Post-migration emotional well-being among black South Africans

Type Journal Article - SSM - Mental Health
Title Post-migration emotional well-being among black South Africans
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2022
Page numbers 100173
Internal migration has been an institutionalized part of life for Black South Africans from the 1800s, when men left their rural homes to work in mines, through apartheid and into the present. Like other settings in the Global South, we know surprisingly little about the emotional well-being of migrants, especially in sub-Saharan Africa contexts. We investigate changes in the emotional well-being of 2281 working-age Black South Africans after migration, drawing on four waves of data, from 2008 to 2015, from the nationally representative National Income Dynamics Study. Fixed-effects regressions show that migrants exhibit changes in life satisfaction as well as proclivity towards depression but that these outcomes vary by distance of move and type of move—moving within or between provinces. As South Africa's health policies expand beyond addressing infectious diseases, it is important to consider mental health particularly of those who face the necessity of migration to sustain a livelihood.

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