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"Differences in Subjective Well-being Between Older Migrants and Natives in Europe"

Gregor Sand, Stefan Gruber

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, advance article, 2016

This study examines disparities in subjective well-being (SWB) among older migrants and natives across several European countries using data from the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Our results show a significant SWB gap between migrants and non-migrants that diminishes with increasing age. While migrants from Northern and Central Europe have similar SWB levels as natives, Southern European, Eastern European, and Non-European migrants have significantly lower levels of SWB than the native population. The immigrant-native gap becomes smaller but remains significant after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics and health, the financial situation, citizenship, age at migration, and length of residence. Additionally, we find that the size of the SWB gap varies largely across countries. Current family reunion policies as measured by the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) correlate with these country differences. The immigrant-native gap is bigger in countries with restrictive and smaller in countries with open policies.

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