Data from a cross-sectional sample of 21 620 Swedish-born individuals and 2072 foreign-born individuals, aged 16–74 years were used to examine the association between socio-economic status (SES), country of birth (as an indicator of migration experiences), self-reported health status (SRHS) and diabetes. The survey included 31 foreign- and 446 Swedish-born individuals with diabetes mellitus. After accounting for age, sex, circulatory disease, SES (education, car ownership), social network, physical activity, smoking and body mass index, diabetics demonstrated a 3.7 higher risk of poor SRHS than non-diabetics. Foreign-born individuals had the same risk of self-reported diabetes as Swedish-born individuals. All three SES indicators: low/intermediate attained level of education, no car ownership, or renting a dwelling, were significant independent risk factors of diabetes mellitus after adjustment for age, sex, country of birth, circulatory disease, social network and life style. Moreover, low SES was an important risk factor of poor SRHS among diabetics. There was a nonsignificant borderline association between country of birth and poor SRHS among diabetics. These findings suggest that individuals with diabetes have a substantially increased risk of poor SRHS, and that low SES and country of birth (migration experiences) may contribute to further augment poor health among diabetics.