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

Part B: Who Are the Recent Immigrants?

Origin, immigration category and religion

Asian origins are predominant

Toronto’s immigrants come from all over the world and represent a diversity of cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Over the past several decades there has been a considerable change in the source countries of immigrants. In 2001, for example, there were 415,500 residents of Toronto who had landed in Canada between 1996 and 2001. The most common country of birth for these immigrants was China, accounting for 13% of these new arrivals to Canada (17% if persons born in Hong Kong are included). The ten most common countries of birth, accounting for 60% of these very recent immigrants, were China, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Iran, the Russian Federation, South Korea and Jamaica. In comparison, only five of these countries were in the top ten countries of birth of immigrants who landed in Canada before 1986.

Table B-1: Immigrants by period of immigration—top ten countries of birth, Toronto Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Share
All immigrants
1 India 147,170 7%
2 United Kingdom 142,990 7%
3 Italy 138,990 7%
4 China, People's Republic of 136,140 7%
5 Hong Kong 110,740 5%
6 Philippines 103,170 5%
7 Jamaica 92,200 5%
8 Portugal 78,900 4%
9 Poland 70,500 3%
10 Sri Lanka 68,790 3%
Top ten countries 1,089,590 54%
All other countries 943,370 46%
Total 2,032,960 100%
Immigrated before 1986
1 Italy 134,410 14%
2 United Kingdom 125,140 13%
3 Portugal 58,320 6%
4 Jamaica 52,700 6%
5 India 44,520 5%
6 China, People's Republic of 33,640 4%
7 Guyana 33,030 3%
8 Greece 32,980 3%
9 Philippines 29,290 3%
10 Hong Kong 28,070 3%
Top ten countries 572,100 60%
All other countries 382,320 40%
Total 954,420 100%
Immigrated 1986-1995
1 Hong Kong 64,510 10%
2 India 50,960 8%
3 Philippines 50,790 8%
4 China, People's Republic of 47,580 7%
5 Sri Lanka 44,980 7%
6 Poland 38,930 6%
7 Jamaica 29,300 4%
8 Guyana 26,250 4%
9 Viet Nam 21,620 3%
10 Portugal 18,700 3%
Top ten countries 393,620 59%
All other countries 269,420 41%
Total 663,040 100%
Immigrated 1996-2001
1 China, People's Republic of 54,930 13%
2 India 51,690 12%
3 Pakistan 30,170 7%
4 Philippines 23,100 6%
5 Sri Lanka 19,400 5%
6 Hong Kong 18,160 4%
7 Iran 15,510 4%
8 Russian Federation 13,980 3%
9 Korea, South 12,020 3%
10 Jamaica 10,200 2%
Top ten countries 249,160 60%
All other countries 166,350 40%
Total 415,510 100%

Among Toronto’s earlier immigrants—those arriving in Canada before 1986—Italy and the United Kingdom were the most common countries of birth, accounting for 27% of this group. These two countries accounted for nearly one half of Toronto’s immigrants who landed in Canada before 1961.

In general, the birth origins of Toronto’s immigrant population vary in relation to the period of immigration. European birth origins are predominant among those who immigrated in the 1950s, the 1960s and, to a lesser extent, the 1970s, and Asian birth origins are predominant among those who immigrated in the 1980s and 1990s. Seven of the top ten countries of birth of very recent immigrants are in Asia, and for immigrants who landed from 1986 to 1995, six of the top ten countries of birth are in Asia.

A favoured destination

Table B-2: Recent immigrants in Canada by country of birth and percentage residing in Toronto Census Metropolitan Area, 2001
Country of Birth Total recent immigrants to Canada Share residing in Toronto
Guyana 38,910 87%
Jamaica 48,760 81%
Sri Lanka 80,080 80%
Trinidad and Tobago 28,790 78%
Ghana 13,450 72%
Pakistan 64,020 67%
Portugal 34,120 60%
Ukraine 25,530 59%
Russian Federation 35,950 56%
Bangladesh 19,920 55%
Afghanistan 20,670 54%
India 197,680 52%
Somalia 18,220 50%
Iran 61,560 50%
Hong Kong 168,770 49%
Ethiopia 12,080 49%
Poland 91,140 47%
Egypt 16,970 47%
Philippines 161,130 46%
All recent immigrants 2,491,850 43%
China, People's Republic of 236,930 43%
Iraq 22,300 42%
Korea, South 50,970 41%
Colombia 10,190 39%
Malaysia 12,280 39%
All immigrants 5,448,490 37%
Peru 12,590 37%
Romania 43,200 37%
Viet Nam 72,330 36%
South Africa, Republic of 19,890 35%
Yugoslavia, former 35,860 34%
Croatia 11,380 31%
Guatemala 10,580 27%
United Kingdom 69,660 26%
Bosnia and Herzegovina 23,170 26%
El Salvador 29,680 23%
Syria 10,340 22%
United States 73,860 20%
Taiwan 60,530 20%
Germany 22,810 16%
Total population 29,639,000 16%
Lebanon 43,930 16%
Mexico 24,640 13%
All Canadian-born 23,991,910 11%
Fiji 11,130 11%
France 27,500 8%
Morocco 13,510 5%
Haiti 25,430 1%

