Determinants of Life Satisfaction of Economic Migrants Coming from Developing Countries to Countries with Very High Human Development: a Systematic Review

11 May, 2020

Reference: Paloma, V., Escobar-Ballesta, M., Galván-Vega, B., Díaz-Bautista, J.D., & Benítez, I. (2020). Determinants of life satisfaction of economic migrants coming from developing countries to countries with very high human development: A systematic review. Applied Research in Quality of Life. doi:

Abstract: Expectations held by economic migrants about improving their post-mobility lifesatisfaction are not always met. Therefore, there is a need to guide the design of evidence-based policies and interventions to enhance life satisfaction equity between immigrant and host populations in receiving contexts. This study aims to identify the main determinants that impact life satisfaction of economic migrants coming from developing countries and settled in receiving societies that have a very high Human Development Index according to the United Nations Development Programme (Human Development Indices and Indicators, 2018, New York: UNDP). Following a systematic review process using the PubMed, PsycINFO, Scopus, and Web of Science databases, 30 articles published between 2005 and 2018 were selected. The results indicate that economic migrants’ life satisfaction is facilitated by twelve determinants across three categories: structural integration (access to culturally competent community resources, housing conditions, legal status, and working conditions); social and cultural inclusion (adaptation to the target culture, community engagement, perceived discrimination, and social support network); and individual strengths (financial security, health, linguistic competence, and roots). An integrative conceptual framework of economic migrants’ life satisfaction is provided and implications for research and professional intervention in the field are discussed.

Keywords: Economic migration, Life satisfaction, Policy intervention, Systematic review.

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