Racial/ethnic residential segregation: framing the context of health risk and health disparities

Health Place. 2011 Mar;17(2):438-48. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2010.12.002. Epub 2010 Dec 14.


An increasing body of public health literature links patterns of racial/ethnic residential segregation to health status and health disparities. Despite substantial new empirical work, meaningful understanding of the pathways through which segregation operates to influence health remains elusive. The literature on segregation and health was appraised with an emphasis on select conceptual, methodological, and analytical issues. Recommendations for advancing the next generation of racial/ethnic residential segregation and health research will require closer attention to sharpening the methodology of measuring segregation, testing mediating pathways and effect modification, incorporating stronger test of causality, exploring factors of resilience in segregated areas, applying a life-course perspective, broadening the scope of the investigation of segregation to include nativity status in blacks and other racial/ethnic groups, and linking segregation measures with biological data.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Censuses
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Population Density
  • Prejudice
  • Racial Groups*
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Socioeconomic Factors