Immigrants and health status in New York City

A study was just released on the health risks and immigrant demographics in Brooklyn and Queens, by census district. The studied correlated health outcomes with social and economic conditions such as poverty status, ability to speak English, level of education, housing conditions, and health insurance. “The healthcare literature show a high degree of correlation: if a neighborhood has one or two of the health indicators described here, they are likely to be vulnerable on the other measures.”

The study focused on non-naturalized immigrants. Naturalized immigrants have health status which is similar to U.S. born persons.

These are findings of just one area in Brooklyn: Bay Ridge/Dyker Heights. This is in southwest Brooklyn, near Bensonhurst, Borough Park, and Gravesend Bay

About 40 percent (48,000) of the residents in this neighborhood are immigrants, of which 28,000 are naturalized citizens. On average, naturalized citizens in this neighborhood have lived in the United States twice as long as noncitizens (30 years compared to 15 years). About 15,000, or 12 percent, of the total population in Bay Ridge/Dyker Heights live in mixed-status households, with at least one member of the household being undocumented.

Bay Ridge/Dyker Heights has the highest poverty rate of all the neighborhoods in Brooklyn. One-third (33 percent) of noncitizens are in poverty compared to 24 percent for all noncitizens in Brooklyn. Other striking disparities are the number of noncitizens in Bay Ridge/Dyker Heights without a high school education (40 percent) and those living in overcrowded housing (17 percent). This neighborhood has relatively lower rankings for percent without health insurance (ranked 12) and undocumented (ranked 8).

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