Healthy migrants in an unhealthy city? The effects of time on the health of migrants living in deprived areas of Glasgow

Kearns, A. , Whitley, E. , Egan, M., Tabbner, C. and Tannahill, C. (2017) Healthy migrants in an unhealthy city? The effects of time on the health of migrants living in deprived areas of Glasgow. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 18(3), pp. 675-698. (doi: 10.1007/s12134-016-0497-6) (PMID:28804271) (PMCID:PMC5533808)

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This paper examines the healthy immigrant effect in Glasgow, a post-industrial city where the migrant population has more than doubled in the last decade. Using data from a community survey in 15 communities across the city, the paper compares four health outcomes for the following three groups: British-born, social and economic migrants and asylum seekers and refugees. Migrants were found to be healthier than the indigenous population on all four measures, particularly in the case of adult households in both migrant groups and for older asylum seeker and refugee households. Health declines for social and economic migrants with time spent in the UK, but there is no clear pattern for asylum seekers and refugees. Health declined for refugees according to time spent awaiting a decision, whilst their health improved after a leave-to-remain decision. Indigenous and social and economic migrant health declines with time spent living in a deprived area; this was true for three health indicators for the former and two indicators for the latter. Asylum seekers and refugees who had lived in a deprived area for more than a year had slightly better self-rated health and well-being than recent arrivals. The study’s findings highlight the role of destination city and neighbourhood in the health immigrant effect, raise concerns about the restrictions placed upon asylum seekers and the uncertainty afforded to refugees and suggest that spatial concentration may have advantages for asylum seekers and refugees.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Healthy migrant effect, social and economic migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, deprived areas, migrant concentrations.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Egan, Dr Matthew and Tabbner, Ms Catherine and Whitley, Dr Elise and Kearns, Professor Ade and Tannahill, Dr Carol
Authors: Kearns, A., Whitley, E., Egan, M., Tabbner, C., and Tannahill, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Journal of International Migration and Integration
Publisher:Springer Netherlands
ISSN (Online):1874-6365
Published Online:07 May 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of International Migration and Integration 18(3):675-698
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
656621Social Patterning of Health over the LifecourseTimothy PophamMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/7IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU