State of Equity report release presentation, 12.13.2011

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On December 13, 2011, MAPC released the findings of our first report on regional indicators of equity at an event at Harvard Law School.

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  • Remember to comment that 5000 “plan builders” helped create this vision.
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  • Equity goals are crucial to monitor because meeting them is crucial to achieving the vibrant region envisioned in MetroFuture.
  • Potentially frame as the decline of the American dream. We cannot all prosper and enjoy a high quality of life when all of the region’s gains in productivity and wealth go to the benefit of a small group of families. Yet this is essentially what we have seen happen over the previous decade. Over the past 30 years, wealth in our region has become increasingly concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, creating a smaller group of wealthy families than ever before while more Metro Bostonians struggle to make ends meet. The poorest fifth of our population currently earns a median income of roughly $20,000 while the richest fifth earn more than 10 times that amount on average, or about $212,000 per year. As shown in the chart, this ten fold gap between the rich and poor is considerably larger than it was three decades ago. In 1979, for example, the median income of the richest fifth was about 6 times that of the poorest fifth.
  • That being said about the “Why equity” transition to the findings:Presenting 10 of the 30 indicators covered in the report, although there are even more online at regionalindicators.org.Report divided into life stages because we don’t live in silos – we are going to start with kids just as the report does, to give a small sample of the work.
  • One of our most shameful findings is described by these maps. If people were randomly distributed throughout our region, without regard to age or race/ethnicity, about 12% of the people in every neighborhood would be white children (under 14) and 6% would be children of color. These are the “regional averages.” However, looking at maps of where our children actually live, we see very few places that actually have such concentrations. The map on the left shows where white children live in our region compared to the regional average, the one of the right shows where children of color live.  Red colors mean there are fewer kids than we’d expect if everyone were randomly distributed. Blue colors mean there are more kids than we’d expect. The darkest red means that the actual concentration of children is less than a quarter of the regional average; dark blue shows places where the concentration is twice what we’d expect.   These maps are nearly perfect mirror images of each other, but one not the inverse of the other by definition. It’s not just that there are high concentrations of minority kids in some areas, it’s that there are particularly low concentrations of white kids in the same places.
  • We just saw a map of racial/ethnic segregation in our region showing that kids of color and white kids are concentrated in very different neighborhoods throughout Metro Boston. We can all think of many reasons that this segregated residential pattern is a problem for kids, but this chart shows one of the most serious consequences – economic segregation of our schools and the concentration of minority group children in the poorest schools specifically. To make this chart, we looked at what proportion of kids in a school are poor enough to be eligible for free or reduced price lunch. We then designated any school where more than half the children were eligible as a “high poverty school.” Within this collection of high poverty schools, we then asked, which are the schools where over three quarters of the children eligible for free or subsidized lunch? We will call these VERY high poverty schools. This chart shows enrollment in a high poverty school by race/ethnicity. We see that nearly three quarters of Black/African American and Latino students attend high poverty schools and over one third of Asian students attend high poverty schools (looking at total height of the bars). Only 11% of which students do. Further, looking within the subset of Metro Boston children attending these schools, children of color are more likely than white children to be in VERY high poverty environments (looking at height of red portion of the bars).This relationship is not simply a product of the fact that minority kids tend to come from lower income families. Higher income minority children are more likely to be in these low resource environments than are their white counterparts, just as low income white students are more likely to be in high resource environments compared to low income minority kids. Rather, this is a product of segregation - and its consequences are serious for educational attainment and therefore future economic opportunity. Data availability was an issue for some of our indicators. Usually, we only used indicators that were available for the MAPC geography. However, when we felt an indicator was important enough, we used data for the MSA, or even, in this case, the Commonwealth as a whole.
  • *This is a new “cluster” of charts, so you’ll want to transition to talking about this one example of a child-focused analysis* Marc does not need help with this. This chart shows the proportion of babies that were born underweight (<2500 grams, about 5.5 lbs) between 2003 and 2007 in MAPC’s municipalities. The data exclude twins and triplets, who are usually born lighter than average. These data are dived two ways: the bars are grouped by race/ethnicity, with whites on the left, Black/African Americans next, Hispanic/Latinos in the third group, Asians/Pacific Islanders fourth, and members of all other racial groups in the last cluster. Low birth weight increases the risks of infant health problems and infant mortality. It contributes to educational and developmental delays, as well as from adult health problems ranging from asthma to high blood pressure, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes.  Colors show different levels of educational attainment. Blue, for example, shows those without a high school education while purple indicates college graduates. Because these data come from a sample of births, the black bars show the range within which the true percentage actually falls.   This chart shows that there are both racial/ethnic and educational disparities in birth weight. The racial disparities are so strong that an African American woman with a college degree has worse birth outcomes on average than a white woman without a high school degree.
