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The Health and Well-Being of Children, Youth and Families in Baltimore City

2015 Child and Youth Mortality Report
Brief on “Trends in Child and Youth Mortality"
Brief on "Neighborhood Variation in Child and Youth Mortality Rates"

Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake wants to increase the number of city residents by 10,000 families by 2022. It is a lofty goal considering the historical decline in the city’s population—one that can be accomplished only if Baltimore’s children, youth, and families have opportunities for healthy, successful lives. Many organizations and agencies in Baltimore are working to improve the health and well-being of our city’s youth. The Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute (UHI) is engaged in a number of efforts to promote the health of Baltimore’s residents and to identify assets and social factors affecting health and disparities in health and well-being. Under the leadership of UHI’s senior associate director, Dr. Philip Leaf, the UHI completed this report to demonstrate how existing data can be used to describe trends in Baltimore and the extent to which assets, health, and well-being vary among the residents of Baltimore’s 55 Community Statistical Areas CSAs.

In the past decade, child and youth mortality in Baltimore has declined substantially. Nevertheless, Baltimore’s children and youth, especially Baltimore’s black male youth, are dying at a rate considerably higher than that of other populations in the city or across the state. Although high mortality rates are an issue for all Baltimore residents, some of Baltimore’s neighborhoods have higher rates than others. Within Baltimore, some residents live in communities with fewer assets and greater social and economic disadvantages. These differences in neighborhood resources appear to be an important factor underlying child and youth mortality in Baltimore. Targeted application of interventions proven effective in communities like Baltimore would contribute to the downward trend in child and youth mortality across the city and decrease inequities by focusing resources on those with the highest need. Given the large number of preventable deaths among children and youth in Baltimore, there is a need for all working or living in the city to support efforts to reduce the unnecessary loss of life experienced by children, youth, families, and communities across the city.

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