Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 1090–1098 | Cite as

The Size of an Ethno-Cultural Community as a Social Determinant of Health for Chinese Seniors

  • Shirley Chau
  • Daniel W. L. Lai
Original Paper


The present study investigated the link between the sizes of the Chinese community to the health of Chinese seniors in Canada. A secondary data analysis of survey data from a representative sample of 2,272 Chinese older adults aged 55 and over was conducted. Hierarchical regression analyses were performed to assess the effects of the size of Chinese communities in Chinese seniors’ health. Chinese seniors residing in the community with a small Chinese population reported better physical and mental health than the Chinese seniors residing in communities with a larger Chinese population. The findings were contrary to expectations that health of Chinese seniors should be higher in cities with large Chinese communities. These findings raise new questions for future investigations into the dynamics and impact of ethnic community size, and the importance of studying intragroup differences within ethno-cultural groups to better understand health disparities in ethnic groups.


Immigrants Seniors Ethnic community size Health Chinese 



This research was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council under the Strategic Theme: Society, Culture and Health of Canadians (Grant No: 828-1999-1032). The authors thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on previous versions of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social Work, Faculty of Health and Social DevelopmentUniversity of British ColumbiaKelownaCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of Social WorkUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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