Missouri Health Disparities

Black Health Disparities

Black Missourians are the second-largest ethnic or racial group in Missouri, but, as a group, they face the most significant burden of poor health outcomes and disease. Missourians of African descent (Black) have a life expectancy of 72.4 years compared to 77.6 years for white Missourians. Poverty, generally lower-income, and lack of health insurance coverage drive lowered life expectancy for black Missourians.

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Latinx Health Disparities

People of Latin American descent (Latinx) are Missouri’s third-largest ethnic or racial group. Right now, the U.S. Census shows the Latinx community is small. The Census estimates 263,909 people in the Latinx community live in Missouri, but that number is increasing. In 2010, Latinx made up 3.5% of Missouri’s population, compared to an estimated 4.3% in 2019. At the time of publishing for this report, there are no estimates for life expectancy for the Latinx community in Missouri. However, nationally Latinx life expectancy outpaces many other groups at 81.8 years.

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The Rural Health Divide

While Caucasian populations in Missouri are generally seeing a decrease in mortality rates, health disparities between Missourians in more affluent areas, and rural Missourians of European descent continue to persist. The decline in mortality in higher population areas is because of advances in public health and medical advances. But many of the latest health advances aren’t making it to lower population areas. Persistent poverty is also contributing to the increase in white mortality in rural areas.

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