Objectives: In an effort to examine national and Chicago, Illinois, progress in meeting the Healthy People 2010 goal of eliminating health disparities, we examined whether disparities between non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic White persons widened, narrowed, or stayed the same between 1990 and 2005.
Methods: We examined 15 health status indicators. We determined whether a disparity widened, narrowed, or remained unchanged between 1990 and 2005 by examining the percentage difference in rates between non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic White populations at both time points and at each location. We calculated P values to determine whether changes in percentage difference over time were statistically significant.
Results: Disparities between non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic White populations widened for 6 of 15 health status indicators examined for the United States (5 significantly), whereas in Chicago the majority of disparities widened (11 of 15, 5 significantly).
Conclusions: Overall, progress toward meeting the Healthy People 2010 goal of eliminating health disparities in the United States and in Chicago remains bleak. With more than 15 years of time and effort spent at the national and local level to reduce disparities, the impact remains negligible.