The dynamics of migration and health in Australia: a longitudinal investigation

Santosh Jatrana, Swinburne University of Technology

Many observational studies have seen a health advantage among foreign-born (FB) people as compared with the native-born (NB), and a decline in that health advantage the longer they stay in the host country. Such studies often used cross-sectional datasets and little attention was paid to understand the pathways and mechanisms by which transition of health over time. We extend that work by investigating changes in three health measures among FB people from English speaking countries and non-English speaking countries relative to NB Australians over time using longitudinal data. We also explore English language proficiency, and socioeconomic and health behavior factors as possible mechanisms through which health outcomes change over time post migration. This paper challenges the commonly held assumptions that migration and longer stay in the host country is associated with a decline in health.

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Presented in Session 123: Immigration, acculturation and health status