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Sara L McLafferty

Profile picture for Sara L McLafferty

Contact Information

Geography & GIScience
261 CAB
605 E Springfield
Champaign, IL 61820

Research Interests

Geography of Health
Urban Geography
GIS and Spatial Analysis

Research Description

How do the places where we live, work and interact affect our well-being?  This question underpins my work on topics ranging from spatial mismatch to access to health care to contextual influences on health.  My current research investigates place-based inequalities in health and well-being and access to health services  for women, immigrants and racial/ethnic minorities in the United States.   My ongoing work examines the impacts of increasing economic inequality and residential segregation on women's commuting times and modes and on maternal and infant health outcomes.  I also use and develop GIS and spatial analysis methods for examining health and social issues in cities and planning public health interventions. My books include GIS and Public Health (with Ellen Cromley), A Companion to Health and Medical Geography (with Tim Brown and Graham Moon), Geospatial Analysis of Environmental Health (with Juliana Maantay), Geographies of Women’s Health (with Isabel Dyck and Nancy Lewis), and Location Strategies for Retail and Service Firms (with Avijit Ghosh). I am currently an Associate Editor of Health and Place and serve on the editorial boards of Geographical Analysis, and Spatial and Spatiotemporal Epidemiology.


Ph.D., University of Iowa
M.A., University of Iowa
B.A., Barnard College, Columbia University

Additional Campus Affiliations

Research Professor, Geography and Geographic Information Science
Research Professor, Center for Global Studies

Recent Publications

Franklin, R. S., Delmelle, E. C., Andris, C., Cheng, T., Dodge, S., Franklin, J., Heppenstall, A., Kwan, M. P., Li, W. W., McLafferty, S., Miller, J. A., Munroe, D. K., Nelson, T., Öner, Ö., Pumain, D., Stewart, K., Tong, D., & Wentz, E. A. (2023). Making Space in Geographical Analysis. Geographical Analysis, 55(2), 325-341.

McLafferty, S., & Preston, V. (2023). Geographies of Frontline Workers: Gender, Race, and Commuting in New York City. Sustainability, 15(4), Article 3429.

Morioka, W., Kwan, M.-P., Okabe, A., & McLafferty, S. L. (2023). Local Indicator of Spatial Agglomeration between Newly Opened Outlets and Existing Competitors on a Street Network. Geographical Analysis, 55(3), 450-465.

Planey, A. M., Planey, D. A., Wong, S., Mclafferty, S. L., & Ko, M. J. (2023). Structural Factors and Racial/Ethnic Inequities in Travel Times to Acute Care Hospitals in the Rural US South, 2007–2018. Milbank Quarterly, 101(3), 922-974.

Preston, V., McLafferty, S., & Maciejewska, M. (2023). Regionalization and Recent Immigrants’ Access to Jobs: An Analysis of Commuting in Canadian Metropolitan Areas. Geoforum, 144, Article 103787.

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