The mortality of descendants of migrants in England and Wales: does a ‘Healthy Migrant Effect’ persist beyond the first generation?

Wallace, M. (2015) British Society for Population Studies, Univ of Leeds, UK, 7 - 9 September 2015 [ONS LS]

Other information:

Migrants often have low mortality compared to host populations in Western countries. This healthy migrant effect (HME) is thought to wear off across generations. The aim of this paper is to discern whether low mortality found in migrants in England and Wales extends to descendants or whether mortality of descendants attenuates to host population levels. This paper examines mortality of migrants and descendants using a large, longitudinal sample (the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study). Event history analysis is used to study the mortality of 490,000 individuals. Analysis finds low mortality in all migrants but variation in the mortality of descendants from 1991-2012. Descendants of Black Caribbean migrants have high mortality which cannot be accounted for by social background; descendants of Pakistanis and Bangladeshis have high mortality which can be accounted for by social background. Descendants of Indians, Black Africans and Other have low mortality which is initially masked by social background. As to why, the loss of selection from migrants to descendants is considered alongside generational differences in cultural norms, attitudes and behaviours in lifestyle and diet. The early life development of migrants and descendants in different countries is also considered in terms of disease profiles and social position. In sum, while a HME is present in migrants irrespective of ethnic group; there is marked variation in descendants’ mortality. A healthy migrant effect persists in some ethnic groups after the first-generation but not others. Social position has a much more influential effect on the mortality of descendants.

Available online: Link
Output from project: 0301579


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