Discrimination in the United States: Experiences of Latinos

Mary G. Findling, Sara N. Bleich, Logan S. Casey, Robert J. Blendon, John M. Benson, Justin M. Sayde, Carolyn Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine experiences of racial/ethnic discrimination among Latinos in the United States, which broadly contribute to their poor health outcomes. Data Source and Study Design: Data come from a nationally representative, probability-based telephone survey including 803 Latinos and a comparison group of 902 non-Hispanic white US adults, conducted January—April 2017. Methods: We calculated the percent of Latinos reporting discrimination in several domains, including health care. We used logistic regression to compare the Latino-white difference in odds of discrimination, and among Latinos only to examine variation by socioeconomic status and country of birth. Principal Findings: One in five Latinos (20 percent) reported experiencing discrimination in clinical encounters, while 17 percent avoided seeking health care for themselves or family members due to anticipated discrimination. A notable share of Latinos also reported experiencing discrimination with employment (33 percent applying for jobs; 32 percent obtaining equal pay/promotions), housing (31 percent), and police interactions (27 percent). In adjusted models, Latinos had significantly higher odds than whites for reporting discrimination in health care visits (OR: 3.18, 95% CI: 1.61, 6.26) and across several other domains. Latinos with college degrees had significantly higher odds of reporting discrimination in multiple domains than those without college degrees, with few differences between foreign-born and US-born Latinos. Conclusions: Latinos in the United States report experiencing widespread discrimination in health care and other areas of their lives, at significantly higher levels than whites. Being born in the United States and earning a college degree are not protective against discrimination, suggesting that further health and social policy efforts to eliminate discrimination are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1409-1418
Number of pages10
JournalHealth services research
Issue numberS2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Hispanic
  • Latinos
  • discrimination
  • racial/ethnic differences in health and health care
  • racism
  • social determinants of health
  • survey research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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