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

Part E: Income

Sources and level of income

Sources of income vary by time in Canada

Six in ten Canadian-born women and seven in ten Canadian-born men had earnings from employment in the year 2000. On average, the share of recent immigrant men and women with income from employment is the same or slightly higher than that of the Canadian-born. For immigrants who arrived before 1986, the proportion with earnings is lower because they tend to be older and many are in retirement. The share of men and women with employment income increased for all groups since 1995, except for earlier immigrants and Canadian-born men. In 2000, a much larger share of recent immigrant men and women reported income from employment in comparison to 1995.

Table E-1: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 years of age and over—sources of income, by gender, Québec Census Metropolitan Area, 2000 (number and percentage)
  No income Employment income Other private income Government transfers Total
Women
Canadian-born 17,570 175,720 93,190 197,080 284,980
Immigrants 610 4,450 2,160 5,240 7,560
 Immigrated before 1986 170 2,180 1,450 2,720 3,860
 Immigrated 1986-1995 300 1,340 380 1,550 2,280
 Immigrated 1996-1999 140 930 330 970 1,420
Men
Canadian-born 9,730 190,170 76,680 160,220 259,070
Immigrants 300 6,020 2,470 5,610 8,470
 Immigrated before 1986 30 3,130 1,820 3,010 4,680
 Immigrated 1986-1995 180 1,940 410 1,640 2,470
 Immigrated 1996-1999 90 960 250 960 1,320
Total
Canadian-born 27,300 365,890 169,870 357,300 544,050
Immigrants 910 10,480 4,630 10,840 16,010
 Immigrated before 1986 210 5,320 3,270 5,720 8,540
 Immigrated 1986-1995 480 3,270 790 3,180 4,740
 Immigrated 1996-1999 230 1,890 580 1,940 2,740
 
Women
Canadian-born 6% 62% 33% 69% 100%
Immigrants 8% 59% 29% 69% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 4% 56% 38% 70% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 13% 59% 16% 68% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 10% 65% 23% 68% 100%
Men
Canadian-born 4% 73% 30% 62% 100%
Immigrants 3% 71% 29% 66% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 1% 67% 39% 64% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 7% 78% 16% 66% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 6% 73% 19% 73% 100%
Total
Canadian-born 5% 67% 31% 66% 100%
Immigrants 6% 65% 29% 68% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 2% 62% 38% 67% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 10% 69% 17% 67% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 8% 69% 21% 71% 100%

Note: Incomes are for the year 2000. In all tables in Part E, immigrants and very recent immigrants include only those who landed before the year 2000 and could have had income the entire year. A person may have income from one, two or all three sources. The three sources are defined in the Glossary.

The proportion of very recent immigrants with no income is higher than that of the Canadian-born. The proportion of immigrant men and women who have no income is higher among immigrants who landed during the 1986-1995 period than among the very recent immigrant cohort, but for earlier immigrants it is lower than for the Canadian-born. Absence of income among women was less common in 2000 than in 1995. The incidence of zero income dropped by 9 percentage points for very recent immigrant women and by about 6 percentage points for women in other immigrant cohorts. Among men there was little change in the share with zero income in year 2000 in comparison to 1995.

The share of recent immigrants with other private income—income from investments or pension plans—is well below the share of the Canadian-born and earlier immigrants with other private income. The incidence of other private income among recent immigrants was lower in the year 2000 than in 1995. The share of earlier immigrants with other private income is higher than that of the Canadian-born, probably reflecting a greater share of seniors and retired persons.

The incidence of government transfer payment income is about the same for immigrant and Canadian-born women but is slightly higher for immigrant men in comparison to Canadian-born men. The incidence of transfer payment income has shifted markedly from men to women since 1995 in part due to the fact that in 2000, child benefit payments were made to the mother.

Average income increases with length of stay

The average income of recent immigrants in the year 2000 was about 70% of that of the Canadian-born, considering only persons who reported income. For immigrants who landed during the 1986-1995 period, average income was 86% of that of the Canadian-born. Earlier immigrants had an average income about 14% higher than the Canadian-born.

