Recent Immigrants in Metropolitan Areas: Canada—A Comparative Profile Based on the 2001 Census

Part G: Diversity Across Canada

Place of Residence in Canada

This section of the report compares the characteristics and circumstances of recent immigrants in six areas of residence in Canada based on the size and location of the recent immigrant population. The six areas include Canada’s three largest immigrant destinations—Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal—each with more than 250,000 recent immigrants; the five second-tier immigrant destinations of Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Hamilton, and Ottawa grouped together—each with 40,000 to 100,000 recent immigrants; the five third-tier immigrant destinations of Victoria, Saskatoon, Regina, Québec, and Halifax grouped together—each with 5,000 to 15,000 recent immigrants; and the rest of Canada.

Recent immigrants live in large metropolitan centres

The geographic distributions of the immigrant and Canadian-born populations are markedly different. Most immigrants live in the large cities, and their concentration in the large centres has been increasing. More than 60% of immigrants and 70% of recent immigrants live in Canada’s three largest cities—Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Nearly 80% of immigrants live in the thirteen urban areas for which profiles of recent immigrants have been produced as companion documents to this Canada-wide profile. Less than one-half of the Canadian-born live in these thirteen cities, and only just over one-quarter of persons born in Canada live in the three largest metropolitan areas of the country.

Figure G-1: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—place of residence, Canada, 2001 (percentage distribution)

Figure G-1

Immigrants who landed during the 15 years before the 2001 Census are more concentrated in the three largest cities than immigrants who landed earlier. Considering recent immigrants only, Vancouver’s share is still increasing, while the shares of Toronto and Montreal are stable. The share of the five third-tier immigrant-receiving centres has recovered somewhat recently.

When reviewing this section, readers may want to bear in mind the different nature of the geographic areas being compared. The rest of Canada includes medium-sized and smaller cities and also rural regions and small towns. It is not very urban, and certainly not metropolitan in character. There are significant differences in labour force participation, education and income levels between metropolitan centres, urban areas and rural and small-town Canada. Some of the differences between immigrants and the Canadian-born for Canada as a whole, as presented in this document, are to an extent a reflection of the different environments in which they live.

Table G-1: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—place of residence, Canada, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Toronto Vancouver Montreal Second-tier cities Third-tier cities Rest of Canada Canada
Canadian-born 2,556,900 1,199,800 2,724,200 3,157,200 1,607,500 12,746,400 23,991,900
Immigrants 2,033,000 738,600 621,900 794,800 132,600 1,127,700 5,448,500
Immigrated before 1986 954,400 321,800 328,100 460,900 85,900 805,500 2,956,600
Immigrated 1986-1995 663,000 247,100 179,700 210,000 27,200 201,500 1,528,500
Immigrated 1996-2001 415,500 169,600 114,200 123,900 19,400 120,700 963,300
Total population 4,648,000 1,967,500 3,380,600 3,982,400 1,748,700 13,911,900 29,639,000
 
Canadian-born 11% 5% 11% 13% 7% 53% 100%
Immigrants 37% 14% 11% 15% 2% 21% 100%
Immigrated before 1986 32% 11% 11% 16% 3% 27% 100%
Immigrated 1986-1995 43% 16% 12% 14% 2% 13% 100%
Immigrated 1996-2001 43% 18% 12% 13% 2% 13% 100%
Total population 16% 7% 11% 13% 6% 47% 100%

One-fifth of population in Toronto, Vancouver, one-fiftieth in rest of Canada

In Toronto and Vancouver, recent immigrants make up more than one-fifth of the population (23% and 21%, respectively). In Montreal their share is 9%, in the five second-tier cities taken together 8%, and in the five third-tier cities and the rest of Canada it is about 2.5%. In some urban areas in Ontario that are included in the rest of Canada (Kitchener, London, Windsor), recent immigrants account for 7% to 8% of the population, a share nearly as large as that of Montreal. This means that very few recent immigrants make their home in smaller cities and in rural and small-town Canada.

