Back Bay to Nubian Square: 2 miles & a 23-year life expectancy gap; life expectancy is 92 years for residents in a section of the Back Bay. Near Nubian Square in Roxbury life expectancy less than 69

by Paul Alexander

The 2 neighborhoods are vastly different; The median household income of the census tract within Roxbury is $42,211, versus $141,250 in the Back Bay tract. Rates of homeownership is 2 x in Back Bay

‘In Boston, a two-mile difference in where you live may mean a 23-year difference in life expectancy.

That startling analysis from the Boston Public Health Commission shows the longest average life expectancy is nearly 92 years, for residents in a section of the Back Bay. Residents near Nubian Square in Roxbury have the shortest expected life span, just under 69 years.’


All of these factors play a role in life expectancy. Ojikutu said the stress of trying to live on low wages and combat racism, sometimes in substandard housing while not feeling safe, erodes health.

“Chronic stress leads to higher blood pressure and an increased risk for cardiovascular disease,” said Ojikutu. Chronic stress can also increase levels of the hormone cortisol, which can “increase your risk of weight gain, obesity, and diabetes.

"I think all of these things are interconnected,” she said.’