Table E-2: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 years of age and over, with income—average income and sources of average income, by gender, Québec Census Metropolitan Area, 2000
  Sources of average income
  Average income of persons with income Employment
income
Other private income Government transfers Total
Women
Canadian-born $22,240 71% 12% 17% 100%
Immigrants $21,600 71% 12% 18% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 $25,100 67% 16% 17% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 $19,190 78% 5% 18% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 $15,240 74% 7% 19% 100%
Men
Canadian-born $34,140 78% 12% 9% 100%
Immigrants $33,730 77% 12% 11% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 $38,820 73% 16% 11% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 $28,340 88% 4% 8% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 $24,540 83% 6% 11% 100%
Total
Canadian-born $27,980 75% 12% 13% 100%
Immigrants $28,150 75% 12% 13% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 $32,740 71% 16% 13% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 $24,100 84% 4% 12% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 $19,800 79% 6% 14% 100%

Note: Incomes are for the year 2000. In all tables in Part E, immigrants and very recent immigrants include only those who landed before the year 2000 and could have had income the entire year.

Compared to 1995, the average income of very recent immigrants was higher by a larger margin than that of other groups, by two-fifths for both men and women. The income of those who had been in the country from 5 to 15 years was 30% higher in 2000 than in 1995. The average incomes of the Canadian-born and earlier immigrants increased by less than 20%.

The average income of women is about two-thirds of that of men for any of the groups shown in Table E-2. Among the reasons for the difference in income between men and women are lower labour force participation and higher incidence of part-time work and of jobs requiring a lower level of skill among women than among men, as shown in section D.

Earnings from employment account for the bulk of income of all groups and make up a larger proportion of income of recent immigrants than of persons born in Canada. The share of other private income is lower for recent immigrants than for the Canadian-born, while government transfer payments make up approximately the same share.

Compared to 1995, the employment share of income of very recent immigrants and of immigrants who had been in the country between 5 and 15 years was about 12 percentage points higher, while that of other groups remained the same. This reflects the higher income and greater labour force participation of recent immigrants in the year 2000. The shares of other private income and government transfer payments both were lower in 2000 than in 1995.

Earnings of recent immigrants who worked mostly full-time lower

The average wages and salaries earned by recent immigrants who worked mostly full-time in 2000 are below the average for the Québec CMA. By contrast, earlier immigrants had higher earnings than the Canadian-born. The relative level of wages and salaries of very recent immigrants, at 73% of the average, was higher in 2000 than in 1995 by four percentage points. The relative income of recent immigrants who had been in the country from 5 to 15 years, increased even more in 2000 in comparison to 1995.

Table E-3: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 years of age and over, employed mostly full-time—average earnings from wages and salaries, and earnings as percentage of overall average, Québec Census Metropolitan Area, 2000
  Amount Percentage of overall average
Canadian-born $35,020 100%
Immigrants $35,930 103%
 Immigrated before 1986 $41,680 119%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 $32,440 93%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 $25,500 73%
All who worked mostly full-time $35,040 100%

Note: Incomes are for the year 2000. In all tables in Part E, immigrants and very recent immigrants include only those who landed before the year 2000 and could have had income the entire year.

Transfer payments a larger share of household income of non-seniors

In the year 2000, the large majority of households received government transfer payments. Recent immigrant households were slightly more likely to receive government transfer payments than other households. On average, the payments received were lower both in dollar terms and relative to income.

Transfer payments vary considerably with the age of the oldest person in the household, and so do differences between recent immigrant, earlier immigrant and Canadian-born households. Recent immigrant households of the very young receive lower amounts than their Canadian-born and earlier immigrant counterparts—households of persons aged 25 to 44 years and 45 to 64 years are somewhat more likely to receive transfers payments and receive larger amounts.