Table G-2: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—share of population, by place of residence, Canada, 2001 (percentage distribution)
  Toronto Vancouver Montreal Second-tier cities Third-tier cities Rest of Canada Canada
Canadian-born 55% 61% 81% 79% 92% 92% 81%
Immigrants 44% 38% 18% 20% 8% 8% 18%
Immigrated before 1986 21% 16% 10% 12% 5% 6% 10%
Immigrated 1986-1995 14% 13% 5% 5% 1.6% 1.4% 5%
Immigrated 1996-2001 9% 9% 3% 3% 1.1% 0.9% 3%
Total population 4,648,000 1,967,500 3,380,600 3,982,400 1,748,700 13,911,900 29,639,000
Figure G-2: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—share of population, by place of residence, Canada, 2001 (percentage distribution)

Figure G-2

Characteristics of recent immigrants

Mix of immigration categories varies by place of residence

The economic category of immigrants has been the most numerous throughout the fifteen years ending in 2000. This was particularly so in the most recent five years, when nearly three out of five new immigrants entered through this class. Skilled workers and their families made up the lion’s share of the economic category throughout. The number of immigrants entering through the family class has fallen back sharply after surging in the first half of the 1990s. The number of refugees also declined significantly in the second half of the 1990s, after increasing in the first half. As a proportion of all immigrants, however, refugees reached a peak of 18% in the second half of the 1980s.

These proportions are not exactly replicated in the six geographic areas. Vancouver, for instance, draws relatively more economic immigrants and fewer refugees. The same applies to Montreal during the late 1980s and early 1990s, but more recently, refugees make up a relatively large share of new immigrants destined to that city. Refugees tend to disperse more than economic immigrants. They tend to initially go to second-tier and third-tier cities and the rest of Canada and not to Toronto and Vancouver to the same extent as other immigrants.

The table describes the intended destination of immigrants at arrival, and not the immigrant populations. Some immigrants move after arrival, often to larger urban areas. Some leave the country.

Table G-3: Recent immigrants, by immigration category and intended place of residence, Canada, 1986-2000 (number and percentage distribution)
  Toronto Vancouver Montreal Second-tier cities Third-tier cities Rest of Canada Canada
1986-1990
Family class 117,500 28,900 35,800 45,500 7,000 48,600 283,300
Economic immigrants 157,800 44,300 77,500 45,400 7,700 45,400 378,100
Refugees 44,700 9,100 16,200 32,600 6,700 35,200 144,500
Other immigrants 4,200 4,500 1,500 1,210 630 2,760 14,800
Total 324,300 86,800 131,100 124,600 22,100 131,800 820,700
1991-1995
Family class 216,500 61,400 56,000 65,000 9,400 65,000 473,300
Economic immigrants 188,400 95,900 82,400 57,200 19,000 54,000 496,900
Refugees 79,700 10,000 37,500 25,800 5,400 27,200 185,600
Other immigrants 8,500 11,800 1,200 2,540 470 1,290 25,800
Total 493,200 179,000 177,000 150,500 34,400 147,400 1,181,500
1996-2000
Family class 130,000 46,800 33,500 36,000 6,000 42,700 295,000
Economic immigrants 285,500 128,700 58,500 62,200 16,100 46,100 597,100
Refugees 44,700 9,800 29,100 18,800 6,100 21,600 130,100
Other immigrants 6,700 1,800 2,000 280 30 490 11,300
Total 466,900 187,100 123,100 117,100 28,300 111,000 1,033,500
 
1986-1990
Family class 36% 33% 27% 37% 32% 37% 35%
Economic immigrants 49% 51% 59% 36% 35% 34% 46%
Refugees 14% 10% 12% 26% 30% 27% 18%
Other immigrants 1% 5% 1% 1% 3% 2% 2%
Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
1991-1995
Family class 44% 34% 32% 43% 27% 44% 40%
Economic immigrants 38% 54% 47% 38% 55% 37% 42%
Refugees 16% 6% 21% 17% 16% 18% 16%
Other immigrants 2% 7% 1% 2% 1% 1% 2%
Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
1996-2000
Family class 28% 25% 27% 31% 21% 38% 29%
Economic immigrants 61% 69% 48% 53% 57% 42% 58%
Refugees 10% 5% 24% 16% 22% 19% 13%
Other immigrants 1% 1% 2% 0% 0% 0% 1%
Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Facts and Figures 2002 (data set).

