In West Baltimore, life expectancy the same as North Korea

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.

About The Author

Capital News Service

kdenny12@umd.edu

Capital News Service is a student-powered news organization run by the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism. For 26 years, we have provided deeply reported, award-winning coverage of issues of import to Marylanders. With bureaus in College Park, Annapolis and Washington run by professional journalists with decades of experience, we deliver news in multiple formats via partner news organizations, a destination Web site, a nightly on-air television newscast and affiliated social media channels (including Twitter and Facebook). We provide breaking news coverage, in-depth investigative and enterprise journalism, and serve as a laboratory for students to test and develop innovative new methods of reporting and telling stories. By providing a true newsroom experience to our students, we send them into the job market with real-world skills and the ability to shape the future of journalism. Only Merrill’s most motivated students are accepted into the Capital News Service program, and they go on to land internships and jobs at the nation’s finest news organizations: The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, the Associated Press, Politico, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, ProPublica, National Geographic, NBC News, The Dallas Morning News, the Washington City Paper, Washingtonian magazine, Money magazine, the Wall Street Journal and more.

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