Does Nativity Matter? Correlates of Health by Immigrant Generation in the Russian Federation

Cynthia Buckley, University of Texas at Austin
Erin T. Hofmann, University of Texas at Austin
Yuka Minagawa, University of Texas at Austin

Nativity is an important correlate of health in many migrant-receiving countries, but the migration-health link has not been studied in Russia. Our paper asks whether the foreign-born experience better health than the native-born, and whether any health advantage extends to the second generation. We find evidence of better health among first generation migrants from outside the former USSR, and among first and second generation migrants from the Caucasus and Central Asia. First generation migrants from Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova experience worse health than the native-born. When we control for sociodemograhpic characteristics, the health status of migrants is similar to that of the native population. In the Russian context, the fact that we found no relationship between migration and health in multivariate analyses is notable, because it challenges prevalent beliefs that migrants, particularly those from the Caucasus and Central Asia, are less healthy than the native population.

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Presented in Session 121: Ethnicity, Health and Mortality in Russia and Former Soviet Republics