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Milbank Q. 1993;71(1):41-64.

Segregation, poverty, and empowerment: health consequences for African Americans.

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Department of Health Policy and Management, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205.


Cities in the United States have undergone major social transitions during the past two decades. Three notable factors in these shifts have been the development of a black political elite sustained rates of black poverty, and intensified racial segregation. Indications of the effect of these social forces on black-white differentials in health status have begun to surface in the research literature. This article reports analyses of data from all U.S. cities with a population of 50,000, at least 10 percent of which is black. These results indicate substantial geographic variation in black-white infant mortality rates. Racial residential segregation, black political empowerment, and black and white poverty are the characteristics that distinguish cities that have a high degree of disparity in black-white infant mortality from cities that do not.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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