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Mortality advantage among migrants according to duration of stay in France, 2004–2014

  • Wallace, Matthew1
  • Khlat, Myriam2
  • Guillot, Michel2, 3
  • 1 Stockholm University, Demography Unit, Department of Sociology, Stockholm, Sweden , Stockholm (Sweden)
  • 2 Institut national d’études démographiques, French National Demographic Institute, 133 Boulevard Davout, Paris, 75020, France , Paris (France)
  • 3 University of Pennsylvania, Population Studies Center, 242 McNeil Building, Philadelphia, PA19104, USA , Philadelphia (United States)
Published Article
BMC Public Health
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Mar 21, 2019
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-019-6652-1
Springer Nature


BackgroundThe migrant mortality advantage is generally interpreted as reflecting the selection of atypically healthy individuals from the country of origin followed by the wearing off of selection effects over time, a process theorised to be accelerated by progressive and negative acculturation in the host country. However, studies examining how migrant mortality evolves over duration of stay, which could provide insight into these two processes, are relatively scarce. Additionally, they have paid little attention to gender-specific patterns and the confounding effect of age. In this study, we analyze all-cause mortality according to duration of stay among male and female migrants in France, with a particular focus on the role of age in explaining duration of stay effects.MethodsWe use the Échantillon Démographique Permanent (Permanent Demographic Sample; EDP), France’s largest socio-demographic panel and a representative 1% sample of its population. Mortality was followed-up from 2004 to 2014, and parametric survival models were fitted for males and females to study variation in all-cause mortality among migrants over duration of stay. Estimates were adjusted for age, duration of stay, year, education level and marital status. Duration of stay patterns were examined for both open-ended and fixed age groups.ResultsWe observe a migrant mortality advantage, which is most pronounced among recent arrivals and converges towards the mortality level of natives with duration of stay. We show this pattern to be robust to the confounding effect of age and find the pattern to be consistent among males and females.ConclusionsOur novel findings show an intrinsic pattern of convergence of migrant mortality towards native-born mortality over time spent in France, independent from the ages at which mortality is measured. The consistent pattern in both genders suggests that males and females experience the same processes associated with generating the migrant mortality advantage. These patterns adhere to the selection-acculturation hypothesis and raise serious concerns about the erosion of migrant health capital with increasing exposure to conditions in France.

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