Who Drives a Taxi in Canada?

3. Postsecondary-educated taxi drivers

3.1. Country of highest educational attainment

Table 5 shows that one out of every three postsecondary-educated immigrant taxi drivers has a Canadian degree. However, a vast majority (84.4%) of them are trade or college diploma holders. Among postsecondary-educated immigrant taxi drivers, those with Indian or Pakistani degrees account for 18.8% and 11.8% of the total.

Table 5: Postsecondary-educated immigrant
Country Total number %
Total 13,295 100.0
Canada 4,425 33.3
India 2,495 18.8
Pakistan 1,570 11.8
Lebanon 510 3.8
Iran 325 2.4
United Kingdom 315 2.4
Bangladesh 245 1.8
Haiti 230 1.7
United States 195 1.5
Other 2,985 22.5

Source: 2006 Census.

Since sample sizes are too small, we cannot provide a breakdown of taxi drivers by highest educational attainment, country of education and immigration status due to confidentiality considerations. Combining Canadian-born and immigrant taxi drivers, among bachelor’s degree holders, 1,510 out of 4,515 (33.4%) are Canadian trained, 1,060 (20.2%) have degrees from India and 670 (14.8%) have degrees from Pakistan. Among 1,525 taxi drivers with master’s degrees, 245 (16.1%) have Canadian degrees, and 385 (25.3%) have degrees from India. Among 255 PhD and MD taxi drivers, 180 (70.6%) are foreign trained and 35 (13.7%) have degrees from India. There are 75 (29.4%) Canadian trained among the PhD or MD taxi drivers.

3.2. Field of study

The distribution pattern of field of study for postsecondary-educated taxi drivers is quite different between the Canadian born and immigrants. For the Canadian born, nearly one third have a degree in architecture and related technologiesFootnote 4, 14.5% studied in business, management, marketing and related support services, and 13.5% studied in personal, protective and transportation services. Among immigrants, however, the top postsecondary field is business, management, marketing and related support services, accounting for 15.9%; while architecture and related technologies and engineering rank second and third, accounting for 13.7% and 13.4% respectively. The percentage of taxi drivers with engineering degrees is much higher among immigrants (13.4%) than among the Canadian born (2.2%).

Among immigrant taxi drivers, field of study also differs substantially by landing cohort. Among established immigrants, the percentage of those with degrees in architecture and related technologies is the highest (16.7%) – still lower than that of the Canadian born (28.1%), but much higher than that of recent (8.0%) and very recent immigrants (5.4%). However, the percentage of taxi drivers with degrees in engineering is much higher among recent (17.6%) and very recent immigrants (20.2%) than among established immigrants (11.0%). This higher percentage of engineering degree holders among later arrivals is likely related to the much higher percentage of holders of engineering degrees among later arrivals rather than to increasing difficulties of engineering graduates in finding work in their fields compared to graduates from other fieldsFootnote 5.

Table 6: Postsecondary-educated taxi drivers by field of studyFootnote 6
Field of study Total in Canada Canadian Born Immigrants Established immigrants Recent immigrants Very recent immigrants
Total 22,100 8,805 13,295 9,170 2,445 1,680
Architecture and related technologies 19.4 28.1 13.7 16.7 8.0 5.4
Business, management, marketing and related support services 15.4 14.5 15.9 15.1 17.8 18.2
Personal, protective and transportation services 9.0 13.5 6.1 7.3 3.5 3.9
Engineering 8.9 2.2 13.4 11.0 17.6 20.2
Engineering technologies and technicians 8.1 6.9 8.9 10.4 6.7 3.6
Humanities 7.5 4.8 9.3 8.6 10.2 11.6
Social sciences 5.2 3.2 6.4 5.8 7.8 8.0
Health profession 4.8 6.4 3.6 3.4 4.3 4.2
Mathematics and computer science, Information science and supportive service and system science and theory 4.6 3.6 5.3 5.2 5.7 5.4
Behavioural sciences and law 3.4 3.8 3.2 2.8 2.7 5.7
Education 3.1 3.7 2.7 2.6 3.7 2.1
Visual and performing art, and Communications technologies 3.0 4.2 2.1 2.7 x F
Physical and life sciences and technologies 3.0 1.6 3.9 3.7 5.1 3.0
Agriculture, natural resources and Conservation 2.4 1.4 3.1 2.7 3.5 5.1
Mathematics and statistics 0.8 F x x x x
Parks, recreation, leisure and fitness 0.7 0.7 0.8 0.7 x F
Public administration 0.6 1.2 0.2 x F F
Library science 0.1 F F F F F

F: Too unreliable to be released.
x: Suppressed for confidentiality.
Source: 2006 Census.

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