Association between racial residential segregation and walkability in 745 U.S. cities

Ben R. Spoer, Sarah E. Conderino, Taylor M. Lampe, Rebecca H. Ofrane, Elaine De Leon, Lorna E. Thorpe, Virginia W. Chang, Brian Elbel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite higher chronic disease prevalence, minoritized populations live in highly walkable neighborhoods in US cities more frequently than non-minoritized populations. We investigated whether city-level racial residential segregation (RRS) was associated with city-level walkability, stratified by population density, possibly explaining this counterintuitive association. RRS for Black-White and Latino-White segregation in large US cities was calculated using the Index of Dissimilarity (ID), and walkability was measured using WalkScore. Median walkability increased across increasing quartiles of population density, as expected. Higher ID was associated with higher walkability; associations varied in strength across strata of population density. RRS undergirds the observed association between walkability and minoritized populations, especially in higher population density cities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103114
JournalHealth and Place
StatePublished - Nov 2023


  • Built environment
  • Cities
  • Health disparities
  • Population density
  • Segregation
  • Walkability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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