Population Research and Policy Review

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 321-337

First online:

Networks Matter: Male Mexican Migrants’ Use of Hospitals

  • Margaret L. RalstonAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology, University of Missouri Email author 
  • , Xavier EscandellAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology, University of Northern Iowa

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Using the behavioral model for health care use and unique data from the Mexican migration project, we explore the factors associated with hospital use among Mexican male migrants to the US. Twenty-eight percent of the respondents reported receiving healthcare from a hospital. In addition to established enabling factors of time in the US and English language ability, this research points to the importance of family social networks as enabling hospital health care use among migrants. Migrants with more ties to family members with migration experience have an increased likelihood of using emergency room healthcare. The research adds to the body of literature by providing evidence that ties to individuals with US migration experience increases migrants’ probability of accessing healthcare at hospitals.


Mexico Migrants Social networks Healthcare Hospitals