Canadian immigrants more overeducated for jobs than U.S. counterparts: StatsCan

Good analysis of the data by StatsCan of both the comparatively large gap among recent immigrants and a minimal gap with respect to immigrants who have resided in Canada or USA for 10 years or more:

Recent immigrants in Canada with a university degree were more likely to be over-educated for their jobs compared to immigrants in the United States, a new study from Statistics Canada has found.

The Tuesday release from the federal agency found 35 per cent of working-age, university-educated immigrants who arrived in Canada within the last 10 years were over-educated for their jobs.

In comparison, only 21 per cent of their counterparts south of the border were deemed to be over-educated for their jobs.

Overeducation in the study refers to situations where workers with at least a bachelor’s degree hold a job that requires only a high school diploma or less.

Statistics Canada said the gap was little changed when difference in socio-demographic characteristics among recent immigrants in the two countries were factored in.

The findings raise questions about whether Canada’s immigration system can be better linked to its economic needs and is efficiently employing its highly-educated workforce.

While Canada’s economy in recent years has grown at a steady rate, much due to lockstep expansion of its labour force, the growth of productivity remains sluggish.

Labour productivity, which measures real GDP per hours worked, only increased 0.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2019 for Canadian businesses. The U.S., meanwhile, saw productivity grow by three times as much in the same period. Statistics Canada will release its third quarter figures on Wednesday.

“Overeducation leads to inefficient use of human capital and lost productivity,” Tuesday’s report reads.

While helping to sustain long-term economic growth, productivity gains can lead to wage increases that raise the standard of living.

Tuesday’s report noted that compared to the U.S., “Canada’s industrial structure is less knowledge-intensive and has a weaker demand for university-educated workers.”

As well, the study said up until the early 2010s, university-educated immigrants in Canada were mostly admitted through a points system that selected those based on their human capital characteristics, such as education, language, age and work experience.

Such factors have led to a large supply of university-educated immigrants “relative to labour market demand for skilled workers in Canada than in the United States.”

“The differences in supply–demand balance and how new immigrants are selected could affect immigrants’ relative performance in the labour market in the two countries,” the report read.

University-educated immigrants in the U.S. were generally selected and sponsored by employers.

Pedro Antunes, chief economist at the Conference Board of Canada, said better employing immigrants to their qualifications could improve Canada’s economic performance.

“What we’re talking about is bringing in qualified workers that aren’t being fully employed. So we certainly could improve our productivity if we fully utilise their skill sets and their credentials,” he said.

But Antunes said economic outcomes for highly-educated immigrants have improved in recent years, in part due to a tightening of the labour market. He said Canada has also done a better job in creating arrival streams that ensure there are opportunities for highly-skilled immigrants.

The report had observed that new immigrants admitted through the Canadian Experience Class had the lowest overeducation rate of 18 per cent among economic streams.

The entry stream introduced in 2008 allows immigrant to arrive as temporary foreign workers who can then apply for permanent residence after working for one year.

“I do think we’re doing some things right,” Antunes said. “I wouldn’t want to be too critical of the system.”

While new immigrants in Canada were more likely to be over-educated for their jobs compared to those in the U.S., the disparity for immigrants who arrived more than a decade ago was much smaller.

Twenty-one per cent of long-term immigrants in Canada were over-educated, compared to 18 per cent for similar immigrants in the U.S.

The report said this finding suggests immigrants to Canada are able to find jobs better aligned with their qualifications in the long run.

Among domestic-born workers, the overeducation rate for also slightly lower in Canada than in the U.S.

Antunes added that more could be done for highly-skilled immigants to support arriving spouses and by reducing employer bias.

Source: Canadian immigrants more overeducated for jobs than U.S. counterparts: StatsCan

Douglas Todd: Up to 1 in 3 study-visa holders in Canada not in school

More on international students and some of the abuses of the program:

One in three people who entered Canada on student visas do not appear to have been enrolled at educational institutions in the country, Statistics Canada reports.

A recent StatsCan analysis could not find indications that 30.5 per cent of people in the country on post-secondary study permits in 2015 were signed up that year at a Canadian college or university.

The StatsCan study, by Marc Frenette, Yuquian Lu and Winnie Chan, echoes the findings of an internal Immigration Department report that revealed 25 per cent of would-be foreign students in Canada in 2018 were likely not complying with the conditions of their visa or were just not being monitored by school administrators.

The high no-show rate comes as there is a rising trend toward “edu-immigration” to Canada. Many foreign nationals are being encouraged by immigration agents to use Canada’s study permits to gain a relatively easy foothold in the country to find work, through which they can try to obtain permanent resident status.

Canada has a reputation as an unusually open country for international students, especially in the way it allows newcomers to study part-time and hold down an almost unlimited range of jobs. Compared to Britain, the U.S. and Australia, Canada is known for having a poor record of tracking study-visa holders once they’re in the country.

Vancouver immigration consultant Laleh Sahba and immigration lawyer Sam Hyman say it’s an unfortunate reality that many international students are being told by dubious agents they can bypass school to work. But the immigration specialists say such misuses shouldn’t overshadow that most international students are using the system responsibly.

The number of study-visa holders in Canada has shot up by 73 per cent in four years, to 573,000 in 2018, with the highest concentration in Metro Vancouver.

Many officials welcome the hike in high-fee-paying offshore students. They maintain they enhance cultural diversity on campuses and boost the budgets of public educational institutions, which are not being funded by governments as well as in the past.

