The Intergenerational Persistence of Immigrant Mortality Advantage: New Results for U.S. Male Old-Age Mortality

Joshua Goldstein , University of California, Berkeley

The tendency of immigrants to have lower mortality than native is one of the most widely replicated findings in demography, but there is still no agreed-upon explanation. In this paper, the new CenSoc data set, linking millions of males in 1940 census records to old-age social security deaths, is used to show that this immigrant advantage persists into the second generation. This finding suggest that selective immigration (and return migration) of the first generation is not, as some have hypothesized, the driving force behind immigrant mortality advantages. Instead, health behaviors that can be passed on intergenerationally appear more likely to be the underlying cause. Preliminary results suggest that more than half of the immigrant advantage persists into the second generation.

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 Presented in Session 69. Using Linked Data Sources