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Impact of International Immigration on Life Satisfaction of Local Residents in England: Exploring the Differentiated Relationships across Socioeconomic Gradients

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Objectives: Large-scale influxes of international immigrants into England have stimulated heated debate about whether the increasing ethnic diversity has undermined local residents' life satisfaction and wellbeing. In this paper, we provide the first nationally representative evidence on the relationship between international immigration and local residents' life satisfaction in England. Methods: We used multilevel linear regression models to analyze nationally representative data (2011-2012) from 23,143 respondents and neighborhood level data from the 2011 Census. Results: The results show that the local share of international immigrants who arrived in 2010-2011, in particular the non-white immigrants, has a significantly adverse impact on local people's life satisfaction. Further analysis shows that the adverse impact of migration is particularly pronounced for local residents who do not have a job or from intermediate social class. Conclusions: This study enables a better understanding of the link between international immigration and life satisfaction, highlighting the need of public policies to be more targeted to areas that experienced great influxes of international immigrants by facilitating positive interactions and communication between international immigrants and the local residents.
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Keywords: ETHNIC DIVERSITY; IMMIGRANTS; LIFE SATISFACTION; SOCIAL CLASS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology, School of Public Administration, Hohai University, Nanjing, China; Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom 2: Researcher, London, United Kingdom 3: Research Fellow, Centre for Business Research and Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom;, Email: [email protected] 4: Institute of Sociology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China 5: Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom 6: School of Economics, Renmin University of China, China 7: Alexander Academy, Vancouver, Canada 8: Shanxi Eye Hospital, Taiyuan, China 9: Professor, Nanjing Academy of Social Sciences, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China

Publication date: July 1, 2019

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

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