Introduction: The US Asian American (AA) population is projected to double by 2050, reaching ~43 million, and currently resides primarily in urban areas. Despite this, the geographic distribution of AA subgroup populations in US cities is not well-characterized, and social determinants of health (SDH) and health measures in places with significant AA/AA subgroup populations have not been described. Our research aimed to: 1) map the geographic distribution of AAs and AA subgroups at the city- and neighborhood- (census tract) level in 500 large US cities (population ≥66,000); 2) characterize SDH and health outcomes in places with significant AA or AA subgroup populations; and 3) compare SDH and health outcomes in places with significant AA or AA subgroup populations to SDH and health outcomes in places with significant non-Hispanic White (NHW) populations. Methods: Maps were generated using 2019 Census 5-year estimates. SDH and health outcome data were obtained from the City Health Dashboard, a free online data platform providing more than 35 measures of health and health drivers at the city and neighborhood level. T-tests compared SDH (unemployment, high-school completion, childhood poverty, income inequality, racial/ethnic segregation, racial/ethnic diversity, percent uninsured) and health outcomes (obesity, frequent mental distress, cardiovascular disease mortality, life expectancy) in cities/neighborhoods with significant AA/AA subgroup populations to SDH and health outcomes in cities/neighborhoods with significant NHW populations (significant was defined as top population proportion quintile). We analyzed AA subgroups including Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Other AA. Results: The count and proportion of AA/AA subgroup populations varied substantially across and within cities. When comparing cities with significant AA/AA subgroup populations vs NHW populations, there were few meaningful differences in SDH and health outcomes. However, when comparing neighborhoods within cities, areas with significant AA/AA subgroup vs NHW populations had less favorable SDH and health outcomes. Conclusion: When comparing places with significant AA vs NHW populations, city-level data obscured substantial variation in neighborhood-level SDH and health outcome measures. Our findings emphasize the dual importance of granular spatial and AA subgroup data in assessing the influence of SDH in AA populations.
- Asian American Health
- Population Health
- Social Determinants of Health
- Spatial Epidemiology
ASJC Scopus subject areas