Racial residential segregation is associated with health inequalities in the USA, and one of the primary mechanisms is through influencing features of the neighborhood physical environment. To better understand how Black residential segregation might contribute to health risk, we examined retail redlining; the inequitable distribution of retail resources across racially distinct areas. A combination of visual and analytic methods was used to investigate whether predominantly Black census block groups in New York City had poor access to retail stores important for health. After controlling for retail demand, median household income, population density, and subway ridership, percent Black was associated with longer travel distances to various retail industries. Our findings suggest that Black neighborhoods in New York City face retail redlining. Future research is needed to determine how retail redlining may perpetuate health disparities and socioeconomic disadvantage.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Achugbue E. Nontraditional market analyses: dismantling barriers to retail development in underserved neighborhoods. Res Rev. 2006; 13(3): 15–18.
Bader MDM, Ailshire JA, Morenoff JD, House JS. Measurement of the local food environment: a comparison of existing data sources. Am J Epidemiol. 2010; 171(5): 609–617.
Bader MDM, Purciel M, Yousefzadeh P, Neckerman KM. Disparities in neighborhood food environments: implications of measurement strategies. Economic Geography. 2010; 86(4): 409–430.
Barnes SL. The Cost of Being Poor: a comparative study of life in poor urban neighborhoods in Gary, Indiana. Albany: State University of New York Press; 2005.
Beaulac J, Kristjansson E, Cummins S. A systematic review of food deserts, 1966–2007. Prev Chron Dis. 2009; 6(3): 1–10.
Bodor JN, Rice JC, Farley TA, Swalm CM, Rose D. The association between obesity and urban food environments. J Urban Health. 2010; 87(5): 771–781.
Burrows R, Gane N. Geodemographics, software, and class. Sociol. 2006; 40(5): 793–812.
Center for an Urban Future. (2009). Return of the chains: this year’s borough by borough analysis of New York City’s largest retailers (vol. 2). New York, NY: Center for an Urban Future.
Chiefo S, Kneece S, Gasper S, Mundy T, Inamura M, Solomon B. Pittsburgh purchasing power profiles. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University; 2004.
Cooper HL, Bossak BH, Tempalski B, Friedman SR, Des Jarlais DC. Temporal trends in spatial access to pharmacies that sell over-the-counter syringes in New York City health districts: relationship to local racial/ethnic composition and need. J Urban Health. 2009; 86(6): 929–945.
Cummins SCJ, McKay L, Macintyre S. McDonald’s restaurants and neighborhood deprivation in Scotland and England. Am J Prev Med. 2005; 29(4): 308–310.
D’Rozario D, Williams JD. Retail redlining: definition, theory, typology, and measurement. J Macromarket. 2005; 25(2): 175–186.
ESRI. Community tapestry handbook. Redlands: ESRI; 2007.
ESRI. Methodology statement: ESRI Data–Market Potential. Redlands: ESRI; 2009.
Hellig A, Sawicki DS. Race and residential accessibility to shopping and services. Hous Policy Debate. 2003; 14(1 and 2): 69–101.
Kramer MR, Hogue CR. Is segregation bad for your health? Epidemiologic Reviews. 2009; 31: 178–194.
Krieger N. Embodying inequality: a review of concepts, measures, and methods for studying health consequences of discrimination. Int J Health Serv. 1999; 29(2): 295–352.
Kwate NOA, Meyer IH. Association between residential exposure to outdoor alcohol advertising and problem drinking among African American women in New York City. Am J Public Health. 2009; 99(2): 228–230.
Kwate NOA, Yau CY, Loh JM, Williams D. Inequality in obesigenic environments: fast food density in New York City. Health & Place. 2009; 15: 364–373.
LaVeist TA, Wallace JM. Health risk and inequitable distribution of liquor stores in African American neighborhood. Soc Sci Med. 2000; 51: 613–617.
Macintyre S, Ellaway A, Cummins S. Place effects on health: how can we conceptualise, operationalise and measure them? Soc Sci Med. 2002; 55(1): 125–139.
Macintyre S, Macdonald L, Ellaway A. Do poorer people have poorer access to local resources and facilities? The distribution of local resources by area deprivation in Glasgow, Scotland. Soc Sci Med. 2008; 67: 900–914.
