Are Immigrants from Asia Healthier than Immigrants from Other Regions?: Self-reported Health Status and Functional Difficulties of Immigrants in the USA

  • Juyeon SonEmail author


This study examines how regions of origin are related to immigrant health status in the USA. This paper uses the National Health Interview Survey to examine health status differences between East and Southeast Asian immigrants and immigrants from other regions. The models control for duration, socioeconomic factors, and behavioral factors. Two health indicators are examined: self-reported health and functional difficulties. Results from ordered logit regression analyses demonstrate that some of the regions of birth do significantly predict differences in health for immigrants. Specifically, immigrants from Central America and the former Soviet Union do exhibit significant health disadvantages when compared with immigrants from East and Southeast Asia. The duration effect was positively related to functional difficulties but not to self-reported health status. Overall, economic resources and education typically have a strong relationship to the measures of immigrants’ physical health. It was also found that drinking is persistently associated with better measures of physical health while smoking appears to have the opposite effect.


Immigrant health Region of origin Self-reported health Functional difficulties Asian immigrants Duration Socioeconomic and behavioral factors 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of Wisconsin OshkoshOshkoshUSA

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