Note: Table B-2 lists all countries that are the place of birth of at least 10,000 recent immigrants living in Canada in 2001, with Toronto’s share being 1% or more.

For immigrants from many countries, Toronto is a top destination. For example, of the 39,000 Guyana-born individuals who immigrated since 1986 and were living in Canada in 2001, 34,000 or 87% were living in Toronto. Toronto is also home to a large share of recent immigrants from Jamaica, Sri Lanka and Trinidad and Tobago. Of the 74,000 recent immigrants to Canada who were born in the United States, a relatively small proportion—20%—were residing in Toronto in 2001. However, even the share of recent immigrants born in the United States exceeds the 11% share of Canadian-born persons living in Canada’s largest city.

High share of economic immigrants among very recent landings

Statistics published by Citizenship and Immigration Canada show that the number of immigrants who reported Toronto as their destination when they landed in Canada jumped by nearly 170,000 between the second half of the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s, an increase of more than 50%, and then dropped by 26,300 in the second half of the 1990s. The increase and decline were concentrated in the family and refugee classes, while the number of economic immigrants increased, particularly in the most recent five-year period. Six in ten very recent immigrants destined for Toronto entered through the economic category.

Table B-3: Recent immigrants by period of immigration—landings by immigration category, Toronto Census Metropolitan Area, 1986-2000 (number and percentage distribution)
  1986-1990 1991-1995 1996-2000
Family class 117,500 36% 216,500 44% 130,000 28%
Economic immigrants 157,800 49% 188,400 38% 285,500 61%
Refugees 44,700 14% 79,700 16% 44,700 10%
Other immigrants 4,200 1% 8,500 2% 6,700 1%
Total 324,300 100% 493,200 100% 466,900 100%

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 B-3 was obtained from records at Citizenship and Immigration Canada and pertains to the time of landing. Immigration categories are described in the Glossary.

Within the family class, the number of sponsored spouses doubled from 1986-1990 to more than 80,000 in the first half of the 1990s, before sliding back somewhat. The number of other relatives—parents and grandparents, sons and daughters, and fiancés—increased from about 75,000 in 1986-1990 to 130,000 in 1991-1995 before falling to half that level during the 1996-2000 period.

As for refugees, government-assisted refugees declined in number from 16,000 in the second half of the 1980s to 7,000 a decade later. The number of privately-sponsored refugees dwindled to 5,000 after peaking in the first half of the 1980s at 38,000. During the 1990s, 55,000 refugees who landed in Canada intended to settle in Toronto.

Skilled workers and their dependants account for the lion’s share of economic immigrants, as well as for all the growth in the number of economic immigrants during the 15 years before 2001. The number of entrepreneurs with dependants was between ten and fifteen thousand in each five-year period.

Religions changing with countries of birth

While all Christians combined are still as numerous as other religious affiliations among very recent immigrants, the share of very recent immigrants affiliated with the Muslim and Hindu faiths is higher than among earlier immigrants. Buddhists and Sikhs make up smaller, relatively stable shares of immigrants. Among the Canadian-born, none of these four non-Christian religions claims the affiliation of more than 2% of the population.

Table B-4: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—religious affiliation, Toronto Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Canadian-born Immigrants Immigrated before 1986 Immigrated 1986-1995 Immigrated 1996-2001
Roman Catholic 861,860 675,940 400,340 200,920 74,680
Protestant 824,600 307,740 202,330 71,410 33,980
Orthodox Christian 63,080 113,110 53,630 28,370 31,120
Other Christian 78,270 94,580 32,960 37,270 24,360
Muslim 56,680 189,700 35,770 70,400 83,530
Buddhist 20,830 73,600 30,200 31,340 12,060
Hindu 45,890 141,530 31,620 66,990 42,930
Sikh 28,570 61,000 17,120 26,920 16,970
Other 126,930 66,230 37,340 18,330 10,570
No religion 450,170 309,570 113,170 111,070 85,340
Total 2,556,860 2,032,960 954,420 663,040 415,510
 
Roman Catholic 34% 33% 42% 30% 18%
Protestant 32% 15% 21% 11% 8%
Orthodox Christian 2% 6% 6% 4% 7%
Other Christian 3% 5% 3% 6% 6%
Muslim 2% 9% 4% 11% 20%
Buddhist 1% 4% 3% 5% 3%
Hindu 2% 7% 3% 10% 10%
Sikh 1% 3% 2% 4% 4%
Other 5% 3% 4% 3% 3%
No religion 18% 15% 12% 17% 21%
Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

Note: Religions are listed in order of their share of the population of Canada, from highest to lowest, with Christian religions grouped together.

Roman Catholics and Protestants each account for one-third of the Canadian-born population of Toronto. While Roman Catholics were numerous among earlier immigrants, their share has fallen with the more recent arrivals. Protestants make up an even smaller proportion of recent immigrants. The Anglican Church claims the affiliation of one in ten Canadian-born persons, while only one in one-hundred of very recent immigrants are affiliated with this church. The same trend applies to the United Church. The proportion of immigrants reporting Orthodox Christian faith varies only slightly by period of immigration.

Age and gender

Nearly one-half of very recent immigrants are working-age adults 25 to 44

The age distribution of the very recent immigrant population (those landing between 1996 and 2001) is markedly different from that of the Canadian-born population, with a larger proportion aged 25 to 44 and proportionally fewer children under 15 years of age. In 2001, nearly one-half of recent immigrants living in Toronto were between the ages of 25 and 44, compared to 30% of the Canadian-born population. Children less than 15 years of age accounted for one-fifth of the recent immigrant population compared with 31% of the Canadian-born population.

Table B-5: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—age and gender, Toronto Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Under 15
years
15 to 24
years
25 to 44
years
45 to 64
years
65 years
and over
Total
Women
Canadian-born 381,730 196,550 389,430 210,030 110,670 1,288,390
Immigrants 61,060 95,950 393,800 338,820 170,960 1,060,570
 Immigrated before 1986 0 8,840 124,570 232,460 134,280 500,150
 Immigrated 1986-1995 20,960 53,780 166,450 77,640 27,780 346,610
 Immigrated 1996-2001 40,100 33,330 102,770 28,720 8,900 213,820
Men
Canadian-born 402,760 204,660 386,040 196,710 78,300 1,268,480
Immigrants 65,070 97,750 351,670 316,460 141,460 972,400
 Immigrated before 1986 0 9,330 114,510 216,290 114,140 454,270
 Immigrated 1986-1995 21,500 57,410 145,750 70,810 20,980 316,440
 Immigrated 1996-2001 43,570 31,020 91,410 29,360 6,340 201,700
Total
Canadian-born 784,480 401,200 775,480 406,740 188,980 2,556,860
Immigrants 126,120 193,690 745,460 655,280 312,420 2,032,960
 Immigrated before 1986 0 18,170 239,080 448,760 248,420 954,420
 Immigrated 1986-1995 42,450 111,180 312,210 148,450 48,760 663,040
 Immigrated 1996-2001 83,670 64,350 194,180 58,080 15,240 415,510
 
Canadian-born 31% 16% 30% 16% 7% 100%
Immigrants 6% 10% 37% 32% 15% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 0% 2% 25% 47% 26% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 6% 17% 47% 22% 7% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 20% 15% 47% 14% 4% 100%
Total population 20% 13% 33% 23% 11% 100%

These differences in age structure are to some degree a result of how we define immigrants and the Canadian-born. The immigrant population grows older like the Canadian population but does not renew itself in the same way, as children born in Canada to immigrants are not considered immigrants. Thus, there are no persons under 15 years of age among immigrants who landed before 1986, and the older age groups are over-represented among these earlier immigrants. By the same token, the share of children among the Canadian-born is large as it includes children born in Canada to immigrant parents. This is particularly so in Toronto since recent immigrants make up a very large share of the population.