Note: The 2001 Census did not ask immigrants about the immigration categories through which they were admitted to Canada. The information in Table G-3 was obtained from records at Citizenship and Immigration Canada and pertains to the time of landing. Immigration categories are described in the Glossary.

Age distribution of Canadian-born reflects recent immigrant share

As shown in Part B, the age structures of the recent immigrant and Canadian-born populations are markedly different. Whereas the proportion of children under 15 years of age is much lower among recent immigrants, the adult population tends to be younger than the Canadian-born, with between 40% and 50% of recent immigrants being between the ages of 24 and 45 years.

Table G-4: Recent immigrants and Canadian-born—place of residence, by age, Canada, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
Age Toronto Van-
couver
Mont-
real
Second-tier cities Third-tier cities Rest of Canada Canada
Under 15 years 784,500 295,300 577,700 734,800 300,600 2,700,400 5,393,200
15 – 24 years 401,200 179,200 378,400 484,300 236,200 1,787,600 3,466,800
25 – 44 years 775,500 371,200 836,600 1,003,600 491,700 3,666,300 7,144,900
45 – 64 years 406,700 241,700 631,400 653,500 393,300 3,071,200 5,397,700
65 years and over 189,000 112,400 300,100 281,000 185,800 1,520,900 2,589,200
Canadian-born 2,556,900 1,199,800 2,724,200 3,157,200 1,607,500 12,746,400 23,991,900
               
Under 15 years 126,100 48,100 37,400 43,200 7,600 54,400 316,800
15 – 24 years 175,500 70,200 48,100 56,100 7,500 54,500 411,800
25 – 44 years 506,400 177,900 146,600 158,600 21,100 143,000 1,153,600
45 – 64 years 206,500 91,500 48,900 57,700 8,100 53,700 466,400
65 years and over 64,000 29,100 12,800 18,300 2,500 16,500 143,200
Recent immigrants 1,078,500 416,700 293,800 333,900 46,600 322,200 2,491,900
 
Under 15 years 31% 25% 21% 23% 19% 21% 22%
15 – 24 years 16% 15% 14% 15% 15% 14% 14%
25 – 44 years 30% 31% 31% 32% 31% 29% 30%
45 – 64 years 16% 20% 23% 21% 24% 24% 22%
65 years and over 7% 9% 11% 9% 12% 12% 11%
Canadian-born 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
 
Under 15 years 12% 12% 13% 13% 16% 17% 13%
15 – 24 years 16% 17% 16% 17% 16% 17% 17%
25 – 44 years 47% 43% 50% 47% 45% 44% 46%
45 – 64 years 19% 22% 17% 17% 17% 17% 19%
65 years and over 6% 7% 4% 5% 5% 5% 6%
Recent immigrants 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

There are larger differences between geographic areas in the age structure of the Canadian-born than that of recent immigrants. To an extent, this reflects the fact that older persons born in Canada are more likely to live outside the major centres than younger persons.

However, the share of children under 15 years of age among the Canadian-born also reflects the presence of immigrants. Children born to immigrant parents after landing in Canada are counted among the Canadian-born and the larger the share of recent immigrants, the larger the share of children among the Canadian-born is likely to be. Toronto, where almost one quarter of the population consists of people who immigrated after 1985, has the highest proportion of children among the Canadian-born of the six parts of Canada. Vancouver, with the second-highest population share of recent immigrants, has the second-highest share of children among the Canadian-born. In the third-tier cities and the rest of Canada, where recent immigrants account for only 2% to 3% of the population, children make up a much smaller share of the Canadian-born population as there are fewer children of immigrants.

Relative level of education of recent immigrants varies by area

As shown above in Part B, immigrant men are more likely to have a post-secondary diploma or degree than Canadian-born men, while the incidence of these qualifications is about the same among immigrant women and their Canadian-born counterparts. This is graphically represented in Figure G-3. Among both men and women, very recent immigrants stand out with a very high share of persons with post-secondary qualifications.

However, this is not how recent immigrants and the Canadian-born compare in Toronto. Post-secondary qualifications are more common among Canadian-born men and women in Toronto than in Canada as a whole, while immigrants in Toronto are slightly less likely to have such qualifications than immigrants generally. As a result, the share of immigrants with a post-secondary education is smaller than that of the Canadian-born in Toronto, while in Canada as a whole it is larger. Only very recent immigrants make a stronger showing in Toronto.

