The legacy of redlining: Associations between historical neighborhood mapping and contemporary tobacco retailer density in Ohio

Health Place. 2021 Mar;68:102529. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2021.102529. Epub 2021 Feb 22.


In the 1930s United States, urban neighborhoods were graded on their desirability for investment (often based on race), a process known as "redlining." This study examined how historical redlining relates to current disparities in an important health determinant: tobacco retailer density. Analyses were conducted for thirteen Ohio cities using negative binomial models that accounted for retailer spatial dependence and controlled for present-day sociodemographic characteristics. Findings indicated that as grades increased from "Best" to "Still Desirable" to "Definitely Declining" and "Hazardous," retailer density increased monotonically. These results highlight the persisting impacts of redlining and how disparities, once intentionally created, can be perpetuated over time.

Keywords: Disparities; Redlining; Tobacco retailer density.