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Health and Wellness Newsroom

New Public Health and Wellness Report Measures Health Equity across Louisville Neighborhoods

Thursday April 10, 2014

On average, a white woman in Louisville can expect to live to be nearly 80 years old, while a black man will die before he reaches age 70. Louisville’s Hispanic/Latino population increased more than two and half times since 2010 and, unlike the rest of Kentucky; the diversity of Louisville’s population now mirrors much of the rest of America. 

These are but a few of the findings of Louisville Metro Health Equity Report 2014, which was released today by the Center for Health Equity of the Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. The report is a follow up to the inaugural health equity report released in 2012. This year’s report contains updates from the 2010 U.S. Census data as well as new American Community Survey estimates through 2012.

Louisville Metro Health Equity Report 2014 examines the health status of Louisville residents at the neighborhood and sub-neighborhood (census tract) level. It compares life expectancy rates; rates of such chronic diseases as diabetes, heart disease and cancer as well as homicide and suicide rates between 24 neighborhoods and 190 sub-neighborhoods. The report also examines such social determinants of health as poverty, unemployment, housing, neighborhood safety and access to healthy food.

“The report contains a lot of valuable data that all sectors of our community can use to make Louisville a healthier city,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “We have made progress in some areas, but there is still much work ahead and I’m grateful that we have the data to guide us. My team and the broader community work every day to create healthy neighborhoods for all.”

A few of the findings in Louisville Metro Health Equity Report 2014 include:
  • While there was almost no growth (.4%) in Louisville Metro’s white population since 2000, there was growth in all other racial and ethnic categories. The Hispanic/Latino population increased more than two and a half times from just over 12,000 in the year 2000 to 32,500 in 2010. The African American population grew by 17.8% for the same time period.
  • Only five Louisville neighborhoods (St. Matthews, Northeast Jefferson, Floyd’s Fork, Jeffersontown and Fern Creek) had life expectancies above the U.S. average of age 79. Louisville’s other 19 neighborhoods had lower life expectancies. The lowest two neighborhoods were Germantown (71.2) and Downtown/Old Louisville/University (70.8). More than 65% of Louisville residents live in a neighborhood that has a life expectancy below the U.S. average.
  • Death rates from heart disease were more than double between the highest and lowest Louisville neighborhoods at 390 deaths per 100,000 population in Phoenix Hill/Smoketown/Shelby Park and 144 deaths per 100,000 in Northeast Jefferson County.
  • White females in Louisville have the highest life expectancy rate at 79.3 years, for black females the rate is 76.8, for white males 75.0 and 69.8 for black males.
    • Using a statistical model to measure the impact of poverty and low educational attainment, Louisville Metro Health Equity Report 2014 estimates that 407 Louisville residents are dying each year due to not having at least a high school diploma and 357 are dying as a direct result of poverty.

Louisville Metro Health Equity Report 2014 is designed to be viewed on computers and digital mobile devices. It has built-in links to facilitate easy cross referencing both within the report itself, as well as to external references and other resources. It also contains a built in survey to illicit and record feedback. The survey can be used by any internet-capable device and uploads the responses directly to a database for further review and analysis.

“Good health is not just about healthcare,” said Dr. Anneta Arno, director of the Center for Health Equity. It’s about educational opportunities. It’s about having a good job with a decent income. It’s about living in a safe neighborhood with easy access to healthy food,” said Arno. “These issues impact neighborhoods across Louisville. Health equity is everyone’s business.”

To view Louisville Metro Health Equity Report 2014, go to For questions about the data and analysis used to create the report contact Peter Rock at 574-6616 or email