In addition to articles published by Postmedia on loopholes in Canada’s study-visa program, The Toronto Star reported in November that many would-be international students are routinely fail to pursue their studies, instead looking for work and applying for permanent residency.

Some get caught. Canadian officials revoked 5,502 study visas last year, an almost-four-fold increase from 2016.

The Globe and Mail also reported last month that many trucking companies, primarily in Surrey, are taking large illegal cash payments from foreign students in exchange for truck-driver jobs that might help them qualify for permanent residency. The trucking companies send many of the study-visa holders out on the road with no training, leading to deadly accidents.

Visa officials appear to be starting to respond to flaws in Canada’s burgeoning program: A growing number of study-visa applications, two out of five, are now being rejected, Postmedia reported this month.

Immigration department officials have acknowledged a tenth of all study-visa applications are fraudulent, often because they use faked acceptance letters from Canadian institutions.

One of the disquieting findings in the StatsCan report is that 2015’s rate was an improvement over previous years: In 2009, only half of study-permit holders were signed up with a school.

When Postmedia asked Statistics Canada why such a large proportion of would-be foreign students appear to be avoiding studying, officials said the authors of the report were not permitted to directly answer Postmedia’s questions.

Although the report said statistical “noise” made it hard to precisely determine the ratio of study-visa holders who were not enrolled at the time researchers did their calculations, a Statistics Canada official also acknowledged: “We did not ask respondents their motivation for coming to Canada on a student visa. We only observed their work patterns.”

The study concluded that about one in four study-visa holders in Canada eventually gain permanent resident status. But beyond such data, the authors said, “Little is known about international students in Canada.”

Hyman, the immigration lawyer, says there is no doubt many study-permit holders come to Canada essentially to work and not to study.

“Some work full-time in contravention of the terms of their study permit, which limits them to working no more than 20 hours a week when school is in session, plus full-time during scheduled school vacations.” Some, Hyman said, obtain work “off the books for cash.”

Ottawa has failed to hire staff dedicated to enforcing the evolving rules about what it requires to be a genuine international student, said Hyman. “Still, sometimes detection occurs when the student goes to renew the initial student permit and has to demonstrate academic progress, or try to explain the lack of it.”

An Ottawa immigration official said that up until 2014, a prospective international student did not have to enrol in an educational program. He or she only needed to demonstrate an “intent” to study. It took until this year for Immigration Canada to more clearly define what it really means to “actively pursue” an academic program.

Canada’s more than 650 institutes of higher education are allowed to follow the honour system in informing authorities about study-visa infractions. And even though Canadian schools have been required since 2016 to report on their total international-student enrolment, 68 schools failed to do even that last year.

There can be legitimate reasons for not complying with study-visa requirements, including illness, running out of money or switching schools, says Sahba, the immigration consultant. But she’s convinced Canada’s institutes of higher learning should make it a higher priority to report on absent foreign students.

Sahba is disturbed by the dubious migration agents in Canada and abroad who increasingly tell young would-be migrants the easiest way to get permanent resident status in Canada is by obtaining a study visa, largely avoiding school and getting access to employers, some of whom exploit the workers in exchange for providing a crucial sponsorship letter.

While this is an “unfortunate reality” for some study-permit holders, Sahba said “there are also many responsible, ambitious and self-motivated international students currently studying in Canada. And many more waiting in the queue for their visas.”

Source: Douglas Todd: Up to 1 in 3 study-visa holders in Canada not in school

For the StatCan study: The Postsecondary Experience and Early Labour Market Outcomes of International Study Permit Holders

Canada expects a 40 per cent increase in citizenship among immigrants by 2024

Good overview by Kareem El-Assal, who included the need for a more meaningful performance standard:

A new Statistics Canada study that shows fewer recent immigrants are gaining Canadian citizenship is cause for concern, but improvements are on the horizon. 

Becoming a citizen is one of the defining life moments of Canada’s immigrants. It marks the end of their newcomer journey and the beginning of their journey as a Canadian with the same rights as those born in Canada. These include the right to vote, to run for political office, to gain preferential treatment when applying to government jobs, to travel with a Canadian passport, and to travel outside of Canada indefinitely.

Canada takes pride in supporting the citizenship journey of immigrants as the country’s high rate of citizenship acquisition is an important indicator that Canada does a good job of facilitating integration. A 2018 study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reported that 91 per cent of immigrants who had lived in Canada for at least 10 years held citizenship, compared with the OECD average of 63 per cent. Other top destinations for immigrants such as Australia (81 per cent) and the United States (62 per cent) lag behind Canada by a wide margin.

Citizenship acquisition is down

Statistics Canada’s new study finds that citizenship acquisition stood at 86 per cent at the time of the 2016 Census compared with 82 per cent during the 1991 Census.

This promising finding, however, is overshadowed by the significant decline in citizenship acquisition among more recent immigrant cohorts.

In 1996, for example, 68 per cent of eligible immigrants who had been in Canada for five years were citizens, but this figure fell to 43 per cent in 2016. In fact, Statistics Canada’s analysis found that the citizenship rate for most immigrant cohorts fell in 2016 compared with the 2006 Census. Immigrants with low income, official language proficiency, and education have experienced the sharpest drop in naturalization.

Why has naturalization fallen among recent immigrants?

Statistics Canada’s analysis strongly suggests that citizenship policy changes made by Canada over the past decade have hurt naturalization rates.

