A new national study from Brandeis University suggests that opportunities for children vary widely across Evanston neighborhoods.
The Child Opportunity Index considers a variety of factors:
- Availability and quality of neighborhood institutions, for example, early childhood education centers and schools
- Peer and adult influences that help shape children’s norms and expectations, including high school graduation rate and adults with high-skill jobs
- Neighborhood social structure and economic resources — neighborhood poverty and employment)
- Environmental quality — air pollution
- Resources for healthy living — green space, healthy food outlets, walkability.
Maps presented in the study also indicate that minority children are more likely than white children to live in areas with low opportunity index scores.
The study concludes that neighborhood quality is strongly associated with better life outcomes and that “favorable neighborhood conditions may protect children from the harmful effects of poverty.”