Disability Among Hispanic Immigrants in the United States: Does Country of Origin Matter?

Frank Heiland , Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY)
Mara Sheftel, Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY)

The literature on Hispanic immigrant health and disability has primarily focused on Mexicans – the largest foreign-born population in the US. Relatively little is known about disability by country of origin among the growing population of “Other Hispanics.” Using representative data from ACS 2012-2016, we compare Mexicans to Cubans, Dominicans, Ecuadorians, Guatemalans, Peruvians, Salvadorans and island-born Puerto Ricans and with US-born populations. Hispanic immigrants tend to have lower rates of disability than US-born populations and non-Mexicans are generally found to be less likely to have a disability than foreign-born Mexicans. For example, Colombian women (men) are 1.9 (1.9), Guatemalans 2.0 (3.9), Peruvians 4.4 (2.0), and Salvadoran women (men) are 1.5 (3.2) percentage points less likely to report being disabled than Mexicans. The heterogeneity across Hispanic immigrants by country of origin is partly accounted for by differences in age and socio-economic status, as Mexicans tend to be younger and less educated.

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 Presented in Session 76. Flash Session: Unpacking Associations Between Race/Ethnicity and Health