Unhealthy behaviours in urban Illinois communities affected by eviction: A descriptive analysis

Health Soc Care Community. 2021 May;29(3):867-875. doi: 10.1111/hsc.13312. Epub 2021 Feb 2.


Eviction of renter-occupied homes is an emerging public health crisis adversely impacting populations already at risk. Although housing quality and home-owner foreclosures have been linked to health outcomes, the relationship between eviction of renter-occupied homes and health has not been well established. The demographics and socioeconomic status of renters differs from homeowners, as such any relationship with health outcomes should be distinguished between the two. The aim of this study is to provide a descriptive analysis of the relationship between renter-specific eviction and unhealthy behaviours at the census tract level. Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 500 Cities Project, the Eviction Lab and the U.S. Census Bureau, this study assesses the relationship between eviction rates and health indicators for 1,267 urban census tracts in Illinois in 2016. Binge drinking, current smoking, no leisure-time physical activity, obesity and sleeping <7 hr were used as indicators of unhealthy behaviour as categorised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention500 Cities Project. Unadjusted and adjusted linear regression models were used to assess and describe the relationship between each of the dependent variables and each of the independent variables. All five of the unhealthy behaviour indicators were found to be significantly associated with eviction rates and eviction filing rates after adjustment for confounding variables. This study contributes to the understudied area of research focused on how eviction rates contribute to the social determinants of health for already at-risk populations.

Keywords: eviction; health behaviours; housing; social determinants of health; social inequalities; sociology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Illinois / epidemiology
  • Public Health
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Class*