In West Baltimore, life expectancy the same as North Korea

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This graphic is part of the project “In Poor Health” and was produced by Capital News Service and Kaiser Health News. It explores why Baltimore’s world-renowned health system is struggling to keep Freddie Gray’s neighbors — some of the city’s poorest residents — from getting sick.

By Madeleine Deason, Joey Trull and Rose Creasman Welcome

Capital News Service 

Residents of Roland Park, Baltimore’s wealthiest neighborhood, live to an average age of 84 — matching the life expectancy of Japan, the nation where citizens live longer, on average, than any country in the world.

In Sandtown, where Freddie Gray lived and the median household income is less than a quarter of Roland Park’s, the life expectancy is 70 years.

That matches the average life expectancy in North Korea, an impoverished dictatorship where millions suffer from chronic undernourishment, according to the United Nations.

It is a comparison presidential candidate Bernie Sanders made to a rally in Baltimore last month.

At 66 years, Downtown/Seton Hill and Greenmount East have the city’s lowest life expectancy, matching India and Pakistan. Source: 2013 data from Baltimore City Health Department, World Health Organization.