Citizens in the state of Georgia are not expected to live as long as residents of most other states. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Georgians have a life expectancy of 77.2 years, ranking No. 41 in the nation.
In Atlanta, there are some areas that are doing far better, but there are neighborhoods that are half a decade worse. According to a new study by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center on Society and Health, Atlanta’s 30305 ZIP code – comprised mostly of the Buckhead area – has a life expectancy of 84 years, the best in the city. Here’s a map VCU released following their study, and you can see just how much the city varies in life expectancy:
To explain why there’s such a huge difference from Buckhead to West Atlanta, one needs to look no further than the standard of living in those two areas. According to Zip Atlas, the 30305 ZIP code has a median household income of $65,642, the fifth-highest ZIP code in Atlanta. That’s far from the wealthiest ZIP code in the city, let alone the nation.
But in the three ZIP codes with the shortest life expectancies in the city – 30354, 30310 and 30314, according to the study – median household incomes are $28,155, $24,604 and $19,438, respectively.
That means, according to the Social Security Administration, children are raised with a lack of nutritional foods and preventative healthcare, and those problems persist into adulthood, shortening lives.
Entirely different worlds, just miles apart. In Buckhead, residents are living as long as citizens of Japan or Singapore, while in Bankhead, they’re lucky to live as long as someone in Iran or Honduras.
As a city, we must strive to do better.
Main image: flickr/Richard CawoodFollow @Sean_Breslin