Health Status, Urbanization, and Migration in Vietnam: Preliminary Findings from the 1997-98 Living Standard Survey

Liem T. Nguyen, Brown University

The increase of urbanward migration after the introduction of economic reforms poses several questions to social policies, including health policies. Yet, little is known about health differences and its determinants among various groups of migrants and the natives. This study attempts to explore that unknown area using data from the 1997-98 Vietnam Living Standard Survey. The results show that migrants, in general, have worse health than non-migrants, and that rural-to-urban migrants have worst health. The urban penalty is evidenced: those who live in major cities are least healthy regardless of the concentration of medical facilities in these settings. Medium and small cities are found as the healthiest place to live. These results hold even after controlling for other socioeconomic and public health factors. Results from this study also suggest that public health and environmental factors play an important role in improving health for urban residents.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Health and Mortality