Population Mobility: Migration in a Global Economy
Migration is a complex global phenomenon that has grown rapidly in recent decades, with estimates of global migration increasing from 75 million in 1965 to 175 million in 2000. While the United States towers above all other countries in the number of immigrants received, Canada, Australia, Western Europe continue to experience large influxes of migrants as well. Internal migration in China and India dwarfs these numbers with the current movement in China from the countryside to the city of 80-120 million people, described as the largest movement of people in human history.
These large migration flows and the resulting integration challenges has led to a great deal of research on immigrant identities, transnational connections between sending and receiving societies, and patterns of social, cultural and economic integration. Yet most research on immigrant and second generation integration has been conducted within a single nation state (with the vast majority done in the United States), with little comparative analysis and without capturing the reality that many immigrants live in two worlds as “transnationals.” Therefore, it is of critical importance to study and systematically compare integration across different societies as well as examine similarities and differences between internal migration within developing countries such as China and India and international migration from less developed nations to more developed countries.
Current projects (listed in alpha order by PI):
Project Title: Causal effects of occupational class and perceived discrimination on health
PI: Dolly A. John, PhD
Funder: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars Program at Harvard
Summary: Some racial/ethnic minority immigrants having better health than their richer, U.S.-born and more acculturated counterparts. Using Health and Retirement Study and National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States data, findings from this study will: 1) help advance knowledge about whether occupational class inequalities in health and health service use widen between mid-life and older age in the U.S. population and whether perceived discrimination causes poor mental health and 2) help inform strategies and policies (at individual and societal level) to reduce inequities and in which priority groups.
Project Title: Returning home to die, or just returning home? Health determinants of return migration in South Africa
PI: Analia Olgiati, PhD
Funder: Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies
Summary: We will pursue a secondary data analysis, relying on longitudinal health, socio-economic and vital information of a sample of approximately 10,000 out-migrants from a rural demographic surveillance site, the Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, residing in urban and mining centers in South Africa as well as identify the causal effect of poor self-assessed health (SAH) on the decision to return home by observing the migrant’s self-rated health status before the return migration took place