From Iraq to Switzerland: Baltimore map depicts global comparisons for neighborhood life expectancies

The average resident of Sandtown-Winchester can expect to live as long as a resident of Tajikistan, a former Soviet country still struggling to recover from a civil war. 

But in tony Homeland, residents on average live as long as the Swiss, who have access to one of the world's best health care systems.

A map created by students at The Park School depicts health disparities among the city's neighborhoods through countries in which residents have similar life expectancies. 

For example, residents of the Seton Hill and Downtown neighborhoods have one of the shortest life expectancies, living, on average, just under 64 years.  The inhabitants of the totalitarian dictatorship in North Korea have similar life expectancies.  In contrast, those in the Roland Park area can expect to live on average more than 83 years, much like the denizens of The Most Serene Republic of San Marino, a tiny nation surrounded by Italy.

Seniors Amanda Sztein and Claire Flowers and junior Althea Fleming created the map as a project for teacher Daniel Jacoby's Human Geography class at Park. You can see some more of their data here and here.

Jacoby said the students were inspired by Johns Hopkins University professor Eric Rice, who mentioned to the class that life expectancies varied greatly around North Baltimore's Rotunda shopping center. Those who reside north of the Rotunda, in Roland Park, lead, on average, longer lives, than those who live to the south of it in Hampden.

The students compiled neighborhood health data from the city health department and global life expectancies from the CIA fact book to make their map, Jacoby said.


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