Park Access Among School-Age Youth in the United States


  • Park access for youth varies by race/ethnicity, urban-rural classification, median education, and median household income of their home census block group.


  • 61.3% of youth lived in block groups within 0.5 miles of 1 or more parks.
  • Park access was highest in urban block groups (64.3%), compared with 36.5% in large rural, 37.8% in small rural, and 35.8% in isolated block groups.
  • Park access was generally higher for block groups with higher median household income and education.


  • This study examined population demographic data from the 2010 U.S. Census and 2006-2010 American Community Survey and park locations from TomTom, Inc.
  • Block group urban-rural classification was based on USDA Economic Research Service Commuting Area (RUCA) codes.

Harris, C. D., Paul, P., Young, R., Zhang, X., & Fulton, J. E. (2015). Park Access Among School-Age Youth in the United States. Journal of Physical Activity and Health 12(Suppl 1), 94–101.

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