In American cities, disparities in tree cover are the norm. According to our Tree Equity Score analysis, 77% of urbanized neighborhoods in cities across America have inadequate tree cover.
Take a look at our eight most populated cities. These charts show the proportion of urbanized neighborhoods with adequate tree cover. Neighborhoods that are 100% meeting their tree canopy potential* are in green and all others in white.
neighborhoods fully meeting tree canopy potential
*Tree canopy potential represents the maximum possible tree canopy in any given neighborhood, adjusted for feasibiity and comparability across biomes (forest, grassland and desert) and across population density levels based on targets set by the U.S. Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy.
In each of these cities, mental health complaints are higher in neighborhoods with fewer trees.
Here's how to read these charts*:
*For each urbanized area, we created five neighborhood groups based on the amount of tree cover, using quintiles. For each group, the height of blue bars corresponds to the average percentage of residents who reported mental health complaints.
Now, let's take a look at the percent difference* between areas with the most trees compared to those with the fewest. In each city, mental health complaints are highest in neighborhoods with fewer trees.
Each city looks a bit different, likely due to variability in patterns of tree cover and poor mental health.
*calaculated as percent change
Our eight largest cities are not unique. We ran the numbers on all 150,000+ urbanized neighborhoods in the contiguous United States and found the same trend. All across America, mental health complaints tend to be higher in areas with fewer trees.