Race/Ethnic Disparities in Adult Mortality: Mexican Immigrant's Selectivity and Acculturation

Daesung Choi, University of Texas at San Antonio
Gabriela Sanchez-Soto, University of Texas at San Antonio

This paper investigates race/ethnicity difference in adult mortality in the U.S. with special attention to Mexican immigrants’ selectivity and the degree and rate of acculturation. Earlier studies on race/ethnic differential in mortality consistently reported favorable outcome of Mexican population in comparison to other racial or ethnic groups. While previous immigrant health literature emphasized on Hispanic immigrant’s selectivity and acculturative effect, few mortality studies considered Mexican immigrants’ positive selection and levels acculturation in comparing their mortality risk to other racial and ethnic subpopulations. Data are from the National Interview Survey 1997-2004 and Linked Mortality Files. Survival analysis is used to assess a hazard of death across racial/ethnic groups, after controlling for socio-demographic characteristics. The results show that overall Mexican immigrants exhibit more favorable mortality compared to non-Hispanic whites. However, Mexican immigrants who lived in the U.S. longer than 10 years, and among those use Spanish do not show a lower hazard of death compared to whites.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Migration and Urbanization; Population, Development and the Environment