The age structure of very recent immigrants closely resembles age at landing. Immigrants tend to arrive in Canada during their prime working-age years. This was the case among immigrants who landed more than 30 years ago, and it is still the case today. It is therefore not surprising that a large share of very recent immigrants were in the 25 to 44 age group.

Many of the characteristics and circumstances described in this profile vary with age. Differences between immigrants or groups of immigrants and the Canadian-born often are at least in part a reflection of differences in the age structure.

Figure B-1: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born, by age, Toronto Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (percentage distribution)

Figure B-1

More women than men

The proportion of women in the recent immigrant population in Toronto is similar to but, at 51% to 52%, slightly higher than that of the Canadian-born population.

There are 42,300 more women than men among the 1,078,500 recent immigrants in Toronto. The number of women is particularly high among recent immigrants from the Philippines (13,000 more women than men out of 73,900 recent immigrants) and Jamaica (6,700 more women than men out of 39,500 recent immigrants).

Table B-6: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—percentage of women, by age, Toronto Census Metropolitan Area, 2001
  Under 15 years 15 to 24 years 25 to 44 years 45 to 64 years 65 years and over Total
Canadian-born 49% 49% 50% 52% 59% 50%
Immigrants 48% 50% 53% 52% 55% 52%
 Immigrated before 1986 - 49% 52% 52% 54% 52%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 49% 48% 53% 52% 57% 52%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 48% 52% 53% 49% 58% 51%

As women on average live longer than men, they make up a large share of persons aged 65 years and over. But the higher proportion of women among recent immigrants is not related to age. For instance, almost two-thirds of recent immigrants aged 25 to 44 from the Philippines are women. Some of them have obtained permanent resident status after a period of employment as live-in caregivers.

At the opposite end of the spectrum of the gender mix are Switzerland, Malta, Iraq and Lebanon. Fifty-four percent or more of recent immigrants from these countries are men. Men outnumber women by 2,500 among recent immigrants from Iran and by 2,300 in the case of Pakistan.

The gender balance, by country of origin, has not changed greatly since 1996.

Language and education

Nine in ten very recent immigrants speak English or French

A large majority of Toronto’s immigrants 15 years of age and over reported being able to carry on a conversation in at least one of Canada’s two official languages. Even among very recent immigrants, who landed in Canada between 1996 and 2001, nine in ten (93% of men and 88% of women) reported being able to speak an official language in May 2001. Only one in ten of these very recent immigrants could not speak either official language. Knowledge of official languages was equally high among those who immigrated between 1986 and 1995, and, at 94%, greater among those who immigrated before 1986.

The proportion of Toronto’s immigrants able to carry on a conversation in English or French decreases with age. Among immigrants under age 45 who landed in Canada between 1996 and 2001, almost all are able to speak an official language, and there is little difference between men and women in this regard. Among those aged 45 to 64, however, the percentage that can speak English or French falls, and more so for women than men. For both men and women, seniors aged 65 and over are least likely to have conversational ability in English or French.

Table B-7: Very recent immigrants (immigrated between 1996 and 2001)—15 years of age and over—knowledge of official languages, by age and gender, Toronto Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  English only French only English and French Neither English nor French Total
Women
15 to 24 years 29,900 50 2,060 1,315 33,325
25 to 44 years 90,625 130 4,805 7,215 102,775
45 to 64 years 19,805 55 745 8,115 28,720
65 years and over 3,620 125 95 5,060 8,900
15 and over 143,945 355 7,710 21,705 173,715
Men
15 to 24 years 28,650 10 1,340 1,015 31,015
25 to 44 years 83,120 100 4,635 3,555 91,410
45 to 64 years 24,425 45 995 3,895 29,360
65 years and over 3,355 55 160 2,765 6,335
15 and over 139,550 210 7,130 11,230 158,120
Total
15 to 24 years 58,555 60 3,405 2,330 64,350
25 to 44 years 173,745 225 9,440 10,770 194,180
45 to 64 years 44,230 95 1,740 12,005 58,070
65 years and over 6,975 180 260 7,825 15,240
15 and over 283,495 565 14,840 32,930 331,830
 
