Selection, adaptation and advantage. Later-life health and wellbeing of English migrants to Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Vanessa Loh
  • Hal Kendig
  • Kate O'Loughlin
  • Julie Byles


This study investigates the long-term impact of English adult migration to Australia by comparing health and wellbeing outcomes in later life of English migrants to their counterparts who remained in England (non-migrants) and to native-born Australians. It traces the influence of selection, adaptation and advantage as three mechanisms that can influence migrant health in later life. The analysis utilises data for a cohort aged 60 to 64 years from the Australian Life Histories and Health (LHH) survey (n=1088), a sub-study of the Australian 45 and Up Study, in combination with a matched cohort from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) (n=1139). Social rather than health characteristics were found to play a role in the selection of English migrants. English migrants reported higher subjective quality of life than English non-migrants, and better physical health than the Australian-born, but their mental health outcomes did not significantly differ from the other cohorts. The comparatively better later-life outcomes for the English migrants can partly be linked to advantage, as they hold higher prestige jobs than Australian-born at lower levels of education.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Early online date29 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018