Migration, Population Mixing, and Mortality: A Spatial Analysis

Ronald E. Cossman, Mississippi State University
Jeralynn S. Cossman, Mississippi State University
Wesley James, Mississippi State University
Carol Campbell, Mississippi State University

Population migration can have dramatic health effects (e.g., the introduction of smallpox to New World inhabitants). We investigate population migration and its relationship with mortality rates in U.S. counties. We map mortality (as a health outcome) and migration (as an independent variable) and assess their spatial correlation. Given previous research, we expect population migration (in- and out-) to be negatively correlated with mortality rates in "healthy" places and population stability to be positively correlated with mortality rates regardless of the county's mortality rate. This finding would support previous research on health selection effects of migrants and research showing that healthy people move from unhealthy places while unhealthy people remain. This is parallel to research on migration patterns of the poor, in which migration is found to maintain and reinforce spatial concentrations of poverty. We conclude that migration and stability reinforce the existing health status of county populations.

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Presented in Poster Session 6: Applied Demography, Methods, Migration, Labor and Education, Gender, and Race and Ethnicity