The Heller School For Social Policty And Management The Heller School For Social Policy and Management Brandeis University

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Child Demographic &
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Child Opportunity Index measuring neighborhood opportunities for children

  • Explore metropolitan area maps of the newly developed Child Opportunity Index

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  • Obtain equity assessments of social policies affecting children

Spotlight and News

New report: Measuring and mapping neighborhood-based opportunities for U.S. Children

Report/Visualizations | August 26, 2016

Across the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, Hispanic and black children are three to four times more likely to live in the lowest opportunity neighborhoods within their metro area than are white children. A new report featuring the Child Opportunity Index, developed by diversitydatakids.org and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity describes these patterns of racial/ethnic inequality in children’s neighborhoods. 

 

The report highlights the importance of neighborhood-based opportunity for healthy child development and the consequent need to understand whether all children have access to neighborhood opportunity. After describing the construction, capabilities, and limitations of the Index, the report examines the distribution of children of different racial/ethnic groups across neighborhoods with different levels of opportunity, and explains how to interpret the Index maps and associated equity measures. The report also explores whether residential segregation affects inequities in children’s access to neighborhood opportunity. It concludes with examples of how organizations are using this tool to better understand and improve children’s neighborhood environments.

 

The report finds vast racial/ethnic inequities in children’s access to neighborhood opportunity across all metropolitan areas, but also variation in the extent of inequities in the concentration of racial/ethnic minority children in very low-opportunity neighborhoods (relative to white children):  


Metros with the highest inequity in children’s concentration in very low-opportunity neighborhoods:

  • Black children: Albany, NY; Milwaukee, WI; Omaha, NE
  • Hispanic children: Boston, MA; Lancaster, PA; Providence, RI
  • Asian children: Minneapolis, MN; Salt Lake City, UT; Sacramento, CA

Read the report here.  Other available features include an interactive mapping tool illustrating the geography of neighborhood opportunity and the distribution on children by race/ethnicity, a visualization tool summarizing racial/ethnic inequities, a ranking feature, one-page snapshots for 25 metros, a library resource describing the ways that organizations are already using the Child Opportunity Index, Technical documentation, and a webinar tutorial on the Index.