Health status and Canada's immigrant population

Soc Sci Med. 2003 Nov;57(10):1981-95. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(03)00064-9.


Given the framework of the 1984 Canada Health Act, the health status of immigrants should be similar to average levels within whole of Canada. Yet, assuming equality of health status between immigrant and non-immigrants, or between immigrant groups is likely an unrealistic and simplistic assumption, given unseen barriers affecting accessibility, the restructuring of the Canadian health care system, and problems with the provision of health care resources to the immigrant population. Using the National Population Health Survey, this paper focuses upon the health status of the immigrant population relative to that of non-immigrants within Canada, with reference to diagnosed conditions, self-assessed health, and the Health Utilities Index Mark 3. Findings indicate that, with the exception of the most recent arrivals, immigrants experience worse health status across most dimensions relative to non-immigrants. Multivariate analysis reveals that age, income adequacy, gender, and home ownership are dimensions upon which health status differs between the two groups.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis / ethnology
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / ethnology
  • Emigration and Immigration / classification
  • Emigration and Immigration / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Health Surveys
  • Heart Diseases / ethnology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / ethnology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Residence Characteristics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Time Factors