How Healthy is Your Town - Taking Chicago’s Temperature

Rating the city’s neighborhoods for health factors.

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To gauge the health of the city, Chicago grouped its 77 neighborhoods (as delineated by the U.S. Census Bureau and others) into ten geographic regions and then compared their levels of air pollution, crime rates, and other key public health measurements. Statistical information about each of the ten regions is contained in the accompanying boxes, which also note the neighborhoods within each region. The best citywide score for each variable is printed in green, while the worst score appears in orange. For an explanation of each of the variables, see Methods and Sources.”

As with the suburbs, the more affluent urban areas fared best, registering, for instance, lower rates of premature mortality (death before age 65) and low-weight births (under five and a half pounds), two commonly used indicators of a region’s health. Overall, the North Central area came out on top. Bounded roughly by North Avenue on the south, Cicero Avenue on the west, Ravenswood Avenue on the east, and Howard Avenue on the north, North Central boasts three hospitals, six hospital-affiliated centers, and nine additional clinics run by the city’s health department, community groups, and schools. What’s more, 35th Ward alderman Rey Colón (whose district includes Logan Square) is currently implementing an Open Space Plan for the ward, which sets aside additional space for parks and a new bike path and transforms a gravel lot under the Kennedy Expressway into a skateboard park.

Northwest
Jefferson Park, Edison Park, Portage Park, Norwood Park, O’Hare, Hermosa, Forest Glen, Belmont Cragin, Montclare, Dunning
Population
351,568
Median household income
$48,974
% owner-occupied homes
63
Hazardous waste sources
109
Air pollution sources
332
Toxic releases
28,553 lbs.
Violent crimes per 1,000
4
Property crimes per 1,000
31
Liquor licenses
353
Physicians per 1,000
1.5
Cancer cases per 1,000
24
Premature deaths per 1,000
2.3
% using public transportation
14
% low birth weight
5.7
City Best = Green
City Worst = Orange

 


North Central 
Avondale, Lincoln Square, West Ridge,
North Park, Albany Park, Irving Park, North Center, Logan Square
Population
371,619
Median household income
$40,645
% owner-occupied homes
37
Hazardous waste sources
80
Air pollution sources
229
Toxic releases
10,128 lbs.
Violent crimes per 1,000
7
Property crimes per 1,000
41
Liquor licenses
411
Physicians per 1,000
1.2
Cancer cases per 1,000
16
Premature deaths per 1,000
2.1
% using public transportation
23
% low birth weight
5.6
City Best = Green
City Worst = Orange

 

North 
Rogers Park, Edgewater, Uptown, Lake View, Lincoln Park
Population
363,818
Median household income
$45,072
% owner-occupied homes
30
Hazardous waste sources
68
Air pollution sources
214
Toxic releases
104,440 lbs.
Violent crimes per 1,000
6
Property crimes per 1,000
40
Liquor licenses
628
Physicians per 1,000
3.5
Cancer cases per 1,000
19
Premature deaths per 1,000
2.2
% using public transportation
41
% low birth weight
6.1
City Best = Green
City Worst = Orange

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