Despite having lower levels of education and limited access to healthcare services, Mexican immigrants report better health outcomes than U.S.-born individuals. Existing work suggests that the Mexican health advantage may be partially attributable to selective return migration among less healthy migrants—often referred to as salmon bias. This lecture pulls from a study that took advantage of a rare opportunity to observe the health status of Mexican-origin males as they cross the Mexican border. To assess whether unhealthy migrants are disproportionately represented among those who return, data was used from two California-based studies: The California Health Interview Survey and the Migrante Study, a survey that samples Mexican migrants entering and leaving the U.S. through Tijuana. This lecture will shed light on processes of health selection as well as the sociodemographic characteristics of voluntary and involuntary return migrants—two vulnerable populations that are difficult to capture with traditional methods of data collection.

For further information, please contact: Sylvia Lotito at or 949-824-3344

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