Geographic Isolation

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preprint

Doogan, N. J., Roberts, M. E., Wewers, M. E., Tanenbaum, E. R., Mumford, E. A., & Stillman, F. A. (2018). Validation of a new continuous geographic isolation scale: A tool for rural health disparities research. Social Science & Medicine, 215, 123--132. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.09.005

People living in rural areas tend to have relatively poor health outcomes because important health-related resources (e.g., healthcare, quality food, information, people) are often not readily available to them.

Economically, it makes sense to put the resources where the people are. Scientifically, it makes sense to indicate how accessible those resources are to people in a given location to support demonstration of how our society's economics leaves some people out.

This new Census tract level characterization of geographic isolation is continuous and accounts for proximity to and the density of proximal populations. We're hopeful that it will support advancement in rural health disparities research and policy.

This web page hosts downloadable comma separated value data files containing Census tract or zip-code level isolation scores for all of the U.S. linked with their associated area identifiers (11 digit FIPS code or 5 digit zip code).

The peer-reviewed article that describes the creation and validation of these scores is published in the journal Social Science & Medicine.



If you are thinking of using the measure for policy, research, or for any reason, I'd love to hear about what you're doing. You can comment in the box below.

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Humanity check: When you put two with three, you get what?