Immigration has increased worldwide. Immigrants in the destination country often experience substandard living and working conditions when compared to natives. They also frequently
suffer from poorer health than natives. To date, we know little about the relationship between
working life and health in immigrant groups. Considering these trends, this project aims to increase our understanding of the working life situation of immigrants and their children and its significance for health.

Basic Information

Project manager: Mikael Rostila
Period: 2012-01 – 2016-12
Funding: The Swedish Research Council (VR)
Project members: Andrea Dunlavy (CHESS), Anthony Garcy (CHESS), Petra Lindfors (Department of Psychology), Hélio Manhica (CHESS), Jan Saarela (Åbo Akademi University), Susanna Toivanen (NCC and CHESS)


Description of the project:

Studies show that immigrants generally have poorer health than native-born populations. Several studies also show that immigrants’ situation in the labour market is characterized by a lower employment rate, a higher share of temporary employment contracts, and lower wages than among natives. Considering that increased migration is a reality in countries worldwide, and that immigrants have been singled out as a social category with troublesome health and working conditions, we know relatively little about the links between working life and health in immigrant groups. Focusing on the working population in Sweden, the overarching aim of this
project is to investigate the associations between working life and immigrants health. The project focuses on three interrelated mechanisms: (1) ethnic segregation in working life, (2) status incongruence, and (3) exposure to adverse work environment. Previous studies show that these three mechanisms are important for health in working populations, but there are only a few studies focusing specifically on immigrant groups. We will analyse national registers and representative survey data by using quantitative statistical methods (Cox hazard regression, logistic regression and multi-level regression). The materials are very well suited for investigating the proposed research questions. The results will expand our understanding of the current health differentials between immigrants and natives in the working population.