Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and Population Health
Population Health Research Brief Series
Social Infrastructure (“Third Places”) is Not Distributed Equally Across the U.S.
Danielle C. Rhubart, Yue Sun, Claire Pendergrast, Shannon M. Monnat
Third places are the physical spaces in a community where people can gather to connect and share resources, support, and information. They can help support health because they promote social interaction, community trust, and resource and information sharing.
This data slice shows that third places are not evenly distributed across the U.S. Results show less availability of third places per capita in neighborhoods (Census tracts) with larger shares of non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics and larger shares of residents in poverty. The authors also found that third places are in shorter supply in rural neighborhoods than in urban neighborhoods, with the exception of the most remote rural tracts. Community leaders should invest in the types of social infrastructure that supports social connection and resource and information sharing.