Life Expectancy Inequalities between Natives and Migrants in the Netherlands – Effects of Mortality Differentials and Selection

Björn Poerschke , Rijksuniversiteit Groningen / University of Cologne
Adrien Remund, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Lenny Stoeldraijer, Statistics Netherlands

This paper aims at analyzing current differences in mortality between Dutch natives and three migrant groups and the identification of social processes which underlie these differences. The overall theoretical framework of the "healthy-migrant-paradox" is conceptualized for the Dutch case. Also, the salmon-bias, one of the mechanisms contributing to the paradox, is dealt with in particular. Mortality inequalities are analyzed with different life table techniques as well as survival analysis. Additional attention is paid to the different datasets and methodological approaches used in the different components of the analysis. Detailed Dutch registration data is used in order to counter a possible salmon effect. The results suggest that the healthy migrant effect is viable mostly for Moroccans. Additionally, Turkish individuals show mortality advantages throughout adult age-groups, but not in total life expectancy and older ages. The Surinamese population is found to be almost uniformly disadvantaged. Composition effects are identified to an important driver of life expectancy differences, and selective return migration (i.e. salmon bias) might also contribute, but our preliminary results are so far inconclusive. In the final paper we will systematically test this last hypothesis by censoring or not the migration trajectory at the time of out-migration.

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 Presented in Session 21. Disparities in Survival and Mortality