Immigrants and the Canadian-born have different dispersal patterns with respect to level of education. With regard to the Canadian-born, the incidence of completed post-secondary studies (the column on the left of each panel) is high in the cities and low in the rest of Canada, which is predominantly rural and small-town in character. But for immigrants, there is not the same difference between urban and rural Canada. The highest rate of post-secondary qualifications is found among immigrants in third-tier cities. In these cities, as well as in the rest of Canada, the average education level of immigrants, so measured, is higher than that of the Canadian-born, which is not the case in the larger cities.

Turning now to the lower end of the educational attainment spectrum (Figure G-4), immigrants are as likely as the Canadian-born to not have completed a high school education, with immigrant women being more likely than their Canadian-born counterparts to be without a high school diploma, and immigrant men less likely. Again we see pronounced geographic sorting of the Canadian-born, with rates of about 20% or less in the cities and a rate of around 30% in the rest of Canada. Immigrants do not disperse in the same way. The share of immigrants without a high school diploma does not vary much among the cities and the rest of Canada, with the exception of the third-tier cities where the incidence is lowest. The five cities in this group have drawn immigrants with very high educational credentials, and this may have something to do with the fact that four of the five cities are provincial capitals with a large public service and major educational institutions. This geographic pattern continues with the very recent immigrants, even though the educational attainment of the latest immigrants is much higher than that of those who came before them.

Figure G-3: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—25 to 64 years of age, with post-secondary diploma or degree-place of residence, by gender, Canada, 2001 (percentage)

Figure G-3, Women

Figure G-3, Men

Figure G-4: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born, 25 to 64 years of age, with no high school diploma—place of residence, by gender, Canada, 2001 (percentage)

Figure G-4, Women

Figure G-4, Men

Marriage to Canadian-born far more common in rest of Canada

Among recent immigrant families, the proportion consisting of spouses who are both recent immigrants, with or without children, varies significantly among the five geographic areas. It is highest in Toronto and Vancouver, and lowest outside the thirteen cities. The proportion of families consisting of a recent immigrant married to a Canadian-born person shows an opposite and even greater variation. It is only 9% in Toronto. In the third-tier cities and in the rest of Canada, outside the thirteen urban centres, one-quarter of recent immigrant families have one spouse born in Canada. In contrast, the proportion of families consisting of a recent immigrant married to an earlier immigrant is fairly constant across different areas, ranging from 12% to 14%.

Many marital unions of recent immigrants were probably made before immigration. Many such couples have settled in the metropolitan centres. In these centres with their large recent immigrant populations, recent immigrants may well be more likely to marry other recent immigrants when they do so after arrival.

In contrast, couples consisting of a recent immigrant and a Canadian-born are likely to settle in areas selected by the Canadian-born partner rather than in areas favoured by immigrants generally. More than one half of Canadians lives outside the thirteen urban centres, a choice of location probably shared by many Canadian-born persons who are married to immigrants.

Table G-5: Recent immigrant families—family structure by place of residence, showing immigrant status of spouses, Canada, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
Type of family Toronto Vancouver Montreal Second-tier cities Third-tier cities Rest of Canada Canada
Lone-parent family 100,600 31,200 32,800 28,600 3,000 20,800 217,100
Couples with or without children 659,100 258,000 165,100 210,000 27,300 205,700 1,525,200
Both spouses recent immigrants 496,900 193,200 115,800 139,600 15,800 115,900 1,077,100
One spouse earlier immigrant 95,400 33,700 25,200 34,200 3,900 30,000 222,400
One spouse Canadian-born 66,700 31,200 24,200 36,100 7,600 59,900 225,700
 
Lone-parent family 13% 11% 17% 12% 10% 9% 12%
Couples with or without children 87% 89% 83% 88% 90% 91% 88%
Both spouses recent immigrants 65% 67% 58% 59% 52% 51% 62%
One spouse earlier immigrant 13% 12% 13% 14% 13% 13% 13%
One spouse Canadian-born 9% 11% 12% 15% 25% 26% 13%

Participation in the economy

Large gap in labour force participation in Vancouver

The rate of labour force participation varies among the six geographic areas, and more so for women than for men. Labour force participation of the Canadian-born population in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and the ten cities is at or above the national average, and in the rest of the country it is below the national average. The very recent immigrants have the lowest participation rate in Vancouver, and the highest rates in Toronto and the second-tier cities, and, depending on the gender, either third-tier cities or the rest of Canada.