Table E-4: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—percentage of households receiving transfers, average amount of government transfer payments, and transfers as a share of income, by age of older parent in family or oldest person in non-family household, Québec Census Metropolitan Area, 2000
  15 to 24
years
25 to 44
years
45 to 65
years
65 years and over Total
Share of households receiving government transfer payments
Canadian-born households 91% 85% 81% 100% 87%
Earlier immigrant households 100% 81% 77% 100% 84%
Recent immigrant households 92% 91% 84% 100% 90%
 1986-1995 immigrants 88% 90% 82% 100% 88%
 1996-1999 immigrants with others 100% 88% 93% 100% 88%
 1996-1999 immigrants only 100% 94% 96% 100% 95%
Average amount of transfer per receiving household
Canadian-born households $2,320 $3,500 $3,990 $16,380 $6,260
Earlier immigrant households $2,020 $3,770 $3,780 $16,660 $6,990
Recent immigrant households $1,840 $4,510 $5,520 $13,380 $5,080
 1986-1995 immigrants $4,610 $4,800 $13,860 $5,090
 1996-1999 immigrants with others $3,920 $8,220 $20,360 $4,970
 1996-1999 immigrants only $3,850 $4,620 $7,570 $7,830 $5,110
Transfers as a share of income, all households
Canadian-born households 10% 6% 5% 46% 11%
Earlier immigrant households 11% 5% 4% 33% 9%
Recent immigrant households 8% 9% 8% 35% 10%
 1986-1995 immigrants 7% 9% 7% 35% 9%
 1996-1999 immigrants with others 7% 12% 31% 9%
 1996-1999 immigrants only 20% 12% 19% 36% 14%

Note: Incomes are for the year 2000. In all tables in Part E, immigrants and very recent immigrants include only those who landed before the year 2000 and could have had income the entire year.

Government transfer payments to households without seniors generally reflect benefits of Employment Insurance, Workers Compensation, social assistance, student assistance, or other programs. Included in these transfer payments are tax credits such as the Canada Child Benefit and GST tax credits and provincial tax credits. The somewhat greater incidence and amounts of transfer payments for recent immigrant households of persons 25 to 64 years of age in relation to earlier immigrants and the Canadian-born may have to do with the larger average number of children in families and with differences in labour market participation and unemployment reviewed in section D.

Almost all households with persons 65 years of age and over received government transfer payments—Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement, and Canada or Quebec Pension Plan Benefits. Recent immigrant households of seniors received a smaller amount and households consisting only of immigrants who landed very recently received much less. These immigrants are not entitled to Old Age Security and have not built up large credits under the Canada or Quebec Pension Plan.

The distribution of income

Large differences between groups

Of very recent immigrants, one-half of women and slightly more than one-third of men reported no income or income of less than $10,000 in 2000. The share reporting no income is higher for persons who immigrated during the 1986-1995 period, while the share of earlier immigrants with no income is lower than that of the Canadian-born.

Very recent immigrants are underrepresented at the high end of the income scale. Their share in the upper income group of $50,000 and over is less than one-half of that of the Canadian-born. By contrast, the share of earlier immigrants with incomes of $50,000 and over is considerably larger than that of the Canadian-born.

Table E-5: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 years of age and over—income levels, by gender (number and percentage distribution) and average income, by gender, Québec Census Metropolitan Area, 2000
  Without
income
$1 to
$9,999
$10,000 to $29,999 $30,000 to $49,999 $50,000 and over Total
Women
Canadian-born 17,570 73,200 120,220 53,180 20,810 284,980
Immigrants 600 2,260 2,980 1,070 640 7,550
 Immigrated before 1986 170 1,010 1,500 630 540 3,860
 Immigrated 1986-1995 290 690 960 260 80 2,270
 Immigrated 1996-1999 140 560 520 180 20 1,420
Men
Canadian-born 9,730 45,810 79,870 71,280 52,390 259,070
Immigrants 310 1,630 2,860 1,920 1,780 8,460
 Immigrated before 1986 40 690 1,580 1,070 1,320 4,680
 Immigrated 1986-1995 180 560 820 570 350 2,470
 Immigrated 1996-1999 90 380 470 280 120 1,320
Total
Canadian-born 27,300 119,020 200,090 124,460 73,200 544,050
Immigrants 920 3,870 5,840 2,980 2,440 16,010
 Immigrated before 1986 210 1,700 3,070 1,710 1,870 8,530
 Immigrated 1986-1995 480 1,240 1,780 830 440 4,750
 Immigrated 1996-1999 230 940 990 450 140 2,740
  Without
income
$1 to
$9,999
$10,000 to $29,999 $30,000 to $49,999 $50,000 and over Total Average income
Women
Canadian-born 6% 26% 42% 19% 7% 100% $20,870
Immigrants 8% 30% 39% 14% 8% 100% $19,850
 Immigrated before 1986 4% 26% 39% 16% 14% 100% $23,940
 Immigrated 1986-1995 13% 30% 42% 11% 4% 100% $16,740
 Immigrated 1996-1999 10% 39% 36% 12% 1% 100% $13,680
Men
Canadian-born 4% 18% 31% 28% 20% 100% $32,860
Immigrants 4% 19% 34% 23% 21% 100% $32,530
 Immigrated before 1986 1% 15% 34% 23% 28% 100% $38,530
 Immigrated 1986-1995 7% 22% 33% 23% 14% 100% $26,280
 Immigrated 1996-1999 6% 29% 35% 21% 9% 100% $22,960
Total
Canadian-born 5% 22% 37% 23% 13% 100% $26,580
Immigrants 6% 24% 36% 19% 15% 100% $26,570
 Immigrated before 1986 2% 20% 36% 20% 22% 100% $31,990
 Immigrated 1986-1995 10% 26% 38% 17% 9% 100% $21,690
 Immigrated 1996-1999 8% 34% 36% 16% 5% 100% $18,140

