Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Geography and Geology

Additional Departmental Affiliation


Document Type



Refugee populations face many challenges when relocating and settling into a new country. The Burmese refugee population in Bowling Green, Kentucky experiences unique challenges when trying to settle and be assimilated into a typical midsize city. This paper explores a variety of geographic and demographic characteristics of neighborhoods with high concentration of Burmese immigrants, seeking to characterize the neighborhoods by several quality of life metrics. These metrics include median household income, rental rates, educational attainment, and many others. The neighborhood characteristics are studied using recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, specifically from the 2014 American Community Survey 5-year sample data. Additionally, accessibility to basic services such as grocery shopping or public transportation was analyzed for the neighborhoods. Finally, the last portion of the paper examines some of the challenges and limitations of using Census data for such a study, using on-site photographs and land use maps as evidence of such limitations.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Jun Yan


Asian Studies | Community-Based Research | Human Geography | Spatial Science