. Poor Americans had very little gain as a whole, with big differences among different places.”
Indiana is mentioned in an interactive feature embedded in the article exploring life expectancy in one’s own area as having one of the lowest life expectancy rates in the country. It notes, “In Marion County, the poor will die about 9 years before the rich. That’s roughly equivalent to the difference in life expectancy between an average man in the United States and one in Somalia. It is about 2 years more than the gap for the United States as a whole.”
This unfortunate news correlates with the research and report prepared by the Polis Center and SAVI: “Nearly one-fourth of the ZIP codes in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)–25 of 104 analyzed–home to roughly 385,000 people, have life expectancies below the 1990 U.S. average (75.4 years) – demonstrating more than a 20 year lag behind the country overall. In the metro Indy community with the lowest life expectancy, a baby born today can expect to live only as long as a baby born in the U.S. more than 60 years ago. Our results demonstrate that the benefits of progress have not been actualized in many communities of metro Indy. There is a gap of six years of life expectancy between the highest and lowest ranking counties in the MSA. While Hamilton and Madison Counties share a border, they stand out in contrast to one another; Hamilton has the highest county life expectancy, while Madison has the lowest.”
Click the links above for both articles and think about the findings on national and local levels that social and economic policies are the underlying drivers of the discrepancy and the fact that health and the length of one’s life cannot be separated from the societal context in which people live.
Report published September 16, 2015
Does perception match reality?
Many factors contribute to our perceptions of crime. News stories, types of crime committed, location of crime—these elements and others help to shape the way we perceive the safety of our communities.
Often local crime headlines tell a story of an increasingly violent Indianapolis, but does perception match reality?
The story is not the same for everyone
Crime and public safety are important social and political issues faced by cities and communities across the country. Contrary to public perception, over the past two decades crime rates across the United States have decreased dramatically (Wolfers, 2014; McCarthy, 2015; Lopez, 2015). In 1994 the national Part I crime rate (the combination of property and violent crime) was 53 crimes per 1,000 people. In 2013, the rate was 31 crimes per 1,000 people, a decline of 41.5 percent. Yet, the story has not been the same across the country. When examining trends in crime at different geographic areas, such as counties, cities, or neighborhood the story becomes more complicated.
Studying crime trends in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) jurisdiction reveals a more nuanced story. Overall, the crime rate is at the lowest level since 2007. Property crime and simple assaults, in particular, dropped significantly. Over the same period, however, violent crime has increased, especially since 2011.
Yet the possibility of becoming victim of crime is not the same for everyone. Examining the geographic distribution of crime shows wide variation from place to place. Part I crime rates range from a low of 2.6 per 1,000 residents in the Cumberland neighborhood on the eastern edge of the city to a high (excluding Lafayette Square) of 202 in Downtown Indianapolis.
About the analysis
In this report, we explore the trends in crime rates in the 94 neighborhoods and 201 census tracts within the IMPD service area from 2007 to 2014.
All crime rates have been calculated based on 2010 population data and represent the number of crimes per 1,000 people. As a result, some of the crime rate figures may differ from other published sources. Data is drawn from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, which does not serve the Airport, Speedway, Beach Grove, and Lawrence areas. The Park 100 neighborhood was removed for statistical and mapping purposes.
CLICK BELOW TO ACCESS THE FULL REPORT
CLICK BELOW TO ACCESS THE SAVI TALKS CRIME PRESENTATION
Report published July 15, 2015
Access these data from SAVI’s Quick Information menu, and explore using SAVI’s interactive maps
Two communities that are both situated within the Indianapolis metropolitan area and separated by only 28 miles are in reality worlds apart. One sits in a northeastern suburb of Indianapolis. Its residents have a life expectancy of 83.7 years, rivaling the top-ranking countries of the world, Switzerland (83 years) and Japan (84 years). Taking a drive from that community along I-465 and I-70 into the city, life expectancy drops off – to 78.9 years, then to 74.2 years – until you arrive in the second community, situated within the urban core directly south of Monument Circle. Its residents have a life expectancy of 69.4 years, similar to countries like Uzbekistan (69 years), Bangladesh (70 years), and Iraq (70 years).