  • Low birth weight and other individual characteristics and experiences put children at risk of asthma, but differences in air quality, housing, other neighborhood conditions, access to medical care, exposure to tobacco, and a host of other factors external to individuals matter as well. This helps explain, in part, the map we see above showing that Boston youth are hospitalized for asthma at particularly high rates compared to the region overall, as are young people in Revere. Asthma hospitalization is a bigger problem in Boston than it is in Acton or Medway, the two municipalities with our region’s lowest rates, by a factor of 11. We also know that within the Greater Boston region, the Black/African American youth asthma hospitalization rate is five times the White rate. These racial/ethnic disparities will be impossible to eliminate when the risk factors for poorly controlled asthma are still geographically patterned and our region is racially segregated. Backup stats pulled by JamilaEstimated 210 youth asthma hospitalizations per 100,000 for the MAPC region overall between 2004 and 2008Estimated 117 youth asthma hospitalizations per 100,000 for White youth in the MAPC region between 2004 and 2008Estimated 580 youth asthma hospitalizations per 100,000 for Black/African American youth in the MAPC region between 2004 and 2008Estimated 122 youth asthma hospitalizations per 100,000 for Asian/Pacific Islander youth in the MAPC region between 2004 and 2008Estimated 345 youth asthma hospitalizations per 100,000 for Latino youth in the MAPC region between 2004 and 2008K:\\DataServices\\Projects\\Current_Projects\\Regional Indicators\\EquityReportCard\\data\\health\\chart files\\youth_asthma_hospitalization.xlsx
  • Children's health problems, such as low birth weight and poorly controlled asthma, can wreak havoc on families (in many ways - emotionally, financially etc). As this chart shows, however, those most affected by these health conditions in our region, African Americans, are in the worst financial position to handle the shocks.We should point out that although Asian residents have the highest median household income in Greater Boston at nearly $80,000, an estimated 16% of Asian residents make less than $20,000 per year (and nearly 40% make $100,000 or more). So a high median household income does not translate to uniform prosperity within the Asian community.
  • **Jessie, is slide in the right place? Is this the new transition to teens? Not sure if Marc is starting with this one so not clear on how to contextualize this. Below is the data explanation. While nearly 90% college graduates in our region are active in the labor force, only about 65% of residents without a high school degree are economically active.We need to be very concerned about these statistics as a region. Employing all people who would like to work would reduce local dependence on public benefits, increase tax revenue, and help stem the coming jobs-skills mismatch that is rapidly approaching our region. Because educational attainment is a major determinant of future labor force participation, educational gains for today’s youth are vital. With projections that 32% of the region’s young working-age population will be racial/ethnic minorities by 2030, eliminating racial/ethnic disparities in educational attainment is critical to achieving our regional goals [this is for use IF we are keeping drop out rate by race]. We know that low labor force participation rates weaken our region’s ability to compete economically at home and abroad in an increasingly globalized world.
  • Look to see if this data by special population are on the website. That will change the previous talking points. This chart shows high school dropout rates by race/ethnicity for our region in purple and the state overall in red.  We in MetroBoston are doing better than the state in every racial/ethnic group, but there are still huge disparities among these groups.  The dropout rate for Latino students is over three times that of white and Asian students
  • *this is the adults cluster, so will have to transition*Too little housing in the region is available for our lowest-income households. This chart shows that about 160,000 households earning less than 50% of the area median family income, an income that is currently about $46,000, now occupy housing they can’t afford. Instead, the region’s least expensive housing is often occupied by those of low to moderate income who are understandably trying to save on costs. As the graph below shows, nearly 25,000 housing units that are affordable to households earning less than 50% of the area median income are actually occupied by people earning at least 80% of the median income. Today, 80% of the area median family income is about $73,500. In fact, over 60% of our poorest households are living in unaffordable housing, defined as housing that costs more than 30% of gross household income77, making these households especially vulnerable to personal shocks, fluctuations in the economy, and unexpected costs.This fact is particularly worrisome when we think about who is most affected by these conditions. Census data tell us that our lowest income families (all the way to the left on the graph) are disproportionately composed of women raising children without a spouse present.
