Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Boston has the highest percentage of Hispanic children living in very low opportunity neighborhoods of any US metropolitan area, researchers at Brandeis University and Ohio State University found
The area ranked sixth-worst in neighborhood opportunity for African-American children. Nearly six in 10 African-American and Hispanic children in the Boston metropolitan area lived in neighborhoods with very low access to healthy development resources, such as access to health care or a licensed preschool, in 2010. By contrast, fewer than 1 in 10 white children lived in this type of neighborhood, ranking Boston 41st of the studied 71 metros. Opportunity levels for Hispanic and African-American children in the Boston area are akin to Milwaukee and Youngstown, Ohio, metros where higher percentages of children live in poverty, the data showed. For children, Boston is one of the most segregated metros in the country. About 72% of African-American children and 66% of Hispanic children would need to relocate to another neighborhood for their current home to reflect the racial makeup of the larger metro area. “It’s not that these inequities don’t exist in other metros, but one of the places that they are the most dramatic is Boston,” said Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, lead researcher at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Areas with low opportunity scores are peppered throughout the larger Boston metro area, concentrated in the city of Boston, but also in smaller urban communities like Chelsea, Lawrence, and Brockton. Many of these communities are densely populated with African-American and Hispanic children.