• oral health care;
  • older adults;
  • public health;
  • urban planning;
  • geographic information systems (GIS);
  • spatial analysis


The purpose of this paper was to examine the geographic distribution of New York City adults aged 65 and older by race/ethnicity and poverty status. Also analyzed was seniors' access to dental care as defined by the location of dental providers and their proximity to the subway system lines in Manhattan and the Bronx.

ArcGIS software was used to create a geographic information system (GIS) incorporating relevant data from a variety of sources. Individual and overlay maps were then produced to examine the aims of this analysis. Data showed that Black race, Hispanic ethnicity, and poverty status tend to co-occur spatially among seniors in Northern Manhattan and the South Bronx. Further, a spatial/transportation barrier may inhibit access to dental care for seniors who reside in these areas.

By presenting multiple layers of local information juxtaposed, GIS can help provide directions for planning oral health service delivery for seniors.