In 2010, Canada introduced new language requirements and a new citizenship exam. Immigrants between the ages of 14 and 64 had to demonstrate a minimum language proficiency and obtain a pass mark of at least 75 per cent on their citizenship exam (the previous pass mark was 60 per cent). In 2017, these requirements were reversed to only apply to those aged between 18 and 54.

The rationale for these changes was to ensure immigrants were integrating into Canadian society by demonstrating their language proficiency and understanding of Canada’s history, geography, politics, laws, and economy. The government also introduced multiple versions of the citizenship test to reduce cheating and ensure immigrants had a strong knowledge of the topics that it covered.

In addition, the federal government increased the citizenship application fee from $100 to $300 for adults in February 2014 and then raised it again to $530 in January 2015. The fee for children remained the same at $100. Both adult and child applicants also had to pay an extra $100 “right of citizenship fee.”

The fee hikes were justified on the basis they helped the government recover the costs of processing citizenship applications.

Stricter language proficiency and citizenship test requirements have made it more difficult for immigrants with weak language skills and low education to become citizens.

Moreover, the increase in citizenship fees made it less affordable for low-income immigrants to apply for citizenship. Consider that it currently costs a total of $630 per person to apply for citizenship. A family of four needs to pay $1,500, which may be difficult if they are barely making ends meet.

Citizenship rates should increase

Recent policy shifts could improve naturalization rates in the coming years.

For instance, Canada has increased its economic class selection standards over the past decade, which means more immigrants are arriving with higher levels of language proficiency. Family class immigrants tend to have similar socio-economic characteristics as the Canadian citizens and permanent residents sponsoring them, which means that higher economic class selection standards should result in more family class immigrants arriving with higher human capital.

Reducing language test and citizenship exam requirements for only those between the ages of 18 and 54 will likely also improve citizenship rates since older immigrants tend to have weaker English or French skills than younger ones.

The cost will also no longer be a prohibitive factor in applying for citizenship if the Liberals enact their 2019 federal election campaign promise to waive citizenship fees entirely.

Set better performance standards

One major area for improvement, according to Andrew Griffith, a Canadian citizenship policy researcher, is the introduction of better performance standards that enable the federal government to track how quickly recent immigrants are becoming citizens.

In a recent column, Griffith observes that the federal government tends to measure success based on the total number of eligible immigrants who become citizens, irrespective of when they moved to Canada.

A limitation of this approach is it fails to capture how immigration and citizenship policy reforms and socioeconomic conditions are affecting citizenship uptake of recent immigrant arrivals.

Griffith argues that a more prudent approach to measuring Canada’s effectiveness in supporting integration and citizenship acquisition is by setting performance standards that formally measure the citizenship rates of recent immigrants (those in Canada 5-9 years).

This would enable Canada to make policy adjustments as required to promote higher citizenship rates among this cohort.

40 per cent increase by 2024?

The Liberal campaign platform forecasted they will spend $110 million in 2023-2024 to process citizenship applications compared with the $75 million to be spent over the coming federal government fiscal year.

This 40 per cent increase in spending suggests the government expects a 40 per cent increase in new citizens by 2024.

If this is the case, Canada will reverse its declining rate of naturalization among recent immigrants in the coming years — and that would further cement Canada’s leadership among its OECD peers in facilitating integration.


Number of immigrants becoming Canadian citizens drops

CBC’s take on the StatsCan report, largely based on my interview (All in a Day):

Fewer Canadian immigrants became citizens in 2016 than 1996, according to a new study released by Statistics Canada this week, though more recent developments  may be addressing some of the issues at play.

The citizenship rate among recent immigrants was just over 75 per cent in 1996, but declined to 60 per cent in 2016.

“There are a number of factors that created the decline,” said Andrew Griffith, a former director-general with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, on CBC Radio’s All in a Day Thursday.

Griffith said that part of the reason may be financial.

The processing fee for citizenship used to be $200, but the amount was increased to $630 under the previous Conservative government, Griffith said.

“If you look at a family of four, you’re talking about $1,500 or so,” he said. “That’s a significant burden.”

The Liberals were re-elected to a minority government last month with a platform that included eliminating this application fee.

There was a spike in citizenship applications late in 2017, after the period covered by the study, when the federal government relaxed some of the residency and language rules.

Complicated language

Another issue, according to Griffith, is that more complex language is used in the new citizenship study guide.

In order to obtain citizenship, people must take a written test on Canada and the government.

The guide was revised about a decade ago, and Griffith said it includes more sophisticated language.

As a result, people with lower levels of education can have a harder time.

“You’re creating an additional barrier that doesn’t need to be there,” he said.

He added that it’s possible to simplify the language in the study guide without simplifying the content.

Big decline in East Asian immigrants

The study also revealed the decline in citizenship rates was most pronounced among East Asian immigrants.

In 1996 the citizenship rate among East Asian immigrants was at 83 per cent, but that was down to 45 per cent by 2016.

Chinese immigrants drove the majority of this decline, according to Statistics Canada, which may demonstrate their changing preference for keeping Chinese citizenship while the country experiences significant economic growth.

In comparison, the rate among immigrants from western Europe, South America and the United States remained stable or slightly declined.

The percentage of recent immigrants obtaining Canadian citizenship is seeing a noticeable decline especially among those with lower family incomes, levels of education, and knowledge of English or French. In this hour…a former director with Citizenship and Immigration tells us why this is the case. 10:23

Being a citizen gives new Canadians the ability to enter or leave Canada freely, the right to a Canadian passport, as well as the right to vote in Canadian elections.

