Journal Article

Migrant mortality by duration of residence and co-ethnic density: a register-based study on Finnish migrants in Sweden with matched controls in the origin and the destination

Östergren, O., Cederström, A., Korhonen, K., Martikainen, P.
Health & Place, 83:103064, 1–9 (2023)
Open Access


Migrant health depends on factors both at the origin and at the destination. Health-related behaviors established before migration may change at the destination. We compare the mortality rates from alcohol- and smoking-related causes and cardiovascular diseases (CVD) of Finnish migrants in Sweden to matched controls in both Sweden and Finland with similar sociodemographic characteristics. Migrant mortality rates from behavioral risk factors lie in-between the rates of non-migrants in the origin and destination. A longer duration of residence is associated with lower mortality and with mortality patterns more similar to Swedes for men. For women, a longer duration of residence is associated with higher mortality, in particular smoking-related mortality, with no tendency of a gradual convergence. The density of Finnish migrants in the local area is modestly associated with mortality. However, CVD mortality tends to be higher and more similar to the level in Finland for migrants in areas with a higher density of Finnish migrants. The results suggest that behavioral changes can reduce mortality differences between migrants and natives and that this can be either beneficial or detrimental to migrant health.

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.