Updated April 15, 2019
The Area Deprivation Index replaces the Vulnerable Population Footprint tool.
On April 5, 2019 we released our first iteration of the Area Deprivation Index (ADI). The ADI can show you where areas of deprivation exist in your location. The ADI is calculated by combining 17 indicators of income, education, employment, and housing quality.
There are 3 ways the ADI can help communities and changemakers:
1. Help to Target Valuable Resources
2. Benchmark Your Community to Others
3. Identify Disparities within Your Community
Other resources you might find useful:
- Here’s What You Can Do on Community Commons Now
- The Community Commons Map Room is where – with just a few clicks – you’re on your way to looking at visual data of your community.
- Our Member Gallery is a great place to see what other communities are doing with the data, stories, and collections available on the Commons.
It’s no secret that certain populations are more at risk for health issues and premature death. These vulnerable populations can be identified by age, race, geography, economic conditions, or a number of other social determinants of health.
In recent years, researchers have identified that educational attainment and poverty are the two factors that can have the most influence when it comes to improving health. One American Journal of Public Health study determined that graduation rate improvements could positively affect health more than medical advances by an 8:1 ratio. This body of research has helped large foundations and health organizations focus their work on improving these two disparities and raising health outcomes for everyone.
For the Sake of All
One such project, partially funded by the Missouri Foundation for Health, is For the Sake of All. This multi-disciplinary study focuses on education and economic opportunities for African Americans in St. Louis and St. Louis County.
Robert Joiner, journalist for The Beacon, summarizes the work in his article Reducing poverty and increasing education save lives, money. He states that highlighting successful projects, such as opening a college savings account at birth for at-risk children, can help in “convincing area leaders that the region can save lives and money by investing more in those at the bottom of the economic ladder.”
Roadmaps to Health
Projects range from expanding public transportation options in order to increase job opportunities to establishing fair lending practices so that payday loans do not drive families further into debt. There are also initiatives targeted at improving cradle to college education and programs that aim to reform alternative schools, which tend to house a disproportionate number of low-income students.
A goal of the Roadmaps to Health project is to obtain evidence-based information on what works so that other communities can more easily implement proven strategies and create healthier places to live, learn, work and play.
Achieving the Dream
A number of funders, including The Kresge Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, are investing their health improvement dollars in Achieving the Dream, a non-profit dedicated to helping community college students complete their education. With a particular focus on closing the achievement gap among low-income students and students of color, the foundation is dedicated to
- -advocating for student-centered policies;
- -establishing an understanding of the barriers to student success;
- -supporting community colleges with evidence-based coaching;
- -and conducting research on successful strategies.
Successes from the program include a notable increase in course grades, better retention of students from semester to semester, and higher course-of-study completion rates.