Neighborhood Ethnic Composition and Self-rated Health Among Chinese and Vietnamese American Immigrants

J Immigr Minor Health. 2020 Jul 2. doi: 10.1007/s10903-020-01041-2. Online ahead of print.


Immigrants tend to live in areas with higher co-ethnic density, and the effect of neighborhood ethnic composition could be particularly salient for health. This study explored associations between neighborhood ethnic composition and self-rated health among Asian immigrants. We analyzed data collected at baseline from 670 Chinese and Vietnamese immigrants enrolled in a lifestyle intervention trial. Residential addresses were geocoded and combined with neighborhood socio-demographic profiles based on census data. We used generalized estimating equations to examine neighborhood ethnic composition and self-rated health. Independent of individual-level factors, living in neighborhoods more densely populated by whites was associated with poor/fair self-rated health. Neighborhood household income and density of participants' own ethnic group were not associated with poor/fair self-rated health. More research is warranted to disentangle reasons why Chinese and Vietnamese immigrants living in white-concentrated neighborhoods reported poorer self-rated health, including investigating effects of discrimination, relative deprivation, and availability of social resources.

Keywords: Asian American; Ethnic density; Neighborhood effects; Self-rated health.