But Griffith also emphasized how the broader Canadian public benefits from having new citizens.

“Immigrants who choose to become Canadians tend to be more involved in Canadian society, more engaged in Canadian society, contribute more to Canadian society,” he said.

“So there’s a mix of that private benefit to the individual and public benefits to society.”

Source: Nov. 14, 2019: New study shows decline in percentage of recent immigrants obtaining Canadian citizenship10:24

Latest StatsCan Citizenship Study: Declining naturalization

This latest study by Statistics Canada on the naturalization rate is both humbling and gratifying.

Humbling in its methodological rigour and thoroughness, compared to my more rudimentary analysis. 

Gratifying, in that it confirms my earlier sounding the alarm that the recent naturalization rate has been declining, for lower income, lower educated and less official language fluent immigrants.

The paper also strengthens the case for IRCC to adopt a meaningful performance standard for the citizenship program, one based upon the naturalization rate for those immigrants who have been in Canada between five and nine years (previous census period) rather than the current meaningless performance measure related to all immigrants, whether recent or many years ago.

Conclusion excerpted below:

This paper uses census data from 1991 to 2016 to examine changes in the citizenship rate among recent immigrants who meet the residency requirement to become citizens. The results show that the citizenship rate among recent immigrants peaked in 1996 and declined considerably since then. This decline primarily occurred after 2006. Furthermore, the decline in the citizenship rate varied across socio-demographic characteristics, and the timing of the decline varied across immigrant groups as well.

Immigrants with lower family incomes experienced a much larger decline in citizenship rates than did those with higher family incomes. The decline among lower income immigrant families largely occurred between 2006 and 2011. The citizenship rate also declined much more among immigrants with poorer official language skills than it did among immigrants whose mother tongue was English or French. The citizenship rate among immigrants with poorer official language skills has been declining since 2001 and was observed over all intercensal periods. Education was also a factor, with citizenship rates declining much more among immigrants with lower than higher levels of educational attainment. This was primary observed between 2011 and 2016.

When all three of these factors—family income, knowledge of official languages, and educational attainment—are combined, the citizenship rate was more or less constant between 1996 and 2016 for the most advantaged group of recent immigrants (i.e., with a high income, university education, and English or French as a mother tongue). In contrast, it declined significantly among the more disadvantaged group (i.e., with a low income, high school or less education and mother tongue not English or French).

There was also significant variation in the extent to which citizenship rates declined among immigrants from different source regions. Most striking was the large decline in citizenship take-up among immigrants from East Asia—mainly China. Indeed, by 2016 the citizenship rate among recent Chinese immigrants more closely resembled the rate among immigrants from developed rather than from developing countries.

Source: Trends in the Citizenship Rate Among New Immigrants to Canada (11-626-X2019015)

The CP story on the study:

Fewer newcomers from disadvantaged groups became Canadian citizens during a 10-year period that coincided with the previous Conservative government’s changes to the citizenship program, new Statistics Canada research shows.

The decrease was part an overall trend in declining citizenship rates among those who have been in Canada less than 10 years, despite the fact the actual citizenship rate in Canada is among the highest in the Western world, Statistics Canada said in the study released Wednesday.

The researchers found that between 1991 and 2016, the citizenship rate in Canada – the percentage of immigrants who become citizens – rose about five percentage points, but the increase was largely driven by people who had been in Canada for over a decade.

But beginning in 1996 and until 2016, the citizenship rate for those who’d been in the country for less than 10 years began to fall.

Using adjusted income measurements, Statistics Canada found that for those with incomes below $10,000, the drop was 23.5 percentage points, compared to just three percentage points for those with incomes over $100,000.

In the same decade, the citizenship rate fell 22.5 percentage points among people with less than a high school education, compared with 13.8 percentage points among those with university degrees.

In the case of both income levels and education, the gaps widened between 2011 and 2016.

Between 2011 and 2015, the Conservative government of the day overhauled the citizenship program, hiking citizenship fees from $100 to $630 and implementing stricter language, residency and knowledge requirements.

The Statistics Canada research does not provide specific reasons for the decline in citizenship rates.

“Multiple policy changes were made throughout the 2006 to 2016 period,” Laurence Beaudoin-Corriveau, an agency spokesperson, said in an email. “It is difficult to pinpoint the effect of a particular policy change with the census data, which are collected every five years.”

The Conservatives defended the decision to raise citizenship fees – they had not increased since 1995 – by arguing that the fee didn’t come close to covering the cost of actually processing the applications. They had foreseen that the rise could impact applications, noting at the time it might mean people wait longer in order to save the money required.

In their platform during the recent federal election, the Liberals took the opposite approach, promising to eliminate the fee beginning next year.

“The process of granting citizenship is a government service, not something that should be paid for with a user fee,” the platform said.

The Liberals pegged the cost of removing the fee at $391 million over four years.

In 2017, they also eased other citizenship requirements, including residency obligations and the age range for being required to pass language and knowledge tests.

According to the latest numbers from Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada, 176,473 people became Canadian citizens in 2018, up from 106,373 the year before.

Source: New Statistics Canada study suggests decline in citizenship rate tied to income

Population projections: Canada, provinces and territories, 2018 to 2068

The immigration effect, largely based upon assumptions that the current rate of about .83 percent of the population would continue (for the detailed paper on their immigration expert consultations and analysis, see Population Projections for Canada, Provinces and Territories : Technical Report on Methodology and Assumptions, 2018 to 2068):

Today, Statistics Canada looks to the future with the release of a new edition of population projections for Canada, the provinces and the territories.