Women
15 to 24 years 90% 0.2% 6% 4% 100%
25 to 44 years 88% 0.1% 5% 7% 100%
45 to 64 years 69% 0.2% 3% 28% 100%
65 years and over 41% 1.4% 1% 57% 100%
15 and over 83% 0.2% 4% 12% 100%
Men
15 to 24 years 92% 0.0% 4% 3% 100%
25 to 44 years 91% 0.1% 5% 4% 100%
45 to 64 years 83% 0.2% 3% 13% 100%
65 years and over 53% 0.9% 3% 44% 100%
15 and over 88% 0.1% 5% 7% 100%
Total
15 to 24 years 91% 0.1% 5% 4% 100%
25 to 44 years 89% 0.1% 5% 6% 100%
45 to 64 years 76% 0.2% 3% 21% 100%
65 years and over 46% 1.2% 2% 51% 100%
15 and over 85% 0.2% 4% 10% 100%

Ability to converse in either or both official languages has improved with the very recent immigrant cohort: 4% more men and 5% more women had this ability in 2001 compared to a similar cohort (those who landed within the five years prior to the census) in 1996. This may reflect changes in countries of origin, the increase in the number of economic immigrants and perhaps also greater awareness among immigrants of the need to speak Canada’s languages before and after arrival.

Seven in ten very recent immigrants speak a foreign language at home

For the majority of Toronto’s recent immigrants, the language spoken most often at home is one other than English or French. Seven in ten immigrants who landed between 1996 and 2001 most often speak a foreign language in their homes.

The use of foreign languages is also high among other immigrant cohorts. Three in five of those who immigrated between 1986 and 1995, and one in three of those who immigrated prior to 1986 most often speak a foreign language at home.

Figure B-2: Immigrants by period of immigration—15 years of age and over—use of a foreign language at home, Toronto Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (percentage)

Figure B-2

The use of foreign languages in the home was slightly more common in 2001 than in 1996 for a given length of stay in Canada. Among those who had lived in Canada from 5 to 15 years, 58% commonly used a foreign language in 2001, compared to 55% in 1996.

Very recent immigrants better educated than those who came before

The share of immigrants with a minimal education is four to five times as large as the share of the Canadian-born with a minimal education. The Canadian-born are more likely than immigrants to have some high school or to have completed university. Very recent immigrants, however, boast a significant number of university graduates.

When education levels are compared by age group, the younger generation has a much higher level of education than older groups, whether born inside or outside Canada. One in seven persons under 45 years of age born in Canada has not completed high school, compared to one half of persons age 65 and over. More than three in five Canadian-born persons under 45 years of age have a post-secondary diploma or degree, compared to 39% of men and 27% of women over 65 years of age. A similar large shift in educational qualifications is observed among immigrants.

Table B-8: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 years of age and over—highest level of education, by gender, Toronto Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Less than grade 9 Some high school High school diploma College or trade diploma University degree Total
Women
Canadian-born 26,660 196,730 237,920 230,010 215,350 906,660
Immigrants 160,840 180,780 222,700 241,330 193,860 999,510
 Immigrated before 1986 107,310 86,300 102,590 128,040 75,930 500,150
 Immigrated 1986-1995 38,440 64,130 82,670 80,030 60,400 325,660
 Immigrated 1996-2001 15,100 30,350 37,460 33,270 57,550 173,710
Men
Canadian-born 25,100 203,310 217,820 212,510 206,990 865,720
Immigrants 107,750 163,800 178,900 231,800 225,090 907,330
 Immigrated before 1986 76,790 73,620 75,550 135,890 92,440 454,260
 Immigrated 1986-1995 23,340 62,310 74,450 69,750 65,110 294,940
 Immigrated 1996-2001 7,620 27,870 28,920 26,170 67,550 158,130
Total
Canadian-born 51,760 400,040 455,740 442,520 422,340 1,772,380
Immigrants 268,590 344,580 401,600 473,130 418,960 1,906,840
 Immigrated before 1986 184,100 159,920 178,130 263,920 168,360 954,420
 Immigrated 1986-1995 61,770 126,450 157,100 149,780 125,510 620,600
 Immigrated 1996-2001 22,720 58,220 66,370 59,440 125,090 331,840
 
