Smoking, Ethnic Residential Segregation, and Ethnic Diversity: A Spatio-temporal Analysis

Graham Moon, Jamie Pearce, Ross Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ethnic residential segregation is a profound social divide in many societies. In the health arena, U.S. work has been influential in demonstrating the impact of ethnic residential segregation on child health outcomes, showing how it can compound other forms of disadvantage. This article builds on and extends this research by examining the transferability of conclusions concerning the health impact of ethnic residential segregation to a non-U.S. context and to the field of health behavior. Using complete adult population data from the 1996 and 2006 New Zealand Censuses of Population geocoded to local and urban area levels, we examine smoking prevalence and cessation in relation to ethnic segregation and diversity. The article employs a repeated cross-sectional multilevel modeling strategy with smoking and cessation as outcome variables. The differential impact of segregation and diversity on smoking behavior by different ethnic groups is considered, taking into account the confounding effect of socioeconomic status and demographic variation. Conclusions suggest that Māori isolation has little overall effect but ethnic diversity has some relevance. Individual ethnic status and area-level deprivation are more important in understanding smoking behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)912-921
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of the Association of American Geographers
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2012


  • ethnic diversity
  • ethnic segregation
  • New Zealand
  • smoking behavior


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