Immigrant Health in Italy

Rachel Zajdel , Vanderbilt University
Evelyn J. Patterson, Vanderbilt University

Immigration to Europe grew substantially this century. While research regarding discrimination in the U.S. largely explores the role of race/ethnicity, research in Europe focuses on discrimination against immigrants and/or religious minorities. This paper extends the discussion of immigrant well-being to consider the multiple social identities that influence discrimination and health using survey data from Western Europe. I also utilize Italian census data to examine mortality and life expectancy differentials in a new immigrant destination. Results provide evidence that discrimination based on nationality and race/ethnicity is more widespread than religious-based discrimination among immigrants in Western Europe. Moreover, in Italy, there is substantial variation in mortality between immigrant populations from different origins. Immigrants in Italy have lower life expectancy and often experience elevated mortality rates. Only certain immigrant populations have a health advantage and social characteristics such as being Muslim and originating from sub-Saharan Africa are associated with disadvantages in health.

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 Presented in Session 7. Migration & Urbanization