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Gaceta Sanitaria

versión impresa ISSN 0213-9111


GONZALEZ-RABAGO, Yolanda; LA PARRA, Daniel; PUIGPINOS-RIERA, Rosa  y  PONS-VIGUES, Mariona. How to measure the migration status of the child and young population? Studies on health and inequalities in health in Europe. Gac Sanit [online]. 2021, vol.35, n.1, pp.81-90.  Epub 22-Nov-2021. ISSN 0213-9111.


To analyse how the migration status of the child and young population is measured in the scientific literature on health and social inequalities in health in Europe.


A systematic search of the literature published in Spanish, English and French between 2007 and 2017 in PubMed and Social Sciences Citation Index was carried out. The included studies analysed health and social inequalities in health of a population under 18 years old according to its migration origin in Europe. The variables used to measure the migration status were described.


50 articles were included. Twenty studies analysed perinatal health, eleven mental health, nine dental health, and ten studies other variables. The main variables to define migration status were the country of birth (32 studies), either of the child, the mother, or one of the parents, and sometimes in a complementary way. Less frequent was the use of nationality (15 studies), of the child, or of the parents, especially the mother. Migration status is referred to in very different ways, not always comparable and sometimes the variable used is not clearly explained.


There is a great diversity of ways to measure migration status in the child and young population. A better definition and consensus is needed to improve the temporal and geographical comparability of knowledge in this area, which will help to design public policies aimed at reducing social inequalities in health from childhood.

Palabras clave : Social inequalities; Emigration and immigration; Review; Child health; Europe.

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