Understanding Society Scientific Conference 2019 - , University of Essex

The impact of ethnic diversity on well-being and health

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Day:Thu 4 Jul
  • Miguel Ramos, University of Oxford

Societies are inevitably becoming more ethnically diverse and these changes are posing new challenges as people are interacting with new cultures, norms, and values, or avoiding such encounters. Previous research has largely focused on the impacts of ethnic diversity on individuals’ subjective perceptions such as trust, leaving the possible impacts on individuals’ quality of life unstudied. Our work explores whether living in diverse areas has detectable effects on people’s wellbeing and health. Using data from the Understanding Society combined with UK national census, we investigate the relationship between ethnic diversity of local areas and individuals’ stress level, and how stress responds differently to positive and negative correlates of diversity. Our analytical framework is based on a set of advanced and rigorous statistical methods, such as longitudinal, multilevel and structural equation modelling techniques. In line with the latest research developments, we measure ethnic diversity in various ways to eliminate the concerns for different measures of diversity leading to different theoretical predictions and empirical results. Our findings will shed light on understanding the effects of ethnic diversity in the UK and advance knowledge in the health policy and social cohesion literature.