Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Kathleen Baker

Second Advisor

Dr. Catherine Kothari

Third Advisor

Dr. Benjamin Ofori-Amoah


Eviction, housing, poor births, poverty, racial disparities, rent burden

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Millions of Americans get evicted every year, with thousands coming from Kalamazoo County, Michigan alone. Additionally, many more live with rent burden, paying over 30% of their monthly income on rent. Both eviction and rent burden have been linked to adverse health effects, such as depression and anxiety, and negative coping mechanisms, such as alcoholism and smoking. This study asks if eviction and rent burden are correlated with poor births in Kalamazoo County as there are hundreds of poor births in the county every year, as well as which social vulnerability themes are most predictive of eviction and poor births. Eviction data and poor birth data from Kalamazoo County census tracts are analyzed from 2007-2016, using two five-year intervals to compare temporal trends. The following variables are used in Pearson correlation tests: eviction rate, rent burden rate, nonwhite poor birth rate, white poor birth rate, combined (white and nonwhite) poor birth rate, race (black and white), and poverty rate. The correlation results indicate weak positive correlations between poor births and both eviction rate and rent burden rate, with no clear temporal trend. However, there are racial disparities, as the black population shows positive correlations with eviction rate, rent burden, and poor births, while the white population shows negative correlations. The regression results indicate household composition is the most predictive theme of both eviction rate, with eviction rate being more predictable with social vulnerability themes than poor birth rate.