NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., May 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Most adults in New Jersey are happy with the neighborhood they live in and satisfied with their access to healthy food; places to walk and exercise; and community services, including parks, playgrounds, and libraries. But not everyone feels that way – and perspectives differ across race and income groups, according to the findings of a poll by Rutgers Center for State Health Policy.
The New Jersey Health and Well-Being Poll found significant differences in the way people perceive the resources in their communities that can influence their health. Overall, 81 percent of respondents rated their neighborhood as a good or excellent place to live. But the picture is more nuanced when broken down further. By income, that rating becomes 91 percent for people with high income, 78 percent for middle income, and just 57 percent for those with low income. And black and Hispanic respondents were much less likely to rate their neighborhoods good or excellent – at 61 percent and 62 percent, respectively – than white (88 percent) and Asian (91 percent) respondents.
The findings are meant to provide information for policymakers, nonprofits and advocacy organizations to consider how people's prospects for good health are limited, and what might be done to provide more opportunity for health improvement.
"We looked at how someone's housing, accessibility to parks and healthy food options come together to influence how easy it is for people to live healthier lives,'' said Joel Cantor, the Center for State Health Policy's director. "In some neighborhoods, it appears to be a lot more difficult than in others.''
More key findings include:
- Black and Hispanic residents are more than three times as likely to rate their neighborhood fair or poor compared to white or Asian residents.
- Low-income adults are nearly twice as likely as high-income adults to rate their neighborhood as a poor place to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Only one in 10 residents feels there is a lot of racial and ethnic tension in their town, but black and Hispanic residents are more likely to report racial tension compared with white residents.
The poll was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, whose vision for a Culture of Health focuses on community systems to improve well being.
You can view full poll results here (http://www.cshp.rutgers.edu/Downloads/11200.pdf).
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SOURCE Rutgers University