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Occupational Groups and Environmental Justice: A Case Study in the Bronx, New York


The Bronx is shown by census tract in 8 maps indicating distribution of characteristics by quintile, which range from 1 to 5. Quintiles indicate concentrations of characteristics with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. Maps present 3 categories of characteristics: pollutants, occupations, and demographic characteristics. Excluded tracts were in the northeastern, northwestern, and southeastern areas of the county. The first 2 maps show distribution of the pollutants PM2.5 and of black carbon, both of which have high concentrations in the southwestern portion of the Bronx. Three maps show the distribution of white collar, service industry, and manufacturing occupations. Census tracts in the northwestern and eastern Bronx have higher proportions of white-collar workers than the rest of the county. Tracts in the southwest have high proportions of service workers. Manufacturing is less concentrated, with high proportions in the south and low proportions in the northwest. Three maps show the distribution of non-Hispanic white populations, Hispanic populations, and poverty (people living below federal poverty guidelines). Tracts with high proportions of non-Hispanic white residents are in the northwest and eastern Bronx (similar to the distribution of white-collar workers). Tracts with high proportions of Hispanic residents or those living below federal poverty guidelines are in the southwestern portion of the county, with distributions similar to those of service industry workers and of the pollutants.

Spatial distribution of pollutants, occupational groups, and demographics, in quintiles by census tract, Bronx, New York, 2011–2015. The 2 pollutants are PM2.5 (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter ≤2.5 µm) and black carbon (a type of particulate pollution often used as a marker for diesel exhaust [9]). The occupational groups are white collar, service industries, and manufacturing (construction not shown but available from authors on request); the demographic groups are non-Hispanic white and Hispanic populations (non-Hispanic black not shown but available from authors on request) and poverty (people living below federal poverty guidelines). Tracts with low populations (200 or fewer residents) were excluded. Sources: American Community Survey 2011–2015
ACS 5-Year Estimates via the National Historic Geographic Information System (5), New York City Community Air Survey 2011–2015 (10).

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Page last reviewed: November 15, 2018