New Report and Mapping Tool Provide Insight Into NYC Neighborhoods Where Immigrants Are Most At-Risk for Negative Health Outcomes

Mar 3, 2021
1:21 PM

Pedestrians wearing protective masks wait in line for food donations during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tuesday, June 23, 2020, in the Corona neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

A report released late last month by the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens profiled where immigrant communities are most at-risk for negative health outcomes. In addition, the CMS released a data tool, which maps key health determinants in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx, according to a release about the initiative.

The report, called “Mapping Key Determinants of Immigrants’ Health in Brooklyn and Queens,” uses data from the American Community Survey (ACS) to analyze health determinants —such as education, poverty, limited English proficiency, and health insurance— by immigration legal status.

“Most people consider immigrants to be a homogenous group, but when you distinguish citizens from non-citizens, they are different populations with very different needs,” said Vicky Virgin, CMS research consultant and co-author of the report. “This report shows the relationship between immigration legal status and determinants of health such as poverty and health insurance.”

“Because questions of immigration history or status are too sensitive to ask in a health care setting, little data are available on health determinants for immigrant communities,” the release said. “The CMS report and data tool fill an important information gap for healthcare providers, government agencies, and non-profits seeking to improve their work with immigrants.”

CMS said that the report comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate immigrant communities and vaccine distribution in New York City has been uneven across racial and socioeconomic groups.

“Several of the neighborhoods CMS identified as most at-risk based on health determinants have been ravaged by COVID-19 and have large shares of immigrant essential workers. For example, the report identified Elmhurst/South Corona as one of the most vulnerable neighborhoods in Queens. This neighborhood has been one of the areas hardest hit by COVID-19 in New York City, and 84 percent of non-citizens in this neighborhood are essential workers,” the release explained.

The full report is below: