The relationship between ethnic density (the relative size of a given
ethnic group in a multi-ethnic neighborhood) and risk for psychiatric
hospitalization was explored for black, white, and Puerto Rican residents
of New York City's 338 health areas. The author found that the smaller the
ethnic group, the higher its hospitalization rate in comparison to both the
rate of other residents in the same area and that of members of the same
ethnic group living in areas where they constituted a numerical majority.
Analysis of sociodemographic variables showed that the effect of ethnic
density on risk for psychiatric hospitalization cannot be accounted for by
differences in poverty, family cohesiveness, or population mobility.