HRSA Releases 2019-2020 Report on Health Equity: Special Feature on Housing and Health Inequalities

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration
Wednesday, October 14

The Health Resources and Services Administration, through the agency's Office of Health Equity, today released the HRSA 2019-2020 Health Equity Report: Special Feature on Housing and Health Inequalities. The report indicates substantial progress has been made nationally for all Americans in vital indicators including life expectancy, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and influenza and pneumonia; while health inequities between population groups and geographic areas persist.

The report will help HRSA and others build upon the agency's mission to improve health outcomes and address health disparities through access to quality services, a skilled health workforce and innovative, high-value programs.

This remarkably comprehensive report captures a vast range of data on a wide array of health indicators which will help scholars and policy makers track and gauge our nation's progress to improve the health and well-being of all Americans," said HRSA Administrator Tom Engels. "HRSA is committed to continuing this research in order to build upon its efforts to build a healthier and more equitable future for all."

Highlights include:

  • A special feature on housing and health inequalities in the United States, and shows the impact of housing status and housing conditions, a key social determinant, on population health and health equity.
  • Life expectancy for all Americans increased from 68.2 years in 1950 to 78.6 years in 2017, yet for American Indians/Alaska Natives and non-Hispanic Blacks life expectancy was 74.3 and 76.0 years respectively.
  • Infant mortality rates in the U.S. decreased overall from 6.9 per 1000 live births in 2000 to 5.8 in 2017, yet Black infants are still at more than twice the risk of mortality as White infants.
  • In 2017, 86 percent of HRSA's Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program clients were virally suppressed, up from 70 percent in 2010, and exceeding the national average of 57 percent, yet viral suppression rates are significantly lower among Blacks, American Indians and Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders compared with non-Hispanic Whites.
  • Homeless patients (28.0 percent) are significantly more likely to report serious psychological distress than community health center patients (14.0 percent) and public housing primary care center patients (16.0 percent).
  • Children living in subsidized housing units are 4 times more likely to be in fair/poor health than those living in owner-occupied homes (4.4 percent vs. 1.1 percent).

View the HRSA 2019-2020 Health Equity Report: Special Feature on Housing and Health Inequalities (PDF - 7 MB).

For more information on HRSA's Office of Health Equity, visit:

Date Last Reviewed:  October 2020