Healthy Populations and Communities

Health behaviors and the social and physical environment exert strong influences on community health. RAND Health has examined many of these influences, addressing difficult questions such as:

  • Are cigarette displays in stores and those ubiquitous alcohol ads really influencing behavior?
  • How does legalizing marijuana affect consumption, tax revenue, and law enforcement?
  • In the U.S. and around the world, obesity has reached epidemic proportions. Why are people getting fatter and what can be done about it?
Read More About Healthy Populations and Communities
  • May 24, 2018

    Do School Improvements Have Community Effects?

    Student health and perceptions of school climate affect education outcomes and mental health. But researchers detected no significant relationship between neighborhood quality and school climate.

What's Hot Now

  • Report

    How Can Parks Help Increase Physical Activity?

    May 7, 2018

    Public neighborhood parks play an important role in providing venues for physical activity in urban areas. But they tend to be underutilized, especially for moderate to vigorous exercise.

  • Research Brief

    Community Development Can Improve Health

    Apr 25, 2018

    Community improvements—a new supermarket and new housing—were associated with health and economic gains among the residents of an underserved, primarily African-American neighborhood in Pittsburgh.

  • Journal Article

    Is Discrimination Related to Higher Rates of PTSD?

    Apr 12, 2018

    Discrimination may contribute to higher rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms experienced by African Americans.

  • Journal Article

    Who Uses Neighborhood Parks and Why?

    Mar 28, 2018

    Examining park use in two low-income neighborhoods, residents were more likely to visit larger parks with more amenities than the parks closest to their homes.

Browse All RAND Research on Neighborhood Influences on Health