Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 310–318 | Cite as

Household Density among Undocumented Mexican Immigrants in New York City

  • Katherine Standish
  • Vijay Nandi
  • Danielle C. Ompad
  • Sandra Momper
  • Sandro Galea
Original Paper


Background High household density increases exposure to communicable diseases, psychological distress in adults, and poor long-term health in children. High residential density, which may be a mediator of poor health, is common among immigrants. Methods We used data from a pilot survey among Mexican immigrants in New York City. Respondents were recruited through venue-based sampling in neighborhoods with large Mexican populations. Results Among respondents that reported being undocumented (N = 404), the mean number of people per room (PPR) of residence was 2.2. In multivariate analyses, living in conditions of >2 PPR was positively associated with living with one’s children (OR = 2.3, 95% CI = 1.4–3.9), having experienced food insecurity in the past 6 months (OR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.1–3.6), and language discrimination (OR = 2.3 compared to other forms of discrimination, 95% CI = 1.2–4.4). Conclusions Undocumented Mexican immigrants, particularly those who are linguistically marginalized and experience food insufficiency, live in conditions of marked household density in NYC.


Undocumented immigrants Mexicans Housing High residential density Economically marginalized 



The authors would like to acknowledge the work done by Jerry Lopez, Stacey Strongarone, and Jennifer Ahern in establishing this study. We recognize the generous support of the National Institutes of Health, grant # DA 017642.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine Standish
    • 1
  • Vijay Nandi
    • 1
  • Danielle C. Ompad
    • 1
  • Sandra Momper
    • 2
  • Sandro Galea
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Center for Urban Epidemiologic StudiesNew York Academy of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.University of Michigan School of Social WorkAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of Michigan School of Public HealthAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Columbia University Mailman School of Public HealthNew YorkUSA

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