Household density among undocumented mexican immigrants in New York City

Katherine Standish, Vijay Nandi, Danielle C. Ompad, Sandra Momper, Sandro Galea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background High household density increases exposure to communicable diseases, psychological distress in adults, and poor long-term health in children. High residential density, which may be a mediator of poor health, is common among immigrants. Methods We used data from a pilot survey among Mexican immigrants in New York City. Respondents were recruited through venue-based sampling in neighborhoods with large Mexican populations. Results Among respondents that reported being undocumented (N = 404), the mean number of people per room (PPR) of residence was 2.2. In multivariate analyses, living in conditions of >2 PPR was positively associated with living with one's children (OR = 2.3, 95% CI = 1.4-3.9), having experienced food insecurity in the past 6 months (OR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.1-3.6), and language discrimination (OR = 2.3 compared to other forms of discrimination, 95% CI = 1.2-4.4). Conclusions Undocumented Mexican immigrants, particularly those who are linguistically marginalized and experience food insufficiency, live in conditions of marked household density in NYC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-318
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Economically marginalized
  • High residential density
  • Housing
  • Mexicans
  • Undocumented immigrants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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