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Mortality and migration in Britain, first results from the British Household Panel Survey


  • Brimblecombe, Nic
  • Dorling, Danny
  • Shaw, Mary


This study investigates the extent to which current geographical variations in mortality are influenced by patterns of migration since birth. It is based on a longitudinal study of migrants which consists of a representative sample of 10264 British residents born after 1890 and enumerated as part of the British Household Panel Study in 1991. Between 1991 and 1996, 527 of the study members died and these deaths were analysed by area of residence at birth and in 1991 at both the regional and local district geographical scales. These were compared with findings from the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study. The British Household Panel Survey sample replicates the results of work conducted on the Longitudinal Study which finds that geographical variations in age-sex standardised mortality ratios at the regional scale cannot be attributed to selective migration. However, for the British Household Panel Survey sample, the major geographical variations at district level could be attributed to selective migration. Geographical variations in mortality are not well understood. Restrictions on what it is possible to analyse in the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study may have resulted in the underestimation of the importance of local lifetime selective migration in producing the contemporary map of mortality variation across Britain. The British Household Panel Survey is a small, recent, but very flexible study, which can be used to investigate the effects of lifetime migration on mortality patterns for all of Britain. This first report of its results on mortality shows that it produces findings which accord with the much larger Longitudinal Study, but which can be taken further to show that selective migration over the whole life-course at the local level does appear to have significantly altered the geographical pattern of mortality seen in Britain today.

Suggested Citation

  • Brimblecombe, Nic & Dorling, Danny & Shaw, Mary, 1999. "Mortality and migration in Britain, first results from the British Household Panel Survey," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 981-988, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:49:y:1999:i:7:p:981-988

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    Cited by:

    1. Cox, Matthew & Boyle, Paul J. & Davey, Peter & Morris, Andrew, 2007. "Does health-selective migration following diagnosis strengthen the relationship between Type 2 diabetes and deprivation?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 32-42, July.
    2. Richardson, Ken & Blakely, Tony & Young, Jim & Graham, Patrick & Tobias, Martin, 2009. "Do ethnic and socio-economic inequalities in mortality vary by region in New Zealand? An application of hierarchical Bayesian modelling," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(8), pages 1252-1260, October.
    3. Connolly, Sheelah & O'Reilly, Dermot & Rosato, Michael, 2007. "Increasing inequalities in health: Is it an artefact caused by the selective movement of people?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(10), pages 2008-2015, May.
    4. Birthe Jongeneel-Grimen & Mariël Droomers & Karien Stronks & J. Oers & Anton Kunst, 2013. "Migration and geographical inequalities in health in the Netherlands: an investigation of age patterns," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 58(6), pages 845-854, December.
    5. Timothy J. Halliday & Michael Kimmitt, 2007. "Selective Migration and Health," Working Papers 200720, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    6. Pearce, Jamie & Boyle, Paul, 2005. "Is the urban excess in lung cancer in Scotland explained by patterns of smoking?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(12), pages 2833-2843, June.
    7. Wilding, Sam & Martin, David & Moon, Graham, 2016. "The impact of limiting long term illness on internal migration in England and Wales: New evidence from census microdata," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 107-115.
    8. Norman, Paul & Boyle, Paul & Rees, Philip, 2005. "Selective migration, health and deprivation: a longitudinal analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(12), pages 2755-2771, June.
    9. Pat McGregor & Pat McKee & Ciaran O’Neill, 2006. "GP Utilisation in Northern Ireland - Exploiting the Gatekeeper Function," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 37(1), pages 71-90.
    10. Arline Geronimus & John Bound & Annie Ro, 2014. "Residential Mobility Across Local Areas in the United States and the Geographic Distribution of the Healthy Population," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(3), pages 777-809, June.
    11. Connolly, Sheelah & O'Reilly, Dermot, 2007. "The contribution of migration to changes in the distribution of health over time: Five-year follow-up study in Northern Ireland," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(5), pages 1004-1011, September.


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