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

Highlights

Very recent immigrants—a snapshot

  • Very recent immigrants—immigrants who landed on or after January 1, 1996 and were living in Saskatoon on May 15, 2001 —are numerous compared to other recent immigrant cohorts and many have university degrees. There are 3,200 very recent immigrants who landed in the five years from 1996 to 2001, compared to 3,500 who landed during the previous ten years from 1986 to 1995. One in seven persons in both groups of immigrants was born in China but very recent immigrants include more persons from the United Kingdom, Iraq and South Africa and fewer from El Salvador, Poland and Hong Kong. Forty percent of very recent immigrant women and 45% of very recent immigrant men hold a university degree in comparison to16% of the Canadian-born population. Almost all could speak English or French. Labour market outcomes and relative incomes were better for women but not for men compared to five years earlier.

Immigrants and recent immigrants (Part A)

  • In 2001, there were 6,600 recent immigrants in Saskatoon, 0.3% of all recent immigrants living in Canada. Recent immigrants, who landed after 1985, accounted for 39% of immigrants in Saskatoon and 3% of the population of the city. In this document, the term “recent immigrants” refers to immigrants who became permanent residents or “landed” after 1985 and who were living in Canada on May 15, 2001, when the Census of Population was held. Very recent immigrants are immigrants who landed after 1995.
  • By May 2001, 85% of Saskatoon’s immigrants who landed in Canada between 1986 and 1995 had become Canadian citizens.

Who are the recent immigrants (Part B)

  • Recent immigrants to Saskatoon come from all over the world. Asian origins are more prevalent among immigrants who landed after 1985. In 2001, 14% of very recent immigrants who landed after 1995 are from China —the top source country—followed by 7% from the United Kingdom, 7% from the Philippines, 6% from the United States and 6% from Iraq.
  • Statistics published by Citizenship and Immigration Canada show that one in five very recent immigrants destined to Saskatoon entered through the family class. Nearly one-half entered through the economic category, and about one-third were refugees. The share entering as economic immigrants has increased over the past 15 years.
  • One-half of very recent immigrants are 25 to 44 years of age. In Saskatoon’s Canadian-born population, this age group accounts for only three in ten.
  • Almost all persons who immigrated between 1996 and 2001 reported being able to conduct a conversation in English or French. For more than one-half of the very recent immigrants, the language most often spoken at home is a language other than English or French.
  • The level of education of recent immigrants in Saskatoon is quite high compared to that of the Canadian-born—43% of very recent immigrants have a university degree compared to 31% of the 1986-1995 immigrant cohort and 16% of the Canadian-born.

Families and households (Part C)

  • Recent immigrants are more likely than the Canadian-born to live with relatives, and also more likely to live in extended families. Less than 5% of recent immigrants 65 years of age and over live alone, compared to 21% of their Canadian-born counterparts.
  • Recent immigrant families are more likely than Canadian-born families to have children at home, in particular when the oldest member of the family is 45 years of age or older. There are about half as many lone-parent families among recent immigrant families as among Canadian-born families.
  • Households in which at least one adult is a recent immigrant account for 4% of households in Saskatoon. One-half of these recent immigrant households have at least one member who immigrated after 1995.
  • Households of recent immigrants are much more likely than Canadian-born households to consist of extended or multiple families. They also tend to be larger, with 40% consisting of four or more persons, compared to only 25% of Canadian-born households with four or more persons.

Participation in the economy (Part D)

  • The more recent their arrival, the lower the labour force participation rate and the higher the unemployment rate of immigrants. Earlier immigrants participate at a higher rate than the Canadian-born of the same age, and have a lower unemployment rate.
  • This pattern of increasing participation and employment with longer stay in Canada occurs across all age and gender groups and all but the lowest level of education. The disparities between recent immigrants and the Canadian-born are smaller for men than for women.
  • In comparison to the Canadian-born, recent immigrants were much more likely to be employed in health and science occupations and less likely to be employed in administrative occupations.
  • Recent immigrants were more likely than the Canadian-born to work in the hospitality and other services sector. A smaller share of recent immigrants than the Canadian-born held jobs in the trades sector and in construction and transportation industries.
  • Very recent immigrants living in Saskatoon on average have a high level of education and tend to be employed in jobs that require a relatively high level of skill.

Income (Part E)

  • On average, among persons reporting income for the year 2000, the income of recent immigrant men and women who immigrated during the 1986 to 2001 period was three-quarters of that of the Canadian-born. Compared to the Canadian-born, a slightly smaller share of recent immigrants had income from employment.
  • On average, incomes were 15% to 20% higher in 2000 than for the comparable cohort in 1995. The difference was greatest for very recent immigrants—39% for women and 22% for men. By contrast, the average income of immigrant men and women who had been in the country for five to fifteen years showed little change.
  • Government transfer payments as a share of household income in the 25-64 year age group are somewhat larger for recent immigrant households than for Canadian-born households.
  • One in three very recent immigrants is in a low-income situation, twice as large a share as for the Canadian-born.

Housing (Part F)

  • In Saskatoon, 14% of recent immigrant households live in crowded conditions—that is, have one person or more per room—compared to 2% of Canadian-born households. Among households consisting only of very recent immigrants, the incidence of crowding is 30%.
  • Three in ten recent immigrant households spend more than 30% of their income on shelter compared to one in four Canadian-born households.
  • The state of repair of the housing stock is the same for recent immigrants and the Canadian-born.
  • Very few households consisting only of very recent immigrants own their home. However, among other recent immigrant households home ownership is as common as among Canadian-born households.
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