Community residential segregation and the local supply of federally qualified health centers

Michelle J Ko, Ninez A. Ponce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective. To examine associations between community residential segregation by income and race/ethnicity, and the supply of federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in urban areas. Data Sources and Study Setting Area Resource File (2000-2007) linked with 2000 U.S. Census on U.S. metropolitan counties (N = 1,786). Study Design We used logistic and negative binomial regression models with state-level fixed effects to examine how county-level characteristics in 2000 are associated with the presence of FQHCs in 2000, and with the increase in FQHCs from 2000 to 2007. Income and racial/ethnic residential segregation were measured by poverty and the non-white dissimilarity indices, respectively. Covariates included measures of federal criteria for medically underserved areas/populations. Principal Findings Counties with a high non-white dissimilarity index and a high percentage of minorities were more likely to have an FQHC in 2000. When we examined the addition of new FQHCs from 2000 to 2007, the effects of both poverty and non-white dissimilarity indices were positive and significant. Conclusions Residential segregation likely produces geographic segregation of health services, such that provider maldistribution may explain the association between residential segregation and FQHC supply. Metropolitan areas that fail to achieve greater integration of poor and minority communities may require FQHCs to compensate for provider shortages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-270
Number of pages18
JournalHealth Services Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • community health centers
  • Federally qualified health centers
  • geographic/spatial factors
  • residential segregation
  • safety net

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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