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Migration and geographical inequalities in health in Britain


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


This paper explores the role of migration in creating geographical inequalities in mortality at the district level in Britain for the British Household Panel Study sample -- a representative sample of 10264 British residents born after 1890 and enumerated in 1991. Analysis of the mortality rates of migrants showed that male migration accounts for nearly all the differences in mortality rates between districts. The BHPS was then utilised to look at the lifetime socio-economic characteristics of these migrants and to compare men and women. It was found that the health of both men and women moving from high mortality districts to low mortality districts could be explained by advantage over their lifetimes. The small proportion of men and women moving from low mortality districts to high mortality districts represent a very mixed group and their contribution, whilst small, is intriguing, as is the very different mortality rates of men and women in this group.

Suggested Citation

  • Brimblecombe, Nic & Dorling, Danny & Shaw, Mary, 2000. "Migration and geographical inequalities in health in Britain," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 861-878, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:50:y:2000:i:6:p:861-878

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    Cited by:

    1. Green, Mark A. & Subramanian, S.V. & Vickers, Daniel & Dorling, Danny, 2015. "Internal migration, area effects and health: Does where you move to impact upon your health?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 136, pages 27-34.
    2. McCartney, Gerry & Collins, Chik & Mackenzie, Mhairi, 2013. "What (or who) causes health inequalities: Theories, evidence and implications?," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 113(3), pages 221-227.
    3. Brown, Denise & Leyland, Alastair H., 2010. "Scottish mortality rates 2000-2002 by deprivation and small area population mobility," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(11), pages 1951-1957, December.
    4. Jokela, Markus & Kivimäki, Mika & Elovainio, Marko & Viikari, Jorma & Raitakari, Olli T. & Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa, 2009. "Urban/rural differences in body weight: Evidence for social selection and causation hypotheses in Finland," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(5), pages 867-875, March.
    5. Eva Kibele & Fanny Janssen, 2013. "Distortion of regional old-age mortality due to late-life migration in the Netherlands?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 29(5), pages 105-132, July.
    6. 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.
    7. Marc Luy & Graziella Caselli, 2008. "The impact of a migration-caused selection effect on regional mortality differences in Italy and Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2008-027, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    8. Buzzelli, Michael & Su, Jason, 2006. "Multi-level modelling in health research: A caution and rejoinder on temporally mismatched data," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(5), pages 1215-1218, March.
    9. Exeter, Daniel J. & Sabel, Clive E. & Hanham, Grant & Lee, Arier C. & Wells, Susan, 2015. "Movers and stayers: The geography of residential mobility and CVD hospitalisations in Auckland, New Zealand," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 331-339.
    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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