Irish and Scots migrants die young in England and Wales

Irish and Scottish migrants who move to English and Wales are more likely to die younger than any other minority group, public health watchdogs have warned.

The evidence, based on census and death registration data and including people between the ages of 20-69, compares results from different groups with the general population.

Mortality rates among Irish and Scottish migrants were found to be significantly higher than those from other communities, such as people from Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin.

Mary Tilki, chairwoman of the Federation of Irish Societies, said: “Although the Irish population is an ageing one, that alone does not explain the high levels of long-term illness experienced by Irish people. The health of men is a particular concern. Community organisations have concerns about the long-term effect of a lifetime in the building trade.”

Laurence Gruer, director of public health science at NHS Scotland, said: “We are constantly asking ourselves why Scotland’s health is so bad… one idea put forward is that Scots who emigrate may be the healthy ones, leaving behind a residue of the weak and infirm. This finding may contradict that.”

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