Women
Canadian-born 3% 22% 26% 25% 24% 100%
Immigrants 16% 18% 22% 24% 19% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 21% 17% 21% 26% 15% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 12% 20% 25% 25% 19% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 9% 17% 22% 19% 33% 100%
Men
Canadian-born 3% 23% 25% 25% 24% 100%
Immigrants 12% 18% 20% 26% 25% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 17% 16% 17% 30% 20% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 8% 21% 25% 24% 22% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 5% 18% 18% 17% 43% 100%
Total
Canadian-born 3% 23% 26% 25% 24% 100%
Immigrants 14% 18% 21% 25% 22% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 19% 17% 19% 28% 18% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 10% 20% 25% 24% 20% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 7% 18% 20% 18% 38% 100%

Table B-9: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—25 years of age and over, with no high school diploma or with post-secondary diploma or degree—by age and gender, Toronto Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage)
  No high school diploma With post-secondary diploma or degree
  25 to 44
years
45 to 65
years
65 years
and over
25 to 44
years
45 to 65
years
65 years
and over
Women
Canadian-born 42,810 45,550 55,480 260,740 111,800 29,940
Immigrants 71,710 119,450 113,270 235,090 148,040 31,880
 Immigrated before 1986 21,980 82,620 87,500 73,190 101,230 26,220
 Immigrated 1986-1995 35,360 26,120 20,080 91,580 34,330 3,800
 Immigrated 1996-2001 14,380 10,720 5,720 70,320 12,470 1,860
Men
Canadian-born 55,770 42,630 34,860 240,620 115,310 30,590
Immigrants 65,920 86,580 76,710 214,960 178,690 47,780
 Immigrated before 1986 23,010 63,090 62,020 65,720 120,200 39,850
 Immigrated 1986-1995 32,640 17,140 11,530 79,900 40,330 5,810
 Immigrated 1996-2001 10,290 6,350 3,160 69,360 18,180 2,130
Total
Canadian-born 98,570 88,190 90,340 501,360 227,120 60,520
Immigrants 137,620 206,030 189,980 450,050 326,720 79,660
 Immigrated before 1986 44,990 145,690 149,520 138,910 221,430 66,070
 Immigrated 1986-1995 68,000 43,260 31,590 171,470 74,650 9,610
 Immigrated 1996-2001 24,670 17,070 8,890 139,680 30,640 3,990
 
Women
Canadian-born 11% 22% 50% 67% 53% 27%
Immigrants 18% 35% 66% 60% 44% 19%
 Immigrated before 1986 18% 36% 65% 59% 44% 20%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 21% 34% 72% 55% 44% 14%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 14% 37% 64% 68% 43% 21%
Men
Canadian-born 14% 22% 45% 62% 59% 39%
Immigrants 19% 27% 54% 61% 56% 34%
 Immigrated before 1986 20% 29% 54% 57% 56% 35%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 22% 24% 55% 55% 57% 28%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 11% 22% 50% 76% 62% 34%
Total
Canadian-born 13% 22% 48% 65% 56% 32%
Immigrants 18% 31% 61% 60% 50% 25%
 Immigrated before 1986 19% 32% 60% 58% 49% 27%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 22% 29% 65% 55% 50% 20%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 13% 29% 58% 72% 53% 26%

Canadian-born persons in Toronto generally have more education than immigrants, whether one considers the proportion without a high school diploma or the proportion with post-secondary credentials. The differences are in the order of 5 to 10 percentage points. However, this pattern is broken with the younger very recent immigrants. Fully three-quarters of men aged 25-44 who immigrated during the 1996-2001 period have a post-secondary diploma or degree, compared to three in five Canadian-born men. For very recent immigrant women in the same age group, two-thirds have a post-secondary diploma or degree, about the same share as for their Canadian-born counterparts. By the same token, the share of persons with less than high school is the same for very recent immigrants and the Canadian-born in the 25-44 age group. This very high education level of very recent immigrants is something new. In 1996, immigrants in the comparable cohort, those who had landed in the five years previous to the census, were not as well educated.

Recent immigrants add to Toronto’s pool of scientists and engineers

Approximately three out of every five men who immigrated after 1985 and have a post-secondary diploma or degree majored in physical sciences, engineering or trades. This compares to two out of five Canadian-born men. Among women with a post-secondary diploma or degree, one in five recent immigrants have studied some physical science or technology, compared to one in nine Canadian-born women with similar education levels.

