Community Assessment: Atlanta
The purpose of this community assessment is to give an overview of the Atlanta community and its people. It provides a sense of the kinds of stores and businesses in the city and discusses the populationâ€™s accessibility to health care. The paper focuses mainly on the macro-perspective, thus only a general overview is provided here.
Community assessment is important because it can give a sense of the health and needs of the community (Wright, Williams & Wilkinson, 1998).
Atlanta is a large cityâ€”the 40th largest city in the U.S., with a population of over 480,000 people. However, in terms of GDP, it ranks no. 10 out of all U.S. cities with $276 billion revenue per year. And the Atlanta metropolitan area ranks even higher among the list of U.S. metropolitan areas: with 5.6 million people in the Atlanta metropolitan area, it is the 9th largest in the U.S. It is a very dense city with an estimated 630 people per square mile.
It is also a very diverse city: It is 54% African-American, 38.4% white, 3.1% Asian, and 5.2% Hispanic. 4.2% of its population identifies as part of the LGBTQ community. Its African American population makes it the second largest African American metropolitan area in the U.S. However, the white population in the city has been growing since 2000, when it was only 31% of the population (World Population Review, 2018).
The people range from low-class to upper-class. The median age in Atlanta is 33. 74% of married people in the city are home owners. However, the majority of the population rents, with 56% of the people renting their residences. 27% of the population has a Bachelorâ€™s degree. 21% has a Graduate degree. 17% has some college education. And 19% has only a high school degree. African-Americans have the lowest college degree percentage. Asians and whites have the highest college degree percentages. The average earnings in the city for men are $51k, and the average earnings for women are $38k (World Population Review, 2018). 90% of the population speaks English. 22% of the population lives in poverty. 33% of those in poverty are African Americans. 25% are Hispanic. Only 7% are white (World Population Review, 2018). The average household earns $90k, which means both parents or partners work typically. There are 20,000 veterans living in Atlanta. 65% of the population is in the labor participation force (World Population Review, 2018).
In terms of businesses headquartered in Atlanta, there is Coca-Cola, Delta, Home Depot, UPS, Newell Rubbermaid, Cox Enterprises and several others. Because Atlanta is so diverse, however, there are many different types of places to go to, stores to visit, and entertainments to take part in. The city has a major league baseball team, an NBA team, and an NFL team. It is a major hub for international air travel thanks to Delta operating out of the city. It has innumerable clubs and bars, franchise and locally-owned restaurants, theaters, and more. It has the Georgia Aquariumâ€”the worldâ€™s largest indoor aquarium, the Centennial Olympic Park, and the Botanical Garden with 30 acres of plants, statues and fountains to see. It hosts numerous festivals, such as the Atlanta Film Festival, the National Black Arts Festival, and the Atlanta Pride festival. There are numerous parks and recreational places for play and amusement.
However, because 80% African American children live in poverty in the city, they have a very low access rate to health care (Anderson, 2018). There are significant health gaps between the white community and the African American community in the city: the city ranks no. 1 in the country for African American mortality rate with respect to prostate cancerâ€”more than double the rate for the white population in the city (Anderson, 2018). There is also a 12-year life span gap between the white population and the African American population (Anderson, 2018). A lack of insurance and a failure to expand Medicaid is cited as the primary cause of this gap and low access rate to care (Anderson, 2018). The result of this difference is that one population group is more likely to receive health care while another is likely not to get it on a routine basis. The problem is related to poverty and the enclosure of communities within their respective demographics. Atlanta is divided into segments with poor African American populations residing mainly in the cityâ€™s Northwest or Bankhead neighborhoods and the more affluent white population residing in the more affluent Buckhead neighborhood. For these reason, it is really like two very different cities when looked at in terms of the racial population groups and neighborhoods.
In conclusion, this community assessment has shown that Atlanta is predominantly an African American city. Whites are the minority in Atlanta, even though Atlanta is one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the U.S. One of the big problems with the city, however, is that so much of the African American population lives in poverty, and roughly 4 out of every 5 African American children in Atlanta grows up in poverty. For this reason there is a serious divide between the white population and the African American population with respect to health care accessibility. Accessibility is linked to affordability, and because many at or near poverty levels do not have insurance and are not covered by Medicaid the health care gap is significant. While Atlanta is a major city with world-renowned attractions, such as its historic sites and aquarium, it is a city with major health issues.
Anderson, V. (2018). Atlanta Struggles To Fulfill MLK’s Legacy In Health Care.
Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/04/04/599253766/atlanta-struggles-to-fulfill-mlks-legacy-in-health-care
World Population Review. (2018). Atlanta. Retrieved from
Wright, J., Williams, R., & Wilkinson, J. R. (1998). Development and importance of
health needs assessment. Bmj, 316(7140), 1310-1313.
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