A project of the Public Health Alliance of Southern California, The Healthy Places Index® (HPI) is a powerful and easy-to-use data and policy platform created to advance health equity through open and accessible data.
Neighborhood-by-neighborhood, the HPI maps data on social conditions that drive health — like education, job opportunities, clean air and water, and other indicators that are positively associated with life expectancy at birth. Community leaders, policymakers, academics, and other stakeholders use the HPI to compare the health and well-being of communities, identify health inequities and quantify the factors that shape health.
Everybody deserves the opportunity for a long and healthy life, regardless of who they are or where they call home. However, we know that access to these opportunities is not equal across communities.
Where we live and the historic legacies of racism and discrimination experienced by communities of color — our racial and ethnic backgrounds — are strongly tied to measures of well-being and life expectancy — even more so than genetics. Decades of research have demonstrated how health outcomes are strongly tied to neighborhood environments and community conditions, which are, in turn, strongly linked to race. We also know that conditions that support health, such as access to education, good job opportunities, and clean air and water — vary drastically by neighborhood.
We created the HPI on the premise that lasting systems change cannot occur unless leaders, community providers, advocates and even residents themselves understand the critical relationship between place, race, and a person’s health outcomes.
But we know data alone is not enough to dismantle the legacy of racially driven policymaking. Our data works at its best when supporting the lived experiences and strengths of the communities at the forefront of social change.
Ultimately, the HPI data and policy recommendations are meant to support leaders and advocates to prioritize investments, resources, and programs in the neighborhoods most disproportionately impacted by health and racial inequities.
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