Migration and Health of Young Adults 15-29 years old: Evidence from Kanchanaburi Demographic Surveillance System (DSS), Thailand

Sureeporn Punpuing, Mahidol University

The neoclassical migration theory stated that the moves will result in improved economic well-being for migrants and their families, while health status may constitute consequences of movement in non-monetary costs and benefits. It is expected that health status of migrants is worse than non-migrants because of being in the unfamiliar environment at the destination. This study is based on data of 6,973 young adults aged 15-29, living in the Kanchanaburi DSS area. Health status, including social functioning, emotional well-being and its role limitation, and pain were measured by SF-36 Health Survey. Among lifetime internal migrants, health status was worse than non-migrants, but the opposite is for the lifetime cross-border migrants, the majority of whom are from Myanmar. Perhaps the cross-border migrants are selected for the most physically and emotional healthy. However, focus studies are needed to determine whether the cross-border migrants perceive their health status due to their assimilation to the destination or as a survival strategy.

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Presented in Session 29: Interrelationships of Migration and Health