Immigrant (Self-Rated) Health Paradox? Ethnic Differences in the Effect of Nativity on Self-Rated Health

Zoya Gubernskaya, University of California, Irvine

This paper explores the differences in self-rated health between native-born and immigrants for nine racial/ethnic groups using the pooled 2001-2007 data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS). The results are only partially consistent with the “immigrant health paradox”. In fact, most immigrants report having worse health compared to native-born of the same ethnicity. When socio-demographic and behavioral factors are taken into account, only a few immigrant groups – non-Hispanic whites, South Asian, and Japanese – show the expected pattern and report better health than native-born of the same ethnicity. Immigrant health advantage that appears in the pooled model seems to be driven by the large sample size for non-Hispanic whites. At the same time, there are substantial differences in self-reported health between ethnic groups. Controlling for many socio-economic and behavioral factors, Mexican, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Vietnamese and black report worse health compared to non-Hispanic whites.

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Presented in Poster Session 3