Massey DS. Segregation and stratification: a biosocial perspective. Du Bois Rev Soc Sci Res Race. 2004; 1(1): 7–25.
Mays VM, Cochran SD, Barnes NW. Race, race-based discrimination, and health outcomes among African Americans. Annu Rev Psychol. 2007; 58: 201–225.
Mediamark Research & Intelligence. Survey of the American Consumer. New York: GfK MRI; 2008.
Meltzer, R., & Schuetz, J. (2011, online first). Bodegas or bagel shops? Neighborhood differences in retail and household services. Economic Development Quarterly, DOI: 10.1177/0891242411430328.
Morland K, Wing S, Diez RA. The contextual effect of the local food environment on residents’ diets: the atherosclerosis risk in communities study. Am J Publ Health. 2002; 92(11): 1761–1767.
New York City Department of City Planning. (2007). Census FactFinder. Retrieved September 1, 2005 http://gis.nyc.gov/dcp/pa/address.jsp.
New York City Department of City Planning. (2011). Population Census 2010. Table PL-P2A NYC: Total Population by Mutually Exclusive Race and Hispanic Origin New York City and Boroughs, 1990 to 2010. http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/census/census2010/t_pl_p2a_nyc.pdf.
NYPD Crime Statistics. (2011). Crime Prevention, Crime Statistics. http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/crime_prevention/crime_statistics.shtml.
Paradies Y. A systematic review of empirical research on self-reported racism and health. Int J Epidemiol. 2006; 35: 888–901.
Pascoe EA, Smart Richman L. Perceived discrimination and health: a meta-analytic review. Psychol Bull. 2009; 135(4): 531–554.
Pearce J, Blakely T, Witten K, Bartie P. Neighborhood deprivation and access to fast-food retailing. Am J Prev Med. 2007; 32(5): 375–382.
Schulz AJ, Kannan S, Dvonch JT, Israel BA, Allen A, 3rd James SA, Lepkowski J. Social and physical environments and disparities in risk for cardiovascular disease: the healthy environments partnership conceptual model. Environ Health Perspect. 2005; 113(12): 1817–1825.
Schulz AJ, Williams DR, Israel BA, Lempert LB. Racial and spatial relations as fundamental determinants of health in Detroit. Milbank Q. 2002; 80(4): 677–707.
Shapiro TM. The hidden cost of being African American: how wealth perpetuates inequality. New York: Oxford University Press; 2005.
Small ML, McDermott M. The presence of organizational resources in poor urban neighborhoods: an analysis of average and contextual effects. Soc Forces. 2006; 84(3): 1697–1724.
Smiley MJ, Diez Roux AV, Brines SJ, Brown DG, Evenson KR, Rodriguez DA. A spatial analysis of health-related resources in three diverse metropolitan areas. Health & Place. 2010; 16: 885–892.
Steptoe A, Feldman PJ. Neighborhood problems as sources of chronic stress: development of a measure of neighborhood problems, and associations with socioeconomic status and health. Ann Behav Med. 2001; 23(3): 177–185.
Walker RE, Keane CR, Burke JG. Disparities and access to healthy food in the United States: a review of food deserts literature. Health & Place. 2010; 16: 876–884.
White K, Borrell LN. Racial/ethnic residential segregation: framing the context of health risk and health disparities. Health & Place. 2011; 17: 438–448.
Williams DR, Collins C. Racial residential segregation: a fundamental cause of racial disparities in health. Public Health Rep. 2001; 116(5): 404–416.
Wright K. Restocking stores: Detroit’s retail market potential. Ann Arbor: Urban & Regional Planning Program, University of Michigan; 2003.
Zukin S, Trujillo V, Frase P, Jackson D, Recuber T, Walker A. New retail capital and neighborhood change: boutiques and gentrification in New York City. City & Community. 2009; 8(1): 47–64.
This research was supported in part by grant #63155 from the Healthy Eating Research Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
About this article
Cite this article
Kwate, N.O.A., Loh, J.M., White, K. et al. Retail Redlining in New York City: Racialized Access to Day-to-Day Retail Resources. J Urban Health 90, 632–652 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-012-9725-3
- African American/Black
- New York City