Immigrant Enclaves and Perinatal Health: The Case of Black and Hispanic Women in New Jersey

Zoua M. Vang, McGill University

Areas with high concentrations of foreign-born persons are believed to confer direct and indirect health benefits for its residents. This paper contributes to the neighborhood effects on immigrant health literature by expanding previous scholarship to include analysis of black immigrants in addition to the more well-known Hispanic immigrant population. Within these two populations, we further evaluate the effects of residence in immigrant enclaves on infant health for Hispanic and black immigrant women from specific sending countries/regions. We also improve on previous research by using a new measure of immigrant enclave that is more theoretically consistent with the immigrant enclave hypothesis; that is, contact with co-ethnic immigrants as opposed to all foreign born persons as the driving force behind the purported protective effects of residence in immigrant enclaves. Our preliminary results indicate that residence in immigrant enclaves neither protects nor harms the perinatal health of Hispanic and black women in New Jersey.

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Presented in Session 180: Residential Segregation and Health