Despite persistent health disparities in the United States, health data on the Congressional District level continues to be meager. “As our nation transitions towards recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and reducing health disparities, it is imperative for politically relevant public health data to be available in a clear and direct manner,” said Dr. S.V. Subramanian, Harvard Pop Center faculty member and one of the leading researchers at the Geographic Insights Lab — an interdisciplinary research lab based at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies and the Harvard Center of Geographic Analysis within the Institute for Quantitative Social Science).
In response to a desperate need for more robust monitoring to empower political action, Subramanian, along with Harvard Pop Center Visiting Scientist Rockli Kim, and their colleagues, have released the first-ever dashboard displaying life expectancy by U.S. Congressional District.
“This research from the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies [and the Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis] will help fill in the gap with needed insight into the state of health among and within congressional districts. It is essential that the policies we draft in response to the Coronavirus pandemic are based on the best available data and help those most in need. This will be a useful resource in that work.”
— Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-New York), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform
The game-changing dashboard, which was released in conjunction with a paper published in Social Science and Medicine, is one of several dashboards created and served up to the public by the Geographic Insights Lab, whose goal is to make “fine-grained data” publicly available and to help shape more precise public policies.