Slums oﬀer high returns on investment because beneﬁcial eﬀects are shared across many people in densely populated neighbourhoods. Neighbourhood eﬀects also help explain how and why the beneﬁts of interventions vary between slum and non-slum spaces and between slums. We build on this spatial concept of slums to argue that, in all low-income and-middle-income countries, census tracts should henceforth be designated slum or non-slum both to inform local policy and as the basis for research surveys that build on censuses. We argue that slum health should be promoted as a topic of enquiry alongside poverty and health.
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