GRMF19-01: Nativity and the Exposure to Poverty in Later Life


  • Leafia Zi Ye


While foreign-born Americans live longer than the native-born, some immigrant groups live in unfavorable socioeconomic conditions. What are the implications of immigrants’ mortality advantage and economic disadvantage for their financial security in later life? In this paper, I explore life course patterns of immigrants’ risks of being in poverty after age 50 and calculate nativity- and race/ethnicity-specific poverty life expectancy at age 65. I use data from the Current Population Survey, US vital life tables, and the National Health Interview Survey-Linked Mortality Files. I find that while the risks of being in poverty remains relatively stable for the US-born after age 50, it increases for the foreign-born. I examine a few mechanisms that may drive this pattern, including mortality selection, the inflow of later-life immigrants, and nativity differences in access to salary/wage income and welfare. Regarding poverty life expectancy, I find that some immigrant groups have longer life expectancy compared with white, US-born adults but shorter poverty-free life expectancy.


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GRMF19-01: Nativity, Retirement and Well-being

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