International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 58, Issue 6, pp 845–854 | Cite as

Migration and geographical inequalities in health in the Netherlands: an investigation of age patterns

  • Birthe Jongeneel-GrimenEmail author
  • Mariël Droomers
  • Karien Stronks
  • J. A. M. van Oers
  • Anton E. Kunst
Original Article



This paper estimates, for six different age groups, whether and how migration influences inequalities in health between deprived and non-deprived neighbourhoods in the Netherlands.


Data were accessed from the Netherlands Housing Survey 2006. Using multi-level logistic regression analyses, we compared the health of migrants with that of nonmigrants in the area of origin and assessed the role of demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. Next, we assessed the magnitude of health differences between deprived versus non-deprived areas among migrants and non-migrants.


For many age groups, migrants into non-deprived areas were healthier and migrants into deprived areas had similar levels of health compared with non-migrant populations in the area of origin. These differences in health were not explained by demographic and socio-economic characteristics. For all ages and for people aged 25–34 years we found smaller area inequalities in health among migrants compared with non-migrants. For most other age groups, about equally large differences were observed.


For most age groups, the results do not provide empirical support to the expectation that migration would enlarge health differences between deprived and non-deprived neighbourhoods.


The Netherlands Health inequalities Selective migration Age patterns Socioeconomic factors Morbidity 



The present study is part of the URBAN40 study, which is supported by a grant of The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw). The authors wish to thank Wim Busschers for advice on and assistance with statistical analyses.


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Birthe Jongeneel-Grimen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mariël Droomers
    • 1
  • Karien Stronks
    • 1
  • J. A. M. van Oers
    • 2
    • 3
  • Anton E. Kunst
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public Health, Academic Medical CentreUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Centre for Public Health Status and Forecasting, National Institute for Public Health and the EnvironmentBilthovenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Academic Collaborative Centre for Public Health Brabant, Tranzo, Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of TilburgTilburgThe Netherlands

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