Many studies of racial/ethnic disparities in exposure to “vice” retailers overlook how foreign-born (FB) composition shapes disparities. Using American Community Survey (2012-2016) data and geocoded alcohol and tobacco retailer licenses, we examined the association between retailer density, and Latino and FB composition in California census tracts. Bivariate analyses showed lower alcohol retailer density and higher tobacco retailer density in tracts with a greater percentage Latino. These associations dissipated after controlling for sociodemographic and ecological characteristics, and using spatial lag regressions to account for spatial dependence. For tobacco, percentage foreign-born was positively and significantly associated with higher retailer density. For alcohol, areas with medium percentage FB Latino had higher retailer density compared with areas with low percentage FB Latino. We extend the literature on racial/ethnic disparities in retail environment exposure by revealing: (a) the importance of examining foreign-born composition in addition to race-ethnicity, and (b) the need for spatial analytic approaches.
Presented in Session 26. Flash Session: Neighborhood Processes in Health