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Mobility and Accessibility of Hispanics in Small Towns and Rural Areas
  • Published Date:
    2014-07-01
  • Language:
    English
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Mobility and Accessibility of Hispanics in Small Towns and Rural Areas
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  • Publication/ Report Number:
    MATC-UI: 119 ; 25 - 1121 - 0003 - 119 ;
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  • Abstract:
    The Hispanic population has increased 43% (from 35.3 million to 50.5 million) in the 2000s in the U.S. Small towns and rural areas in the U.S. are among the areas that have experienced rapid growth in the Hispanic immigrant population in the last decade. This paper aims to understand whether Hispanics have the same mobility as other race/ethnicity groups, particularly when they are immigrants and/or live in rural areas. In addition, the author examines the mobility experience of more recent Hispanic immigrants, as well as Hispanic females in general. Using the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) data for 2009, this paper investigates the following aspects of mobility for the study population: (1) vehicle availability, (2) driving mileage, and (3) native/ immigrant and gender disparity in mobility. Compared to other populations, Hispanics generally face different mobility challenges; they rely on private vehicles but do not own many vehicles and share rides. In addition, recent immigrants and females are having more difficulties within the Hispanic immigrant population, whether in rural or urban areas. Despite the mobility limitation suggested by the data, public transit ridership by rural Hispanics is known to be lower than that of rural non - Hispanic minorities. A possible explanation for this disparity is that Hispanics may face language barriers in using public transit systems. The findings also suggest that rural Hispanics, especially immigrants, need more support to satisfy their accessibility needs.

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