Note: Incomes are for the year 2000. In all tables in Part E, immigrants and very recent immigrants include only those who landed before the year 2000 and could have had income the entire year.

Household income almost the same

In 2000, recent immigrant households in the Québec CMA had average income of $48,900, nearly the same amount as Canadian-born households. The income of households consisting only of very recent immigrants was 69% of the income of households of the Canadian-born.

One-third of households consisting only of very recent immigrants have income of less than $20,000. However, recent immigrant households generally are in this lowest income range only slightly less often than their Canadian-born counterparts. The relatively favourable outcomes for recent immigrants may be influenced by the larger size of recent immigrant households and the fact that there are other members of the household who can participate in the labour market.

Table E-6: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—household income levels (number and percentage distribution) and average household income, Québec Census Metropolitan Area, 2000
Households $0 to $19,999 $20,000 to $39,999 $40,000 to $59,999 $60,000 to $79,999 $80,000 and over Total Average income
Canadian-born 61,870 72,670 59,230 41,650 47,040 282,440 $50,060
22% 26% 21% 15% 17% 100%
Earlier immigrants 1,150 1,380 1,350 1,070 1,810 6,750 $61,820
17% 20% 20% 16% 27% 100%
Recent immigrants 1,000 1,350 970 720 730 4,770 $48,870
25% 27% 20% 14% 14% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 570 840 630 470 570 3,060 $53,210
19% 27% 21% 15% 19% 100%
 1996-1999 immigrants
 with others
80 170 180 140 120 680 $50,710
13% 28% 26% 18% 15% 100%
 1996-1999 immigrants
  only
350 350 160 120 40 1,030 $34,700
47% 27% 13% 8% 3% 100%
All households 64,600 75,660 61,730 43,480 49,640 295,110 $50,230
22% 26% 21% 15% 17% 100%

Note: Incomes are for the year 2000. In all tables in Part E, immigrants and very recent immigrants include only those who landed before the year 2000 and could have had income the entire year. The total “All households” includes households of non-permanent residents not shown in the table. For definitions of household and related concepts, see the Glossary.

One in three very recent immigrants has low income

Recent immigrants are more likely than earlier immigrants and the Canadian-born to live in families with incomes that fall below the overall median family income, or if they do not live in families, to have income below the median for unattached individuals. They are also more likely to live in families with incomes below one-half of the median income—that is, to have low income. The percentage of immigrants with income in the bottom half or quarter of the income distribution declines in relation to the immigrant cohort’s length of stay in Canada.

Table E-7: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—family or individual income below the median, by age and gender, Québec Census Metropolitan Area, 2000 (number and percentage)
  Under 15 years 15 to 24 years 25 to 64 years 65 years and over Total
Women
Canadian-born 23,780 22,080 42,030 73,350 161,230
Immigrants 570 610 1,800 1,580 4,550
 Immigrated before 1986 120 410 1,180 1,700
 Immigrated 1986-1995 250 300 680 360 1,590
 Immigrated 1996-1999 320 190 720 50 1,270
Men
Canadian-born 24,610 19,510 38,900 51,940 134,960
Immigrants 530 490 2,000 1,850 4,870
 Immigrated before 1986 70 460 1,450 1,990
 Immigrated 1986-1995 180 310 880 270 1,620
 Immigrated 1996-1999 350 120 660 130 1,270
Total
Canadian-born 48,390 41,590 80,930 125,290 296,180
Immigrants 1,090 1,100 3,800 3,430 9,420
 Immigrated before 1986 190 860 2,620 3,680
 Immigrated 1986-1995 430 600 1,560 630 3,210
 Immigrated 1996-1999 670 310 1,380 180 2,530
 