Population projections investigate how the Canadian population might evolve in the years ahead. Statistics Canada publishes several scenarios to highlight the uncertain nature of population projections, making it clear that the future is not yet defined.

Readers can now access the publications Population Projections for Canada (2018 to 2068), Provinces and Territories (2018 to 2043), Population Projections for Canada (2018 to 2068), Provinces and Territories (2018 to 2043): Technical Report on Methodology and Assumptions, as well as the new infographic “What will the population of Canada look like in 2068?”

55 million Canadians by 2068?

While the populations of many developed countries are expected to decrease, Canada’s population is projected to grow over the next 50 years, largely because of strong immigration.

Population growth, however, is likely to vary across the country, with the population of some provinces and territories increasing and others decreasing. As a result, the provinces and territories may experience diverse opportunities and challenges over the coming decades.

The Canadian population has grown substantially in recent years, increasing from 30.7 million people in 2000 to 37.1 million in 2018.

The projections show that growth would continue in Canada over the next 50 years, and that the population could reach between 44.4 million and 70.2 million inhabitants by 2068. In the medium-growth scenario, the Canadian population would grow from 37.1 million inhabitants in 2018 to 55.2 million by 2068.

According to the low- and medium-growth scenarios, the rate of population growth would slow in the coming years, owing mainly to an increasing number of deaths relative to births. The expected increase in the number of deaths is mainly related to population aging.

In all scenarios, immigration would remain the key driver of population growth over the next 50 years, as has been the case since the early 1990s.

Increasing share of people aged 65 and older, decreasing share of the working-age population

According to all scenarios, Canada’s population would continue to become older in the coming years at both the national and the provincial and territorial levels.

Over the next two decades in particular, the proportion of people aged 65 and older in the population would grow rapidly as the large baby-boom cohort (those born between 1946 and 1965) reaches age 65. This transition could affect Canadian society in various ways, placing additional pressure on pension and health care systems and decreasing the share of the working-age population.

By 2068, the proportion of the population aged 65 and older would reach between 21.4% and 29.5%, depending on the scenario. In comparison, 17.2% of Canadians were aged 65 and over in 2018.

During the same period, the share of the working-age population—that is, people aged 15 to 64, most of whom are in the labour force—would decrease according to all projection scenarios, from 66.7% in 2018 to between 57.9% and 61.4% in 2068.

Centenarians: The fastest-growing age group

By 2068, the number of Canadians aged 80 and older would reach 5.5 million according to the medium-growth scenario, compared with 1.6 million in 2018.

Driven by the baby boomers reaching age 100 and increasing life expectancy, the number of centenarians (people who are aged 100 or older) in Canada would peak at 90,200 people in 2065 according to the medium-growth scenario, compared with 10,000 people in 2018.

As a result, centenarians would be the fastest-growing age group between 2018 and 2068. However, they would remain a very small share of the total population (0.2% or less in all projection scenarios).

Ontario and Alberta would make up more than half of Canada’s projected population growth between 2018 and 2068

According to all projection scenarios, the population of Ontario would increase over the next 25 years, reaching between 16.5 million and 20.4 million inhabitants by 2043. Ontario would remain the most populous province according to all scenarios.

In all scenarios, the rate of population growth in Alberta would be the highest among Canadian provinces over the next 25 years. By 2043, Alberta’s population would number between 6.0 million and 7.3 million inhabitants depending on the scenario, compared with 4.3 million in 2018.

Together, Alberta and Ontario would account for more than half of Canada’s projected growth between 2018 and 2043 in all scenarios.

Alberta’s population could surpass that of British Columbia by 2043 according to almost all scenarios. The other Prairie provinces would also see considerable growth over the next 25 years: by 2043, the combined population of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta would be slightly larger than Quebec’s population in all projection scenarios.

The rate of population growth in Quebec would remain lower than that of Canada in most scenarios. As a result, Quebec’s share of the total Canadian population could decrease from 22.6% in 2018 to between 20.1% and 20.6% by 2043.

A similar phenomenon would occur in the Atlantic provinces. Low—and, in some scenarios, negative—growth rates would cause the populations of the Atlantic provinces to represent either a stable or a decreasing share of the Canadian population by 2043.

While the population of the three territories would increase in all projection scenarios, its share of the total Canadian population would remain stable, at 0.3% between 2018 and 2043.

Large regional differences in population aging

While population aging would continue to occur in all parts of the country, there would be considerable variation in the pace and degree of aging among the provinces and territories.

In 2043, the proportion of seniors aged 65 and older would be lower than the national average in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, varying between 16.5% and 21.8% depending on the scenario.

In contrast, the Atlantic provinces would have the largest proportion of those aged 65 and older in the country, with this proportion surpassing 30% for Newfoundland and Labrador in all scenarios.

In 2043, the populations of the territories are projected to remain the youngest populations in Canada according to all scenarios. The proportion of seniors aged 65 and older would not exceed 9.4% in Nunavut or 17.0% in the Northwest Territories.


Population projections provide an opportunity to think about changes that the country will probably experience in the future. According to these new projections, the Canadian population would continue to increase over the next 50 years. However, growth rates would vary considerably among the provinces and territories, and some could experience population decrease. Population aging is projected to remain a prominent and inevitable feature of population change in Canada in the coming years. These demographic changes will alter the composition and distribution of the Canadian population, and are therefore likely to have economic, political and social consequences.

