Is Healthy Immigrant a Wealthy Immigrant? Migrant Women’s Reproductive Health in Finland In 2007-17
Heini Vaisanen1, Hanna Remes2, Pekka Martikainen2
1University of Southampton, 2University of Helsinki
Migrants often have better health than the natives (‘healthy immigrant effect’). There is a lack of studies investigating this effect among women and focusing on reproductive health. Few studies take the interaction between country of birth (COB) and individual socioeconomic status into account. We use Finnish register data of over 900,000 births spanning years 2007-17 to study the association between the income level of the COB and reproductive outcomes (preterm birth, C-section, episiotomy and vaginal birth); and the interaction of COB with household income. Our results show there might be a modest ‘healthy immigrant effect’ among women from high-income countries, but not for women from poorer countries. In most cases, the negative effect among women from poorer countries was not offset by the woman’s own socioeconomic status. Healthy immigrant effect is a complex phenomenon depending on the context of the COB and to a lesser extent on individual socioeconomic circumstances.