The Black diaspora and health inequalities in the US and England: does where you go and how you get there make a difference?

Sociol Health Illn. 2007 Sep;29(6):811-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2007.01043.x.


The relatively poor health of Black American people in the US and Black Caribbean people in England is a consistent finding in the health inequalities literature. Indeed, there are many similarities between the health, social, economic and demographic profiles of these two groups. However, there is evidence that Caribbean people in the US are faring considerably better. This paper explores differences in the social and economic position of Black American, Black Caribbean and white people in the US and Black Caribbean and white people in England, how these relate to ethnic inequalities in health, and may be underpinned by differences in patterns and contexts of migration. We use similar surveys from the US and England to explore these questions. The US data were drawn from the National Survey of American Life and the English data were drawn from the Health Survey for England and a follow up study. Findings show the advantaged health position of Caribbean American people in comparison with both Caribbean people in England and Black American people. Multivariate analyses indicate that these differences, and the differences in health between Black and white people in the two countries, are a consequence of social and economic inequalities.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black People / ethnology*
  • Emigration and Immigration / statistics & numerical data*
  • England
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Social Class*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • West Indies / ethnology