Neighborhoods influence the quality of experiences that children have today. The neighborhoods where children live influence whether they have access to green spaces, safe housing and healthy food, and the quality of the early education centers and schools they attend.
Neighborhoods influence children’s health and education. Research shows that poor children who live in higher opportunity neighborhoods have lower stress levels than poor children in low-opportunity neighborhoods. A positive neighborhood environment may protect children against the detrimental effects of family poverty. Children in neighborhoods with higher poverty rates tend to have worse educational outcomes, which affect opportunities for living a healthy life.
Neighborhoods influence children’s norms and expectations for the future. Living in a neighborhood where the local schools have higher graduation rates or a large proportion of adults with college degrees sends strong messages that education is valued and attainable.
Neighborhoods influence future outcomes. Neighborhoods shape children during their critical development years and thus affect children’s long-term outcomes. Research shows that the neighborhoods where children grow up influence long-term outcomes such as their health and life expectancy and their income as adults.