The Hispanic Health Paradox through a New Lens: Spatial Clustering and Birth Outcomes in the Rural Southeast

Heather B. Edelblute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The new era of immigration is one where immigrant populations are settling in non-traditional places, such as rural areas in southeast, with a migration pattern characterized by its speed. The place and space surrounding these immigrants is different from what is found in traditional gateway cities, and requires new approaches for measuring social processes surrounding these groups. This presentation examines whether the health advantage that Latino immigrant women have over adverse birth outcomes persists in a rural county in North Carolina with two immigrant populations, one from Mexico and the other from Central/South America. The assimilation and social network aspects of the Hispanic health paradox are explored using geocoded birth records and through the creation of birth-clustering variables in ArcGIS that measure local co-ethnic concentration of immigrant mothers. Findings will be discussed in light of previous research on the social environment and birth outcomes for Latino immigrants.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 174: Immigrant Health