Crowded living and its association with mental ill-health among recently-arrived migrants in Sweden: a quantitative study

Author(s): Elisabeth MANGRIO, Slobodan ZDRAVKOVIC



Housing and neighbourhood conditions are widely acknowledged important social determinants of health and health inequalities that persist in developed countries despite general improvements in health outcomes across populations. Previous research has investigated what effect crowded living conditions have on mental health and concluded that women living in crowded conditions were more likely to suffer from depression. In contrast, men living in the same conditions responded with withdrawal or aggression. To the best of our knowledge, only a few studies have examined the association between recently-arrived migrants living in crowded conditions and poor mental health. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between crowded living conditions among recently-arrived migrants in Sweden and mental ill-health. The result is based on 681 migrants who completed and returned questionnaires in 2015–2016.


The analyses, independent of gender, resulted in a significant unadjusted odds ratio of 1.46 (95% CI 1.05–2.03); even after adjustments were made, the association remained significant OR 1.47 (1.05–2.07). When adding stability in housing into the adjustment-model, the OR did not remain significant OR 1.40 (0.99–1.99), P-value 0.061.


  • Migration
  • Crowded living
  • Mental ill-health

Tags: Sweden, Refugees, Asylum seekers, Living conditions, Housing

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