StatsCan Study: How temporary were Canada’s temporary foreign workers?

Spoiler alert – apart from Agricultural Workers program – is that the overall trend is temporary workers staying for longer periods with most temporary workers in Canada for 10 years or more transitioning from temporary to permanent residency status:

Temporary foreign workers are admitted to Canada through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the International Mobility Program (Government of Canada) with the objectives of addressing short-term labour shortages and advancing Canada’s broad economic and cultural interests. The number of temporary foreign workers present in Canada increased from 52,000 in 1996 to 310,000 in 2015. Given the growing presence of temporary foreign workers, their rate and length of stay in Canada are relevant to national immigration and labour market policies.

This Statistics Canada study documents the length of time that temporary foreign workers remain in Canada and the extent to which longer durations of stays are the result of extended use of temporary residence permits or transitions to permanent resident status.

In the study, temporary foreign workers are defined as individuals who were aged 18 to 64 at the time of their arrival in Canada, who received a work permit between 1990 and 2009, and whose first admission to Canada was primarily for work purposes. These individuals were followed for at least five years, and for up to 15 years, after their first admission to Canada. The study is based on the Temporary Residents File.

Durations of stay among temporary foreign workers became longer through the 2000s. Of the 264,000 temporary foreign workers first admitted to Canada from 1995 to 1999, 13% (or 35,000) were still in Canada five years after their initial arrival. This was the case for 37% (or 187,000) of the approximately 500,000 temporary foreign workers first admitted to Canada from 2005 to 2009. The same pattern was evident 10 years after arrival among earlier cohorts. Specifically, 11% of temporary foreign workers first admitted to Canada from 1995 to 1999 and 18% of those first admitted from 2000 to 2004 were still in Canada 10 years after their initial arrival in Canada.

Almost 90% of temporary foreign workers who were still in Canada after 10 years had obtained permanent resident status, having made the transition from temporary foreign worker to landed immigrant. This was the case among temporary foreign workers in virtually all ongoing programs, with the exception of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program. Temporary foreign workers in this program were unique in that almost one-quarter continued to receive work permits for seasonal employment 10 years after their initial arrival in Canada. Temporary foreign worker programs, such as the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program, have been associated with different options for transitioning to permanent residence status.

via The Daily — Study: How temporary were Canada’s temporary foreign workers?

StatsCan Study: The exit and survival patterns of immigrant entrepreneurs

Yet another interesting study by StatsCan:

In most developed countries, self-employment is more prevalent among immigrants than among native-born individuals. However, much less is known about the survival and longevity of immigrant-owned firms. A small body of international research suggests that immigrant-owned businesses have shorter durations of survival than businesses owned by the native born. There has been little evidence on whether or not this is the case in Canada. Information on business survival is relevant to business development policies and the measurement of the economic impacts of immigration.

A new Statistics Canada study examines the duration of business ownership among immigrant and Canadian-born individuals. The study finds that, on average, there was little difference in the duration of ownership between immigrant and Canadian-born owners of private incorporated companies.

The study uses data from the Canadian Employer-Employee Dynamic Database, including individual and corporate tax returns and immigrant landing files, and focuses on ownership of private incorporated companies that started between 2003 and 2009. Ownership was tracked for up to seven years after start-up. The analysis builds on previous research studies that examined the prevalence of business ownership among immigrant entrepreneurs and the industries in which they were found.

The new Statistics Canada study finds that the rate of business failure is highest in the initial years after start-up. Specifically, among all immigrant owners, 11.5% terminated ownership after one year in business, with this share declining to 3.9% after seven years in business. Overall, about 80% of all immigrant business owners were still in operation after two years and 56% were still in operation after seven. Exit rates from business ownership and the duration of ownership were about the same among Canadian-born owners of private incorporated firms.

Recent immigrants (that is, those in Canada for less than 10 years) had higher exit rates from ownership and shorter durations of ownership than did the Canadian-born or longer-term immigrants (that is, those in Canada for 10 or more years). While 51% of recent immigrant business owners were still in operation after seven years, this was the case for 57% of long-term immigrant business owners and 58% of Canadian-born business owners.

Among recent immigrants, business class immigrants had the highest exit rates and shortest duration of ownership. Among longer-term immigrants, exit rates and the duration of ownership varied little across immigrant admission categories.

A number of other factors were found to be associated with longer duration of business ownership among immigrant owners, including being 30 to 49 years of age; owning a business in the health sector; and being from Europe, Southeast Asia, India, or select English-speaking countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa. Education was found to have only a small effect on exit rates and duration once the effects of other variables were taken into account.

Immigrant owners of private incorporated businesses in the health sector (for example, laboratories, nursing companies, doctors’ offices and chiropractic practices) had particularly long durations of ownership and exit rates that were only one-third of those observed among immigrant business owners in other sectors. Owners in real estate and leasing, food and accommodation, professional services and wholesale trade generally had the shortest duration of ownership.

via The Daily — Study: The exit and survival patterns of immigrant entrepreneurs

The Daily — Police-reported hate crime, 2016

Latest numbers and analytical note:

Police reported 1,409 hate crimes in Canada in 2016, 47 more than in 2015. This represented less than 0.1% of the 1,895,546 crimes (excluding traffic violations) that were reported by police services. The 3% increase in hate crimes was a result of more incidents targeting South Asians and Arabs or West Asians, the Jewish population, and people based on their sexual orientation. In contrast, hate crimes against Muslims and Catholics declined in 2016.

Canada’s population has become more diverse as the proportion of foreign-born, non-Christian religion and people who report as being gay, lesbian, bisexual or in a same-sex relationship continues to grow. For instance, overall, one-fifth of Canada’s population was foreign-born in 2016 and this could reach from 24.5% to 30.0% by 2036.

Since comparable data became available in 2009, the number of police-reported hate crimes have ranged from 1,167 incidents in 2013 to 1,482 incidents in 2009. On average, about 1,360 hate crime incidents have been reported annually by police since 2009.

Police data on hate-motivated crimes are also dependent on the willingness of victims to bring the incident to the attention of police and on the police services’ level of expertise in identifying crimes motivated by hate. As with other crimes, self-reported data provide another way of monitoring hate-motivated crimes. According to the 2014 General Social Survey on Victimization, which measures eight types of crimes, Canadians self-reported having been the victim of over 330,000 criminal incidents that they perceived as being motivated by hate (5% of the total self-reported incidents). Two-thirds of these incidents were not reported to the police.

Police-reported hate crimes refer to criminal incidents that, upon investigation by police, are found to have been motivated by hatred toward an identifiable group, as defined in subparagraph 718.2(a)(i) of the Criminal Code of Canada. An incident may be against a person or property and may target race, colour, national or ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, language, sex, age, mental or physical disability, among other factors. In addition, there are four specific offences listed as hate propaganda offences or hate crimes in the Criminal Code of Canada: advocating genocide, public incitement of hatred, willful promotion of hatred, and mischief motivated by hate in relation to religious property. Police determine whether or not a crime was motivated by hatred and indicate the type of motivation based on information gathered during the investigation and common national guidelines for record classification.

Chart 1  Number of police-reported hate crimes, Canada, 2009 to 2016

Chart 1: Number of police-reported hate crimes, Canada, 2009 to 2016

Hate crimes targeting South Asians and Arabs or West Asians increases

In 2016, 48% of all police-reported hate crimes were motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity. That year, police reported 666 crimes that were motivated by hatred of race or ethnicity, up 4% from the previous year. This increase was largely due to 24 more hate crimes targeting South Asians and 20 more incidents targeting Arabs or West Asians. British Columbia (+13) and Ontario (+9) accounted for most of the increase in crimes against South Asians. Quebec reported 10 more crimes against Arabs or West Asians than in 2015 (from 31 incidents in 2015 to 41 in 2016).

Crimes motivated by hatred of East or Southeast Asian populations also increased from 2015 to 2016, rising from 49 to 61 incidents. While British Columbia reported 17 more incidents than the previous year, Ontario reported 7 fewer.

Police-reported hate crime against Aboriginal peoples continued to account for a relatively small proportion of hate crimes (2%), falling from 35 to 30 incidents.

Although down 4% (from 224 incidents to 214 in 2016), crimes targeting Black populations remained the most common type of hate crime related to race or ethnicity at 15% of all hate crimes.

Police report fewer hate crimes targeting the Muslim population

Police reported 460 hate crimes targeting religious groups in 2016, 9 fewer than in the previous year. These accounted for one-third of all hate crimes in Canada.

Following a notable increase in hate crimes against the Muslim population in 2015, police reported 20 fewer in 2016 for a total of 139. The decrease in police-reported hate crimes against Muslims was the result of fewer reported incidents in Quebec (-16), Alberta (-8) and Ontario (-6).

Similarly, after an increase in 2015, hate crimes against Catholics also decreased, from 55 to 27 in 2016. Ontario reported 16 fewer incidents, and declines were also seen in Quebec (-7) and the Atlantic provinces (-5).

In contrast, hate crimes against the Jewish population grew from 178 to 221 incidents. Increases were seen in Ontario (+31), Quebec (+11) and Manitoba (+7).

Increase in hate crimes targeting sexual orientation

Hate crimes targeting sexual orientation accounted for 13% of all police-reported hate crimes in 2016, rising from 141 incidents in 2015 to 176 in 2016. A greater number of incidents over these two years were reported in Quebec (+15), British Columbia (+11), Ontario (+7) and Saskatchewan (+4).

The national trend driven by more reported offences in Quebec and British Columbia and fewer in Ontario and Alberta

Among the provinces, the greatest increase in the absolute number of police-reported hate crimes was observed in Quebec, where incidents rose from 270 in 2015 to 327 in 2016. This increase was mostly attributable to more hate crimes targeting Arabs and West Asians, the Jewish population and sexual orientation.

British Columbia also reported more hate crimes, rising from 164 to 211. The increase was attributable to crimes against the East or Southeast Asian and South Asian populations, which doubled from 2015 to 2016 (from 15 to 32 and from 11 to 24, respectively).

In contrast, the number of police-reported hate crimes in Alberta declined from 193 in 2015 to 139 in 2016 due to fewer crimes targeting religion.

Hate crimes were more violent in 2016

Based on data from police services that provided detailed information on hate crimes for both 2015 and 2016, an increased violence was observed in hate crimes. For example, violent hate-motivated crimes (for example, assault, threats, criminal harassment and other violent offences) rose from 487 in 2015 to 563 in 2016, up 16%. In 2016, 43% of hate crimes were violent, compared with 38% in 2015.