Women
Canadian-born 45% 50% 43% 52% 48%
Immigrants 42% 63% 58% 47% 52%
 Immigrated before 1986 53% 44% 45% 45%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 36% 62% 59% 59% 54%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 49% 75% 69% 48% 62%
Men
Canadian-born 45% 43% 40% 45% 43%
Immigrants 55% 56% 60% 45% 52%
 Immigrated before 1986 27% 47% 42% 43%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 41% 64% 62% 49% 56%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 66% 77% 69% 74% 70%
Total
Canadian-born 45% 46% 42% 49% 46%
Immigrants 48% 60% 59% 46% 52%
 Immigrated before 1986 40% 45% 43% 44%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 38% 63% 60% 54% 55%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 57% 75% 69% 64% 66%

Note: Incomes are for the year 2000. In all tables in Part E, immigrants and very recent immigrants include only those who landed before the year 2000 and could have had income the entire year. For a definition of median income and details about the calculations, see the Glossary.

The outcomes for recent immigrants and for the very recent immigrant cohort were somewhat better in 2000 than five years earlier, while outcomes remained much the same for the Canadian-born and earlier immigrants.

The proportion of individuals with income below the median varies with age, and to a lesser extent gender. In all age and gender groups (except women 45 years of age and over), the proportion of persons with income below the overall median is higher among very recent immigrants than among the Canadian-born, and in most cases it is much higher. Thirty-six percent of immigrants who landed between 1996 and 1999 have low income or live in a low-income family— more than twice the rate of the Canadian-born. For all age groups, the incidence of low incomes is much greater among very recent immigrants than among the Canadian-born

Figure E-1: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—percentage with family or individual income below the median and below one-half of the median, Québec Census Metropolitan Area, 2000

Figure E-1

Note: Incomes are for the year 2000. In all figures in Part E, immigrants and very recent immigrants include only those who landed before the year 2000 and could have had income the entire year. For a definition of median income and details about the calculations, see the Glossary.

Table E-8: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—family or individual income below one-half of the median, by age and gender, Québec Census Metropolitan Area, 2000 (number and percentage)
  Under 15 years 15 to 24 years 25 to 64 years 65 years and over Total
Women
Canadian-born 7,120 8,980 13,660 22,050 51,810
Immigrants 210 300 710 570 1,750
 Immigrated before 1986 60 140 350 530
 Immigrated 1986-1995 50 150 230 180 610
 Immigrated 1996-1999 160 90 350 40 620
Men
Canadian-born 7,790 7,510 11,260 18,010 44,550
Immigrants 250 230 790 640 1,910
 Immigrated before 1986 40 170 460 650
 Immigrated 1986-1995 60 130 300 120 610
 Immigrated 1996-1999 200 60 330 70 650
Total
Canadian-born 14,900 16,490 24,920 40,050 96,360
Immigrants 460 520 1,490 1,210 3,650
 Immigrated before 1986 100 300 810 1,180
 Immigrated 1986-1995 110 280 520 300 1,210
 Immigrated 1996-1999 350 140 670 110 1,270
 
Women
Canadian-born 14% 20% 14% 16% 15%
Immigrants 15% 31% 23% 17% 20%
 Immigrated before 1986 27% 15% 13% 14%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 7% 32% 19% 30% 21%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 24% 33% 33% 33% 30%
Men
Canadian-born 14% 17% 12% 16% 14%
Immigrants 26% 26% 23% 15% 20%
 Immigrated before 1986 16% 17% 13% 14%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 13% 27% 21% 21% 21%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 38% 37% 34% 40% 36%
Total
Canadian-born 14% 18% 13% 16% 15%
Immigrants 20% 28% 23% 16% 20%
 Immigrated before 1986 21% 16% 13% 14%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 9% 29% 20% 26% 21%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 30% 35% 34% 38% 33%

Note: Incomes are for the year 2000. In all tables in Part E, immigrants and very recent immigrants include only those who landed before the year 2000 and could have had income the entire year. For a definition of median income and details about the calculations, see the Glossary.

Date Modified: