Data for: Could nature help children rise out of poverty? Green space and future earnings from a cohort in ten U.S. cities

Published: 23 August 2019| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/5nggj6mbxp.1
Matthew Browning


Data accompanying paper submitted to Environmental Research titled Could nature help children rise out of poverty? Green space and future earnings from a cohort in ten U.S. cities. The abstract follows: BACKGROUND: Growing up in poverty is associated with poor health, and the American Dream of upward mobility is becoming an illusion for many low-income children. But nearby green space can support academic achievement, creativity, and emotional regulation, and these traits might help low-income children rise out of poverty. OBJECTIVES: To examine the relationship between recent incomes of children born between 1978 and 1982 in the 10 largest U.S. cities and density of green space they were exposed to during childhood. METHODS: We calculate park proximity, park acreage, new park development, and greenness for 1980-1990 using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from Landsat imagery and Trust for Public Land geospatial files. We obtain the 2014 income for children born between 1978 and 1982 into families in poverty from The Opportunity Atlas cohort, aggregated at the tract level. RESULTS: Conditional autoregressive (CAR) models of tracts in the ten largest U.S. cities (n = 5,849) show statistically significant positive weak associations between income rank and above-average levels of greenness but not between income rank and park measures, adjusting for individual and neighborhood confounders and spatial autocorrelation. Tracts with lower average levels of precipitation (city-level), lower disadvantage, higher levels of population density, or higher annual temperatures do not show beneficial effects of green space. CONCLUSIONS: Greenness may be weakly associated with children rising out of poverty in wetter, cooler, less-dense, more advantaged census tracts of 10 U.S. cities.



Environmental Psychology, Environmental Epidemiology