Segregation, inequality reflected in Ohio’s poor county health rankings

Articles | March 16 2016

High racial segregation, along with high income inequality and poverty, are driving poor health outcomes in Cuyahoga County and in other areas of Ohio. Segregation of neighborhoods, institutionalized in federal housing and banking policies in the 1920’s which barred blacks and other minorities from securing home loans, has created large areas of deteriorating housing and environmental conditions. These conditions have direct and indirect effects on health, and need to change, public health experts say. (Joshua Gunter/The Plain Dealer, File)

CLEVELAND, Ohio— Cuyahoga County is large and diverse, the most populous county in Ohio. It’s also one of the most racially segregated counties in one of America’s most segregated states.

And that division is bad for our health, researchers say.

“Highly segregated neighborhoods tend to have environmental hazards, often elevated crime levels, and segregated residents in general have fewer opportunities for good education or a job that pays a living wage, or access to health care and healthy food,” said Marjory Givens, associate scientist with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. (read more)