The mortality of non-Germans in Germany: a comparison of results estimated from the Official Statistics and the Central Register of Foreigners
Rostock Center - discussion paper 26
Rostock, Rostock Center for the Study of Demographic Change (2009)
Most national and international studies concerning migrant mortality find advantages for migrants in health and survival in comparison to host populations. Although that phenomenon has been known for several years, no final explanation could be found until now. Health selection effects (Healthy Migrant Effect and Salmon Bias), acculturation, as well as data artifacts, are the theories mentioned most often in that context, and they are introduced and discussed in this working paper. Subsequently,
we present own mortality estimates for non-Germans in Germany, based on data from the Official Statistics and the Central Register of Foreigners
(Ausländerzentralregister, abbreviated AZR). These results are compared to
estimates from further studies dealing with the mortality of foreigners in Germany. In particular, we examine to what extent our results resemble those of Kohls (2008b), who also worked with AZR and Official Statistics data. Life expectancy at birth calculated from the Official Statistics shows average non-German-German differences of about 20.3 years (men) and 15.8 years (women) in the year 2004. Non-German-German differences are reduced to 4.6 (men) and 3.0 (women) years, when calculated with the AZR data. Due to the recent revision in the AZR, the life expectancy calculated from it; 80.8 years for men and 84.9 years for women, is considered to be more reliable. Unfortunately, the data does not allow us to ascribe that mortality advantage to one of the explanation theories, though we found tendencies pointing towards a Salmon Bias and further data artifacts.
Keywords: Germany, foreigners, mortality