Hate crimes targeting sexual orientation continued to be the most violent hate crimes. In 2016, 71% of hate crimes motivated by hatred of the victims’ sexual orientation were violent crimes. By comparison, 27% of hate crimes targeting religion and 45% targeting ethnicity were violent.

via The Daily — Police-reported hate crime, 2016

The Daily — Income and mobility of immigrants, 2015

Usual informative StatsCan summary analytical note:

The median entry wages of immigrant tax filers who landed in 2014 were $24,000 in 2015, the highest on record for immigrants who have landed since 1981. Median entry wages are measured as the median wages one year after landing (e.g., their admission to Canada as permanent residents). The median entry wages of the 2013 cohort were $22,000, while they were $18,400 for those who landed in 2000.

This data comes from the Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB), an administrative database that enables the analysis of immigrant cohorts through time and across different admission categories, such as the Canadian Experience Class, Family Class or Refugees.

Immigrants face different challenges when they land in Canada, such as recognition of foreign credentials or the ability to speak at least one of the official languages. Although increasing over the last few years, the median wages of recent immigrants remain lower than those of the Canadian population. For the Canadian-born population, the 2016 Census estimated the 2015 median wages at $36,000, compared to $35,000 for the immigrant population.

Principal applicants in the Canadian Experience Class category have the highest wages

Not all immigrants face the same challenges after landing. The Canadian Experience Class is one program for immigrants to gain permanent residency, intended for people with skilled work experience in Canada. In 2015, immigrant tax filers who landed in 2014 as principal applicants under the Canadian Experience Class admission category had the highest median wages of all groups who landed that year, at $53,000. This is comparable with that of other immigrant cohorts since 2009, when immigrants were first admitted in the Canadian Experience Class. In 2014, the number and proportion of Canadian Experience Class immigrants increased greatly. For example, from the 2013 cohort, 3.1% of tax filers (3,660 immigrants) with wages one year after landing came from that admission category, while for the 2014 cohort, this proportion was 9.4% (12,150 immigrants).

By comparison, among other economic immigrant categories in the 2014 cohort, provincial and territorial nominees and skilled workers had median wages of $37,000 and $26,000, respectively.

Wages increase with the number of years since admission to Canada

Although for most immigration categories, the wages a few years after admission are lower than for the Canadian-born population, they increase with the number of years spent in Canada. The median wages of immigrant tax filers admitted to Canada in 2005 were estimated at $17,600 in 2006, one year after landing. For the same cohort, they increased to $25,000 five years after landing, and $32,000 a decade after.

The number of years in Canada leads to increased wages for immigrants in all admission categories. For example, the median wages of the 2005 cohort of government-assisted refugees were $7,800 one year after landing, $16,000 five years after landing, and $21,000 in 2015, a decade after landing. By contrast, the median wages of privately-sponsored refugees were $19,900 one year after landing, $23,000 five years after landing, and $27,000 in 2015.

Wages of immigrants born in Europe and the United States are higher than those from other regions

Although wages increase with the number of years in the country, there are differences in the economic outcomes of immigrants of the same cohort. The wages of immigrants vary by a number of characteristics, such as age, sex and region of birth.

For the 2005 cohort, the median wages in 2015 were $50,000 for male immigrant tax filers born in Europe and $51,000 for those born in the United States, compared to $30,000 for those born in East Asia.

These differences by region of birth were less pronounced for immigrant women, but their wages were generally lower than their male immigrant counterparts. For example, the median wages for female immigrants born in Europe who landed in 2005 were $34,000 in 2015, compared with $30,000 for those born in the United States and $24,000 for those born in East Asia. These differences are likely related to several factors, including ability to speak at least one of the official languages, educational background, and whether foreign credentials are recognized in the labour market.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Median wages by area of birth and sex for immigrant filers admitted in 2005, tax year 2015
Median wages by area of birth and sex for immigrant filers admitted in 2005, tax year 2015

Chart 1: Median wages by area of birth and sex for immigrant filers admitted in 2005, tax year 2015

Wages of immigrant children admitted between 1980 and 1991 are similar to those of Canadian-born

Many people migrate to another country to improve the living conditions of their children. Immigrants who come to Canada as children achieve similar labour market outcomes as their Canadian-born counterparts. This could be because their education (in part or in whole) is obtained in Canada, and fluency in one of the official languages is less likely to be a barrier.

Immigrants who landed before the age of 20 between 1980 and 1991 had median wages of $49,000 in 2015, according to the Longitudinal Immigration Database (note that these immigrants were between the ages of 24 and 54 in 2015). According to 2016 Census data, the median wages of the Canadian-born population aged 25 to 54 years were $48,000 in 2015.

When controlling for admission category, immigrant children have comparable employment outcomes to their Canadian-born counterparts. Among these immigrants who came to the country before the age of 20 more than 25 years ago, the median wages in 2015 were $45,000 for government-sponsored refugees, and $46,000 for those who were sponsored privately.

Immigrants from the family class are most likely to remain in the province of destination

Admission categories reflect different immigration objectives. Family class immigrants come to be closer to their family, while economic immigrants are selected for their ability to contribute to the labour force. The reasons for immigrating to Canada can influence which immigrants remain in their province of landing over time.

Overall, in 2015, 86% of immigrant tax filers who landed in 2010 filed tax returns in their province of landing. Proportions were highest in Alberta (90%) and Ontario (91%).

Immigrants admitted under the family class are more likely to reside in their destination province five years after landing. For instance, 93% of immigrants whose province of destination was Quebec and who were admitted under a family class category were residing in Quebec five years after landing, compared with 78% for refugees and 82% for economic immigrants.

via The Daily — Income and mobility of immigrants, 2015