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Life Expectancy Varies by Decades Depending on Area of D.C., Study Finds

November 2, 2018

By Eyasu Delesa

The life expectancy of someone who lives in Georgetown is nearly 30 years longer than someone living in Trinidad and nearly 20 years longer than someone who lives in Anacostia, a study conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University found. 

Photo via VCU Study

The study, “Uneven Opportunities: How Conditions for Wellness Vary Across the Metropolitan Washington Region," found that life expectancy statistics varied dramatically across different individual neighborhoods.

VCU's Center on Society and Health "examined mortality rates across the region’s 1,223 census tracts and found that life expectancy at birth—how long a newborn baby can expect to live—varied by 27 years." 

D.C.'s Trinidad neighborhood in Northeast has a 67-year life expectancy from birth compared to a 94-year life life expectancy from birth in Georgetown--the lowest and highest life expectancies in the entire study. 

Photo via VCU

The report also showed striking geographic differences in other health measures such as infant mortality, obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Here are some more staggering findings from the study:

  • The average life expectancy of the population in Ward 3 (located in Northwest D.C., west of 16th Street) is 87 years, compared to 72 years in Ward 8 in Southeast, south of I-295.
  • 94% of adults in Ward 3 have attended college, the same is true of only 41% in Ward 8.
  • The median household income also differs greatly $109,909 vs. $31,642.
  • Child poverty rates were 3% compared to 50%.

Read the full study here.