Ethnic inequalities in green space availability: Evidence from Australia

Publication Name

Urban Forestry and Urban Greening


Evidence affirms that green space has health benefits, but ethnic inequities in green space availability are under-researched. Percentages of parkland, tree canopy, and open grass within 1.6 km road network distance from home were linked to 110,233 participants in the Sax Institute's 45 and Up Study baseline survey living in the cities of Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong. Participants were dichotomised as having insufficient quantity of each green space variable using <20 % vs >20 % as a cut-point, based upon previous studies indicating evidence of health benefits above this threshold. Adjusted multilevel logistic regressions were used to examine odds of insufficient green space associated with country of birth, years lived in Australia, and whether a language other than English was spoken at home. Compared to participants born in Australia, those born in Italy, Lebanon, Vietnam, or China had higher odds of insufficient parkland. Migrants arriving in Australia after 1966 and those speaking a language other than English also had higher odds of insufficient parkland. In contrast, odds of insufficient tree canopy were lower among participants born in Germany, Italy, Lebanon, the Philippines, China, and India compared to those born in Australia. Odds of insufficient tree canopy were also lower for those who moved to Australia after 1966 or who spoke a non-English language at home. Odds of insufficient open grass were higher for participants born in China, migrants between 1996 and 2008, and those speaking a language other than English at home. In conclusion, different ways of measuring ethnicity and green space influenced the patterns observed. Implications for understanding ethnicity-related contingencies in greenspace-health associations requires study.

Open Access Status

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Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

National Health and Medical Research Council



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