Effect of Immigration on Depression among Older Natives in Western Europe

José J. Escarce and Lorenzo Rocco
Date of Publication: 
December, 2019
Source Organization: 

Immigration has a favorable effect on clinical depression levels among elderly, native populations of developed countries. This study finds a correlation between higher rates of immigration and improved mental health among native-born senior citizens because immigrants tend to provide personal care services for the elderly. The authors studied men and women ages 65 to 80 in five Western European countries using data from the Study of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe. The report notes that a higher level of immigrants increases the supply and lowers the cost of personal and household services – outcomes which enhance the mobility of seniors and increase their social integration in community activities. The authors suggest that robust immigration levels in a particular community greatly reduce symptoms of depression and the likelihood of having clinical depression. The authors recognize that while they were able to establish a correlation between immigration and positive mental health outcome among the native-born elderly, more research is necessary to support their claims regarding the mechanisms for this correlation. (Lydia Grinnell for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

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Escarce, J. J., & Rocco, L. (2019, December). Effect of immigration on depression among older natives in Western Europe (IZA Institute of Labor Economics Discussion Paper No. 12829). Retrieved from https://www.iza.org/publications/dp/12829/effect-of-immigration-on-depression-among-older-natives-in-western-europe