Community conditions shape the exposure and behaviors that encourage–or undermine–health and well-being.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified structural catalysts such as inequitable distribution of power, money, opportunity and resources, as a key determinant of health and safety outcomes. Poverty, racism, and lack of educational and economic opportunity also drive poor health, which contributes to chronic stress. Indeed, WHO reports that “cumulative experience” affects health and well-being more than chronological age.
In Trenton, glaring inequity exists between the city and neighboring areas, as well as within our state. For example:
Living Below Poverty Line: NJ 10.7% | Trenton 23.1%
Unemployment rate: NJ 6.4% | Trenton 11.9%
Rent Homes: NJ 36% | Trenton 63%
Childhood Obesity: NJ 14.7% | Trenton 28%
Inequity has been recognized nationally as a structural issue we must continue to study and take action to resolve.
We are lifting it up as a priority for Trenton because we recognize that well-being cannot be improved without looking at health through an equity lens.