Table G-6: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—labour force 15 to 64 years of age—place of residence, by gender, Canada, 2001 (number)
  Toronto Vancouver Montreal Second-tier cities Third-tier cities Rest of Canada Canada
Women
Canadian-born 618,800 301,300 689,500 826,800 426,100 2,991,300 5,853,800
Immigrants 572,500 196,000 150,600 217,300 32,500 260,600 1,429,400
Immigrated before 1986 265,700 88,200 77,300 120,500 20,100 175,300 747,100
Immigrated 1986-1995 208,100 69,700 49,800 67,100 8,100 59,900 462,700
Immigrated 1996-2001 98,700 38,100 23,500 29,800 4,200 25,400 219,600
Men
Canadian-born 662,200 333,300 742,000 916,800 448,600 3,455,100 6,558,000
Immigrants 634,400 211,000 188,700 248,800 37,600 309,000 1,629,600
Immigrated before 1986 292,100 98,200 95,200 143,100 23,600 210,400 862,600
Immigrated 1986-1995 224,200 71,800 60,900 71,400 9,000 67,600 504,900
Immigrated 1996-2001 118,200 41,000 32,600 34,300 5,000 31,100 262,200
Total
Canadian-born 1,280,900 634,500 1,431,500 1,743,700 874,700 6,446,500 12,411,800
Immigrants 1,206,900 407,000 339,300 466,200 70,100 569,600 3,059,100
Immigrated before 1986 557,800 186,400 172,500 263,600 43,800 385,600 1,609,600
Immigrated 1986-1995 432,300 141,500 110,700 138,500 17,100 127,500 967,600
Immigrated 1996-2001 216,900 79,100 56,100 64,100 9,200 56,500 481,900

The gap in labour force participation between very recent immigrants and the Canadian-born is smallest in the rest of Canada and largest in Vancouver. The gap in labour force participation is very small for new immigrant men in the rest of Canada, and there appears to be virtually no adjustment period. For women, too, the gap in the rate of labour force participation is smaller in the rest of Canada than in any other part of the country.

In combination with the unemployment rates presented next, this suggests that immigrants who live outside the thirteen urban centres have immigrated because there were jobs for them in those locations. Immigrants who do not have jobs tend to go to the urban centres, especially the three largest cities. Vancouver offered the greatest challenge for recent immigrants looking for work, in comparison to the Canadian-born.

Figure G-5: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 to 64 years of age-labour force participation rates, by place of residence and gender, Canada, 2001

Figure G-5, Women

Figure G-5, Men

Table G-7: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 to 64 years of age—labour force participation rates, by place of residence and gender, Canada, 2001
  Toronto Vancouver Montreal Second-tier cities Third-tier cities Rest of Canada Canada
Women
Canadian-born 78% 77% 73% 77% 74% 70% 73%
Immigrants 69% 65% 63% 71% 69% 67% 68%
 Immigrated before 1986 73% 73% 67% 73% 72% 67% 71%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 70% 63% 63% 71% 70% 69% 68%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 60% 54% 54% 61% 58% 58% 58%
Men
Canadian-born 84% 83% 82% 86% 82% 81% 82%
Immigrants 83% 77% 80% 84% 82% 83% 82%
 Immigrated before 1986 86% 85% 83% 87% 84% 83% 85%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 82% 73% 79% 83% 83% 83% 81%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 78% 67% 74% 78% 72% 78% 75%
Total
Canadian-born 81% 80% 78% 81% 78% 76% 78%
Immigrants 76% 71% 71% 77% 76% 75% 75%
 Immigrated before 1986 79% 79% 75% 80% 78% 75% 78%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 76% 68% 71% 77% 76% 76% 74%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 68% 60% 64% 69% 65% 67% 66%

Unemployment highest in Montreal

For the Canadian-born, unemployment rates are lower in the metropolitan and urban centres than in the rest of Canada. By contrast, the unemployment rate among recent immigrants is about the same in the rest of Canada as in the country as a whole. Recent immigrants, whether they landed during the 1986-1995 period or later, are more likely to experience unemployment in Montreal than in other parts of the country.