  • Family structure also matters for seniors, who are looking to retire comfortably, stay active in their communities and be healthy. We see that seniors who are responsible for raising their grandchildren (red bar) are more likely than families overall (dashed line) to live in poverty, and are nearly three times more likely than seniors who live with – but are NOT responsible for – their grandchildren (blue bar) to live in poverty. Again, when we ask who in the region is must affected by this fact, researchers tell us that African American seniors are disproportionately burdened. Overall, African American children are more than twice as likely as white children to live in grandparent-headed households. (from Jamila: see chart at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2888319/figure/F1/. I’ll get more updated figures if I can)*not sure how you want to close the data piece, but just a suggestion:Seniors’ well being will be of increasing concern to the region – and the country as a whole – as the baby boomers age and begin to retire. While they are the healthiest and wealthiest generation ever, they are also the largest. As we mentioned earlier, MetroFuture demographic projections for the region to the year 2030 indicate that the population of the region over 65 will increase by 79%, while the population overall is projected to grow by 9%. This change means that the region must tackle issues affecting seniors at a scale that is vastly different from what we have experienced before. In fact, in thinking about all of the indicators I presented today, we have to keep in mind that without action to reverse these disparities, demographic trends will only magnify the toxic effects of inequity on our region. Not only is the region becoming more racially and ethnically diverse, but this diversity is most marked in our youngest age groups. A larger and larger share of our school children will be children of color – it is bad for all of us if we allow three quarters of these children to attend high poverty schools, or for nearly 6 out of 100 of them to be hospitalized for asthma. Likewise, we have to think about the geographic distribution of poverty and of our elder population to make sure our suburbs are set up to serve families with out cars or seniors with limited mobility… this leads us to the next step in the process…
  • State of Equity report release presentation, 12.13.2011

    1. 1. All Things Not Being Equal:The State of Equity in Metro Boston December 13, 2011
    2. 2. The MetroFuture Vision:
    3. 3. Selected MetroFuture Equity Goals:#15: There will be less regional segregation as all municipalities increasingly reflect Metro Boston’s growing diversity.#16: Low-income households will be able to find affordable, adequate, conveniently located housing.#24: Residents in all communities and of all incomes will have access to affordable, healthy food.#38: More minority and immigrant workers will have opportunities to advance on the career ladder, acquire assets, and build wealth.All the MetroFuture goals are at www.metrofuture.org
    4. 4. Measuring Progress to MetroFuture Goals describe the MetroFuture vision in general terms. Objectives support each of the goals. They are more specific and largely numeric. Indicators are tied to as many of the objectives as possible. They are regularly collected data points.
    5. 5. Regional Indicators ReportsIndicators reports will monitor the region’s progresstowards achieving the MetroFuture goals. Baseline reports establish the numbers against which progress will be measured.Future reports will tell us whether we are trendingtowards our goals - or away from them.
    6. 6. Our “Regional Street” is Changing For Every 100 People Year Year 2010 2030 72 White 69 28 Minority group population 31 18 Born in another country 23 24 Under 20 years old 23 25 Over the age of 55 33
    7. 7. Inequality in the Region is Growing
    8. 8. The State ofEquity in MetroBoston:Key Findings
    9. 9. Children are Very Segregated
    10. 10. Inequity in High Poverty Schools
    11. 11. Inequity in Low Birth WeightPercent
    12. 12. Inequity in Asthma Hospitalization
    13. 13. Inequity in Household Incomes
    14. 14. Inequity in Labor Force Participation
    15. 15. Inequity in High School Dropout Rates
    16. 16. Inequity in Housing Affordability
    17. 17. Inequity in Grandparents in Poverty
    18. 18. “State of Equity” Moving ForwardState of Equity part 2 will consist of policyrecommendations to “bend the trends” towards a moreequitable region. Would you like to participate in the second phase of the project, turning the data findings into policy recommendations? Sign up here or online to stay involved!
    19. 19. ResponsesAmy Cheung,Ron Marlow, Assistant Secretary for Access and Opportunity,Commonwealth of MassachusettsDwayne Marsh, Senior Advisor, Office of Sustainable Housing andCommunities, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban DevelopmentEva Millona, Executive Director, Massachusetts Immigrant and RefugeeAdvocacy CoalitionPaulo Pinto, Executive Director, Massachusetts Alliance of PortugueseSpeakersRichard Walker, Senior Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

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