Residential Segregation, Health, and Health Care: Answering the Latino Question
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The literature on the relationship between residential segregation and health outcomes for African Americans is well developed, but less is known about this association for Latinos in the USA. The literature for Latinos is limited, demonstrates mixed results, and suffers from data limitations. Using geographic concentration of poverty theory, we analyze the impact of Latino segregation on a series of health and health-care outcomes in order to better establish this relationship. This study uses data from the 2011 to 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System nested within metropolitan area-level data in a set of partial proportional odds and binary logistic multilevel regression models. We examine the relationship between Latino segregation and three health and health-care outcomes for 164 metropolitan areas in the USA. Overall, we find that Latino segregation is negatively related to good self-rated health, having a personal physician, and having health insurance for Latino respondents. Furthermore, for White respondents, no such association exists. As a result, residential segregation for Latinos contributes to the Latino–White health gap.
KeywordsRace/ethnicity Health disparities Latinos Segregation
The authors would like to thank Ada Wilkinson-Lee, Louise Roth, Joseph Galaskiewicz, and the members of the Social Inequality Workshop at the University of Arizona for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper. The authors presented this paper at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in 2012 in Denver, CO.
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