Table G-8: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—unemployed 15 to 64 years of age—place of residence, by gender, Canada, 2001 (number)
  Toronto Vancouver Montreal Second-tier cities Third-tier cities Rest of Canada Canada
Women
Canadian-born 32,100 18,400 40,400 43,000 26,900 247,900 408,700
Immigrants 44,200 17,200 19,300 14,000 2,400 18,800 115,800
 Immigrated before 1986 12,200 4,600 6,600 4,800 1,000 9,200 38,400
 Immigrated 1986-1995 17,000 6,600 7,100 5,400 700 5,700 42,400
 Immigrated 1996-2001 15,100 5,900 5,600 3,800 700 3,900 35,000
Men
Canadian-born 32,900 22,800 48,700 48,600 32,400 329,500 514,800
Immigrants 37,100 16,800 21,800 14,000 2,500 19,200 111,300
 Immigrated before 1986 11,100 5,300 7,100 5,600 1,100 10,500 40,700
 Immigrated 1986-1995 13,700 6,400 7,900 5,200 600 5,300 39,000
 Immigrated 1996-2001 12,200 5,100 6,900 3,200 800 3,400 31,600
Total
Canadian-born 64,900 41,100 89,100 91,600 59,300 577,400 923,400
Immigrants 81,300 34,000 41,100 28,000 4,800 37,900 227,100
 Immigrated before 1986 23,300 10,000 13,700 10,500 2,100 19,600 79,100
 Immigrated 1986-1995 30,700 13,000 14,900 10,600 1,200 11,000 81,500
 Immigrated 1996-2001 27,300 11,100 12,500 6,900 1,500 7,300 66,600

Table G-9: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 to 64 years of age—unemployment rates, by place of residence and gender, Canada, 2001
  Toronto Vancouver Montreal Second-tier cities Third-tier cities Rest of Canada Canada
Women
Canadian-born 5% 6% 6% 5% 6% 8% 7%
Immigrants 8% 9% 13% 6% 7% 7% 8%
 Immigrated before 1986 5% 5% 9% 4% 5% 5% 5%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 8% 10% 14% 8% 8% 10% 9%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 15% 16% 24% 13% 17% 15% 16%
Men
Canadian-born 5% 7% 7% 5% 7% 10% 8%
Immigrants 6% 8% 12% 6% 7% 6% 7%
 Immigrated before 1986 4% 5% 7% 4% 5% 5% 5%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 6% 9% 13% 7% 6% 8% 8%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 10% 13% 21% 9% 16% 11% 12%
Total
Canadian-born 5% 6% 6% 5% 7% 9% 7%
Immigrants 7% 8% 12% 6% 7% 7% 7%
 Immigrated before 1986 4% 5% 8% 4% 5% 5% 5%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 7% 9% 13% 8% 7% 9% 8%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 13% 14% 22% 11% 16% 13% 14%

Unemployment rates clearly are lower for earlier than for very recent immigrants in all areas of the country, with immigrants who landed during the 1986-1995 period being in an intermediate situation. This pattern is evident in all areas shown in the table. This suggests that with time, very recent immigrants, wherever they may have settled, will adjust to the Canadian labour market and ultimately have about the same risk of becoming unemployed as persons born in Canada, or a lower risk.

Figure G-6: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 to 64 years of age—unemployment rates, by place of residence and gender, Canada, 2001

Figure G-6, Women

Figure G-6, Men

Income and housing

Relative income level of recent immigrants varies by place of residence

The average incomes of the Canadian-born and of immigrants are about the same, both for women and for men. This is the average income, for the year 2000, of all persons 15 years of age and over, including those who reported no income.

But within this overall near-equality there are vary large differences among immigrants by period of immigration. Immigrants who landed before 1986 have average incomes some 15% higher than the Canadian-born, in part a result of the fact that on average they are older than the Canadian-born, while the income of very recent immigrants is about two-thirds of that of the Canadian-born.

