Differential Health and Mortality Patterns among Migrant Populations in Belgium

Patrick Deboosere, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Sylvie Gadeyne, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Adult migrants, in spite of a low socio-economic status, tend to have lower mortality than the host population. Belgium is an interesting case to study the migrant paradox. It combines a large migrant community with a well-established national register. Linking individual records of the 1991 census with registered deaths and migrations offers the possibility to evaluate the selective migration and the importance of salmon bias migration. The census variables allow control for a large set of confounding factors. The extension to death certificates with causes of death permits a more in depth analysis to identify factors that contribute to the health outcome of sub-populations. The more favourable mortality pattern of some Mediterranean populations does not imply a morbidity advantage. The general result points to a more complex picture than the classic paradox with a wide combination of factors contributing to the differential health and mortality outcome.

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Presented in Session 37: Race, Health, and Mortality I