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Scottish mortality rates 2000-2002 by deprivation and small area population mobility


  • Brown, Denise
  • Leyland, Alastair H.


Despite recent increases in life expectancy, inequalities in mortality in Scotland have been widening. Previous research has suggested that one of the potential drivers of geographical inequalities in health is the process of selective migration. Although support for the effect of selective migration on widening geographic inequalities in health has been mixed, several studies have shown that people in good health move away from deprived areas while people in poor health move towards more deprived areas. In this paper, we examine mortality rates in Scotland by area deprivation and population mobility. Previous research in Scotland has shown that the relationship between population mobility and migration disappears once deprivation is accounted for. However, the authors measure population mobility over a longer time period than we do here and at a different geographical level. We consider small area population mobility on the basis of moves made in the year prior to the 2001 Scottish census. Areas were classified as one of four types: decreasing, increasing or stable (with high or low turnover). Mortality rates, calculated for the period 2000-2002, were found to be highest in deprived areas that had declined in population over the previous year. In the most deprived quintile, the causes of death contributing disproportionately to the excess mortality in decreasing areas were causes linked to alcohol and drug use, suicides and assault. Focussing on those individuals in the most deprived areas who live in areas that are declining in population could help to reduce widening inequalities for these causes of death. This work shows the extent to which population migration can influence small areas over a relatively short time period and gives some insight into potential factors, not measured by traditional indices of area level deprivation, which may lead to differences in the health status of areas.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:71:y:2010:i:11:p:1951-1957

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Boardman, Jason D, 2004. "Stress and physical health: the role of neighborhoods as mediating and moderating mechanisms," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(12), pages 2473-2483, June.
    3. O'Reilly, Dermot & Stevenson, Michael, 2003. "Selective migration from deprived areas in Northern Ireland and the spatial distribution of inequalities: implications for monitoring health and inequalities in health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(8), pages 1455-1462, October.
    4. 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.
    5. Silver, Eric & Mulvey, Edward P. & Swanson, Jeffrey W., 2002. "Neighborhood structural characteristics and mental disorder: Faris and Dunham revisited," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1457-1470, October.
    6. Boyle, Paul & Norman, Paul & Rees, Philip, 2002. "Does migration exaggerate the relationship between deprivation and limiting long-term illness? A Scottish analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 21-31, July.
    7. Bentham, Graham, 1988. "Migration and morbidity: Implications for geographical studies of disease," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 49-54, January.
    8. Boyle, Paul & Norman, Paul & Rees, Philip, 2004. "Changing places. Do changes in the relative deprivation of areas influence limiting long-term illness and mortality among non-migrant people living in non-deprived households?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(12), pages 2459-2471, June.
    9. Nick Bailey & Mark Livingston, 2008. "Selective Migration and Neighbourhood Deprivation: Evidence from 2001 Census Migration Data for England and Scotland," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 45(4), pages 943-961, April.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Norman, Paul & Boyle, Paul & Exeter, Daniel & Feng, Zhiqiang & Popham, Frank, 2011. "Rising premature mortality in the UK’s persistently deprived areas: Only a Scottish phenomenon?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(11), pages 1575-1584.
    2. Arnab Bhattacharjee & Taps Maiti & Dennis Petrie, 2014. "Spatial structures of health outcomes and health behaviours in Scotland: Evidence from the Scottish Health Survey," SEEC Discussion Papers 1401, Spatial Economics and Econometrics Centre, Heriot Watt University.
    3. Bhattacharjee, Arnab & Maiti, Taps & Petrie, Dennis, 2014. "General equilibrium effects of spatial structure: Health outcomes and health behaviours in Scotland," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 286-297.


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