On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, The UCSB forum on spatial thinking presents

Latinx Destinations and Health


Liz Ackert

Department of Geography
University of California, Santa Barbara

11:30 a.m. (PST) Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Zoom* :


The geography of Latinx areas of residence in the U.S. has shifted dramatically in the past three decades, with the Latinx population increasingly living in urban, suburban, and rural areas outside of established immigrant gateways such as California and Texas. This project addresses the consequences of the geographic diversification of Latinx settlement in the U.S. for patterns of health and well-being among the Latinx population. Amidst the changing geography of Latinx settlement, one question of interest is whether emerging areas of Latinx settlement, including “new” and “other” areas of settlement, have more positive or negative contextual resources and intergroup relations related to health and well-being than established gateways. In this ThinkSpatial talk, I present initial exploratory results from an assessment of variation in health care resources and immigration enforcement policies across three types of Latinx counties: (1) Established Destinations; (2) New Destinations, and; (3) Other Destinations. I draw from an array of publicly-available data sources, including the U.S. decennial censuses, the Health Resources and Services Administration (Area Health Resource Files, Health Professional Shortage Areas data, and Medically Underserved Areas data), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (County Health Rankings and Roadmaps), and the Migration Policy Institute and Immigrant Legal Resource Center (287g program participation information). This work has important implications for the current COVID19 pandemic, as it reveals the types of communities where Latinx populations may be lacking health care resources and where they may face contextual barriers to accessing health care.


Liz Ackert is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research interests include racial/ethnic inequality, immigration, education, health disparities, urban geography, and quantitative methods. Her work examines explanations for why racial/ethnic and immigrant-origin groups are unequally distributed across contexts—including schools, neighborhoods, and immigrant destinations—and evaluates the consequences of this contextual inequality for disparities in outcomes in domains such as education, residential mobility, and health. Ackert is particularly interested in understanding how the attributes of immigrant-receiving contexts, including states, communities, neighborhoods, and schools, influence the health and well-being of Latinx  children and youth.



* Note, if you are participating from outside the UCSB community, please contact to get access to the credentials.

The objectives of the ThinkSpatial brown-bag presentations are to exchange ideas about spatial perspectives in research and teaching, to broaden communication and cooperation across disciplines among faculty and graduate students, and to encourage the sharing of tools and concepts.

Please contact Emmanuel Papadakis ( to review and schedule possible discussion topics or presentations that share your disciplinary interest in spatial thinking.

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ThinkSpatial: Liz Ackert