The Immigrant Mortality Advantage in Canada, 2001 and 2011

  • Frank TrovatoEmail author


This study examines differential mortality between immigrant and native-born populations in Canada with respect to eighteen causes of death categories encompassing chronic and external types of mortality over two census periods, 2001 and 2011. The following interrelated questions are addressed: (1) what is the magnitude of the immigrant mortality advantage relative to native-born Canadians? (2) How does it change over time? (3) Is the migrant advantage uniform across all causes of death? (4) Does the advantage for immigrants prevail across all age groups? (5) Are immigrant men and women equally advantaged across causes of death? These queries are explored with multivariate analysis guided by a conceptual framework that specifies differential mortality as a function of nativity factors, health selection, and acculturation effects. It is shown that nativity status exerts a strong independent effect, and that over time, migrants experienced larger reductions in risk than did native-born Canadians. Further analysis revealed support for both health selection and acculturative explanations. Sex differences are found, with male immigrants enjoying a small but significant relative mortality advantage compared to immigrant females. The paper discusses these findings and closes with suggestions for further study.


Immigrants Native-born Canada Mortality Causes of death Log-rate model 



The analysis presented in this paper was conducted at the Canada Research Data Centre at the University of Alberta which is part of the Canadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN).

Funding Information

The services and activities provided by the Research Data Center are made possible by the financial or in-kind support of the SSHRC, the CIHR, the CFI, Statistics Canada, and the University of Alberta.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


The views expressed in this paper do not necessarily represent the CRDCN’s or that of its partners.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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