Table B-10: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 years of age and over, with post-secondary diploma or degree—major field of study, by gender, Toronto Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Physical sciences, engineering and trades Social sciences, education and arts Commerce, management and business administration Health professions and related technologies Total
Women
Canadian-born 47,270 225,350 115,120 56,620 444,360
Immigrants 87,330 155,330 126,560 64,540 433,760
 Immigrated before 1986 29,300 47,340 42,820 20,440 139,890
 Immigrated 1986-1995 30,960 77,270 61,900 33,340 203,470
 Immigrated 1996-2001 27,090 30,720 21,860 10,770 90,430
Men
Canadian-born 169,080 138,180 96,290 14,970 418,520
Immigrants 266,750 85,360 83,060 20,880 456,050
 Immigrated before 1986 78,230 24,020 26,160 6,140 134,540
 Immigrated 1986-1995 128,740 47,400 41,550 10,280 227,970
 Immigrated 1996-2001 59,790 13,960 15,360 4,460 93,550
Total
Canadian-born 216,350 363,530 211,410 71,600 862,880
Immigrants 354,080 240,700 209,620 85,420 889,820
 Immigrated before 1986 107,520 71,330 68,970 26,580 274,390
 Immigrated 1986-1995 159,700 124,690 103,440 43,620 431,440
 Immigrated 1996-2001 86,870 44,680 37,210 15,230 183,980
 
Women
Canadian-born 11% 51% 26% 13% 100%
Immigrants 20% 36% 29% 15% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 21% 34% 31% 15% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 15% 38% 30% 16% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 30% 34% 24% 12% 100%
Men
Canadian-born 40% 33% 23% 4% 100%
Immigrants 58% 19% 18% 5% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 58% 18% 19% 5% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 56% 21% 18% 5% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 64% 15% 16% 5% 100%
Total
Canadian-born 25% 42% 25% 8% 100%
Immigrants 40% 27% 24% 10% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 39% 26% 25% 10% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 37% 29% 24% 10% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 47% 24% 20% 8% 100%

By contrast, recent immigrants are represented in significantly smaller proportions than the Canadian-born in the social sciences, education and the arts. One-half of Canadian-born women have diplomas or degrees in these fields, compared to one-third of very recent immigrant women. For men, the share of diplomas and degrees in the social sciences, education and the arts is one-third for the Canadian-born and less than one-fifth for recent immigrants. The several immigrant cohorts and the Canadian-born are more alike with respect to the proportions who specialized in commerce and business and health professions and related technologies. The educational choices of immigrants, recent immigrants and the Canadian-born remain much the same as in 1996.

Recent immigrants more likely to attend school

Very recent immigrants are relatively likely to be in school. School attendance is nearly twice as high for this group as for the Canadian-born in the 25-44 age group and nearly three times as high in the 45-64 age group.

Table B-11: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 to 64 years of age, attending school—by age and gender, Toronto Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage)
  15 to 24
years
25 to 44
years
45 to 64
years
15 to 24
years
25 to 44
years
45 to 64
years
Women
Canadian-born 133,950 50,050 9,900 68% 13% 5%
Immigrants 67,390 64,760 17,190 70% 16% 5%
 Immigrated before 1986 5,660 15,010 9,100 64% 12% 4%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 39,270 25,220 4,860 73% 15% 6%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 22,470 24,560 3,240 67% 24% 11%
Men
Canadian-born 133,060 40,050 5,540 65% 10% 3%
Immigrants 68,850 47,320 13,160 70% 13% 4%
 Immigrated before 1986 5,830 10,750 6,050 63% 9% 3%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 40,690 17,900 3,890 71% 12% 5%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 22,330 18,660 3,220 72% 20% 11%
Total
Canadian-born 267,010 90,110 15,430 67% 12% 4%
Immigrants 136,230 112,070 30,340 70% 15% 5%
 Immigrated before 1986 11,490 25,750 15,130 63% 11% 3%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 79,960 43,110 8,740 72% 14% 6%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 44,800 43,210 6,460 70% 22% 11%

School attendance, of course, is much higher in the youngest age group, persons of 15 to 24 years of age, than in older age groups. Here, in comparison to the Canadian-born, we find a higher rate of attendance for men who immigrated very recently and a similar rate for very recent immigrant women. The latter is just as noteworthy as the former, as educational participation of young Canadian-born women is very high by international standards. School attendance is also high among young earlier immigrants. School attendance rates for all groups are similar to those in 1996, with one exception: more young earlier immigrants were in school in 2001 than in 1996.

Date Modified: