Spatial Analysis of Chinese American Ethnic Enclaves and Community Health Indicators in New York City

Qiuyi Zhang, Sara S. Metcalf, Harvey Palmer, Mary Northridge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


In New York City, the population of Chinese Americans has grown faster than that of
any other minority racial/ethnic group, and now this community constitutes almost half of all Chinese Americans living in the northeastern United States. Nonetheless, scant research attention has been given to Chinese American ethnic enclaves and little is known about the health status of their residents. This study aims to help address this gap in the literature by: (1) improving our understanding of the spatial settlement of Chinese Americans living in New York City from 2000 to 2016; and (2) assessing associations between a New York City resident’s likelihood of living in a Chinese American enclave and their access to health care and perceived health status, two measures of community health. In support of this aim, this study establishes a robust criterion for defining ethnic enclaves at the Census tract level in New York City as the communities of interest in this paper. An ethnic enclave is defined as an area at the Census tract level with high dissimilarity and a spatial cluster of Chinese Americans. The spatial findings were that Chinese Americans in New York City were least segregated from other Asian American residents, somewhat segregated from White residents, and most segregated from Black residents. Also, the population density of Chinese Americans increased since 2000, as reflected by their declining exposure index with other Asian Americans. Results from logistic regression indicated that the probability of living in a Chinese American enclave was negatively associated with positive self-perception of general health and positively associated with delays in receiving health care. For Chinese American residents of New York City, living in an ethnic enclave was also associated with both lower socioeconomic status and poorer community health.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe built environment and public health
Subtitle of host publicationNew insights
EditorsLinchuan Yang, Ruoyu Wang, Bao-Jie He, Yu Ye, Yibin Ao
Place of PublicationLausanne, Switzerland
PublisherFrontiers Media S. A.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-2-83251-358-3
StatePublished - 2023


  • Ethnic enclaves
  • Chinese Americans
  • New York City
  • Community health
  • Residential segregation


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