Table G-10: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 years of age and over—average income, by place of residence and gender, Canada, 2000
  Toronto Vancouver Montreal Second-tier cities Third-tier cities Rest of Canada Canada
Women
Canadian-born $29,900 $26,200 $22,600 $25,000 $21,800 $19,000 $21,800
Immigrants $22,900 $20,500 $18,600 $22,200 $23,200 $20,200 $21,400
 Immigrated before 1986 $27,300 $25,800 $21,500 $25,000 $25,800 $21,500 $24,500
 Immigrated 1986-1995 $19,200 $17,000 $15,100 $18,100 $18,700 $17,200 $18,000
 Immigrated 1996-1999 $14,600 $12,600 $12,500 $14,900 $13,200 $13,100 $13,800
Men
Canadian-born $48,800 $40,300 $35,800 $41,600 $33,800 $31,700 $35,700
Immigrants $37,400 $32,200 $30,500 $38,800 $37,300 $37,600 $36,200
 Immigrated before 1986 $45,900 $41,200 $36,400 $44,300 $41,500 $40,000 $42,300
 Immigrated 1986-1995 $29,000 $24,200 $22,500 $29,500 $28,900 $30,400 $27,700
 Immigrated 1996-1999 $25,900 $21,100 $20,900 $27,700 $22,800 $26,500 $24,600
Total
Canadian-born $39,100 $33,200 $28,900 $33,200 $27,500 $25,200 $28,600
Immigrants $29,800 $26,000 $24,400 $30,200 $30,000 $28,600 $28,500
 Immigrated before 1986 $36,200 $33,200 $28,800 $34,400 $33,400 $30,500 $33,100
 Immigrated 1986-1995 $23,800 $20,400 $18,700 $23,500 $23,500 $23,500 $22,600
 Immigrated 1996-1999 $20,000 $16,500 $16,700 $21,000 $17,900 $19,400 $19,000

Average income is higher in the cities than in the rest of Canada, and it is generally highest in the largest cities, except for Montreal. The differences among the six parts of the country in the level of income of the Canadian-born are quite large, and while earlier immigrants also have different average incomes depending on where they live, the differences are smaller.

Relative to the income of the Canadian-born, the average incomes of recent and very recent immigrants are highest outside the three metropolitan centres. Especially in the rest of Canada, recently immigrated men and women have relatively high incomes, and they appear to catch up quickly. This pattern also applies to earlier immigrants, and thus to immigrants generally. The average income of immigrants in Toronto is 77% of that of the Canadian-born in that city, and in Vancouver, Montreal and the five second-tier cities the average income of immigrants is well below parity. Although incomes for the Canadian-born are lower in Montreal than in Toronto or Vancouver, it is significant that immigrant incomes in Montreal are generally higher, relative to the Canadian-born population, than in either Toronto or Vancouver. The average income of very recent immigrants is only about one-half of that of the Canadian-born. In the other five cities and the rest of Canada, however, immigrant incomes exceed those of the Canadian-born, and even very recent immigrants have relatively high incomes.

Table G-11: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 years of age and over—immigrant average income as percentage of average income of Canadian-born, by place of residence and gender, Canada, 2000
  Toronto Vancouver Montreal Second-tier cities Third-tier cities Rest of Canada Canada
Women
Canadian-born 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Immigrants 77% 78% 82% 89% 107% 107% 98%
 Immigrated before 1986 92% 98% 95% 100% 118% 113% 113%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 64% 65% 67% 72% 86% 90% 82%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 49% 48% 55% 60% 61% 69% 63%
Men
Canadian-born 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Immigrants 77% 80% 85% 93% 111% 119% 101%
 Immigrated before 1986 94% 102% 102% 106% 123% 126% 119%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 59% 60% 63% 71% 86% 96% 78%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 53% 52% 58% 66% 67% 84% 69%
Total
Canadian-born 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Immigrants 76% 78% 85% 91% 109% 113% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 92% 100% 100% 104% 121% 121% 116%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 61% 62% 65% 71% 86% 93% 79%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 51% 50% 58% 63% 65% 77% 66%

Low incidence of low income outside thirteen urban centres

The proportion of recent immigrants with income below the median is close to the national average in Toronto, and above the national average in Vancouver and Montreal. In contrast, in the other cities and the rest of the country, it is below the national average. With regard to the Canadian-born, the largest proportion is found outside the urban centres. With respect to this measure of income distribution, the relative position of recent immigrants is most favourable in the rest of Canada.

