Public Assisted Households

The HCAT Public Assisted Households indicator calculates the proportion of neighborhood households that rely on Supplemental Security Income (SSI), cash public assistance, and/or Food stamps/ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to support their income. Income is one of the strongest and most consistent predictors of health and disease in public health research. Studies show that households not earning a self-sufficiency wage may be subject to increases in premature death from all causes for working adults, lower educational outcomes, and higher risks of early childbirth. Self-sufficiency is determined as having an income high enough to meet basic needs (including taxes) without public subsidies such as public housing, food stamps, Medicaid or child care) or private/informal assistance (e.g., free babysitting by a relative or friend, food provided by churches or local food banks, or shared housing). The higher the number of neighborhood households dependent on public assistance, the lower the likelihood household incomes reach a self-sufficient standard (for more information about Self-Sufficient Standards, please go to the Center for Women’s Welfare . Center for Women’s Welfare). Although posted under the Employment Opportunities domain, the Public Assisted Households indicator is also strongly tied to education, economic health, neighborhood characteristics, and housing.

Neighborhoodsort descending Indicator Value Rank
Blackstone 0.1 programs enrolled in per 100 households 1
Charles 0.6 programs enrolled in per 100 households 7
College Hill 0.1 programs enrolled in per 100 households 1
Downtown 1.1 programs enrolled in per 100 households 16
Elmhurst 0.3 programs enrolled in per 100 households 5
Elmwood 1.3 programs enrolled in per 100 households 18
Federal Hill 0.9 programs enrolled in per 100 households 11
Fox Point 0.3 programs enrolled in per 100 households 5
Hartford 1.3 programs enrolled in per 100 households 18
Hope 0.2 programs enrolled in per 100 households 4
Lower South Providence 1.4 programs enrolled in per 100 households 21
Manton 1.5 programs enrolled in per 100 households 22
Mount Hope 0.6 programs enrolled in per 100 households 7
Mount Pleasant 0.6 programs enrolled in per 100 households 7
Olneyville 1.6 programs enrolled in per 100 households 24
Reservoir 0.6 programs enrolled in per 100 households 7
Silver Lake 1 programs enrolled in per 100 households 14
Smith Hill 1 programs enrolled in per 100 households 14
South Elmwood 0.9 programs enrolled in per 100 households 11
Upper South Providence 1.7 programs enrolled in per 100 households 25
Valley 1.3 programs enrolled in per 100 households 18
Wanskuck 1.1 programs enrolled in per 100 households 16
Washington Park 0.9 programs enrolled in per 100 households 11
Wayland 0.1 programs enrolled in per 100 households 1
West End 1.5 programs enrolled in per 100 households 22

Key Citations:
1. Braveman, Paula, et al. “Issue Brief #4 Exploring the Social Determinants of Health – April 2011; Income, Wealth and Health” (2011). Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
2. Bhatia, Rajiv and Mitchell Katz. “Estimation of Health Benefits from a Local Living Wage Ordinance” (2001). American Journal of Public Health.
3. Pickett, K.E. and M. Pearl. “Multilevel analyses of neighbourhood socioeconomic context and health outcomes: a critical review” (2001). Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
4. Pollack, C.E., et al. “Should Health Studies Measure Wealth?” (2007). American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
5. Subramanian, S.V. and Ichiro Kawachi. “Income Inequality and Health: What Have We Learned So Far?” (2004). Epidemiologic Reviews, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.