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Temporary labor migration and self-rated health in South Africa

Winfred A. Avogo, Illinois State University
Chukwuedozie K. Ajaero, University of the Witwatersrand
Nkechi Obisie-Nmehielle, University of the Witwatersrand

This paper examines internal labor migration in South Africa and its impacts self-rated health. Despite strong evidence that subjective assessment of health is a valid measure of health status, not much research is known of self-rated health in Sub-Saharan African setting. Using data from the National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS), we argue that self-rated health differs within and between temporary migrants and the native-born population. We find that controlling for other variables, migrants are no more likely than non-migrants to rate their health as poor. However, circular migrants who have lived in another province before their current residence were more likely to rate their health as poor compared to non-migrants. We also observe a marginally significant relationship between migration status and education and self-rated health. The implications of these results are discussed in the context of population health policy and the limitations of self-rated health in a sub-Saharan African setting.

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Presented in Poster Session 4