Table G-12: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—family or individual income below the median and below one-half of the median, by place of residence, Canada, 2000 (number and percentage)
  Toronto Vancouver Montreal Second-tier cities Third-tier cities Rest of Canada Canada
Income below the median
Canadian-born 1,005,800 490,900 1,186,200 1,380,000 733,600 6,473,800 11,270,200
Immigrants 1,013,900 379,500 333,800 395,900 63,200 597,300 2,783,700
 Immigrated
 before 1986
433,000 140,800 163,300 218,200 39,400 434,400 1,429,100
 Immigrated
 1986-1995
374,600 144,700 114,500 118,200 14,400 108,300 874,700
 Immigrated
 1996-1999
206,400 94,000 56,000 59,500 9,400 54,600 479,900
Income below one-half of the median
Canadian-born 334,000 172,200 405,500 452,700 250,900 2,241,200 3,856,400
Immigrants 405,400 163,400 135,800 142,800 21,600 207,900 1,076,800
 Immigrated
 before 1986
162,300 50,100 57,000 69,300 11,600 144,600 495,000
 Immigrated
 1986-1995
147,900 63,200 49,500 45,900 5,300 39,500 351,300
 Immigrated
 1996-1999
95,100 50,000 29,300 27,600 4,600 23,800 230,600
 
Income below the median
Canadian-born 39% 41% 44% 44% 46% 51% 47%
Immigrants 53% 54% 57% 52% 50% 55% 54%
 Immigrated
 before 1986
45% 44% 50% 47% 46% 54% 48%
 Immigrated
 1986-1995
57% 59% 64% 56% 53% 54% 57%
 Immigrated
 1996-1999
70% 73% 72% 68% 69% 65% 70%
Income below one-half of the median
Canadian-born 13% 14% 15% 14% 16% 18% 16%
Immigrants 21% 23% 23% 19% 17% 19% 21%
 Immigrated
 before 1986
17% 16% 17% 15% 14% 18% 17%
 Immigrated
 1986-1995
22% 26% 28% 22% 19% 20% 23%
 Immigrated
 1996-1999
32% 39% 37% 32% 34% 29% 34%

Note: Median income is defined in the Glossary.

Figure G-7: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—family or individual income below one-half of the median, by place of residence, Canada, 2000 (percentage)

Figure G-7

Higher rates of crowding in Toronto

The incidence of crowded housing—more persons than rooms in the dwelling—among recent immigrants, which is many times higher than among the Canadian-born, is highest in Toronto, and lowest outside the thirteen urban centres.

Table G-13: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—incidence of living in crowded accommodations, by place of residence, 2001 (number and percentage)
  Toronto Vancouver Montreal Second-tier cities Third-tier cities Rest of Canada Canada
Canadian-born households 19,300 16,400 21,600 27,100 14,900 122,300 221,600
Earlier immigrant households 25,500 9,400 7,600 8,600 1,400 11,000 63,500
Recent immigrant households 117,100 37,400 30,600 27,300 2,900 20,300 235,600
 1986-1995 immigrants 63,400 18,000 14,900 14,000 900 10,800 121,900
 1996-2001 immigrants
 with others
28,000 9,300 7,500 6,300 800 4,700 56,600
 1996-2001 immigrants
 only
25,800 10,100 8,200 7,000 1,200 4,800 57,200
 
Canadian-born households 3% 4% 2% 2% 2% 3% 3%
Earlier immigrant households 5% 5% 4% 3% 2% 2% 3%
Recent immigrant households 27% 23% 22% 18% 12% 13% 22%
 1986-1995 immigrants 25% 19% 18% 15% 6% 11% 19%
 1996-2001 immigrants
 with others
34% 30% 31% 23% 18% 17% 28%
 1996-2001 immigrants
 only
29% 26% 25% 25% 26% 20% 26%
Date Modified: