Longitudinal Immigration Database: Immigrants’ income trajectories during the initial years since admission

Usual useful analysis by StatsCan, in particular the highlighting of how two-step immigration is resulting in stronger economic outcomes for the economic class:

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives of Canadian immigrants in many ways. To assess these impacts, it is important to know where Canadian immigrants stood economically right before the outbreak of the pandemic. Based on the latest available data from the 2020 Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB), the present article serves this goal by focusing on immigrant wages in recent years, including 2019. This will provide a baseline for comparison once data for 2020 are available.

Immigrants admitted to Canada in 2018 had a median wage of $31,900 in 2019. This was 4.2% higher than the median entry wage of immigrants admitted in 2017 ($30,600). In fact, immigrants admitted in 2018 had the highest median entry wage, reported one year after admission, among all immigrants admitted since 1981. Despite that, their median wage was still 17.8% lower than the 2019 median wage of the total Canadian population ($38,800).

Compared with those admitted in 2017, immigrants admitted in 2018 experienced median entry wage increases in all provinces, except Alberta, and Newfoundland and Labrador. A closer look by immigration category and pre-admission experience sheds light on differences among various groups of immigrants admitted in 2018, compared with their counterparts admitted in 2017 as well as the Canadian population in corresponding years.

Median wage of economic immigrant principal applicants surpasses that of the Canadian population one year after admission 

Principal applicants of economic categories are selected for their ability to be integrated into the Canadian labour market and to contribute to the economy. Most of them have post-secondary education and knowledge of at least one official language. Immigrants admitted under those categories in 2018 had a median wage of $43,600 in 2019, 12.4% higher than the Canadian median wage in the same year ($38,800) and 3.8% higher than the median entry wage of their counterparts admitted in 2017 ($42,000).

While the median wage of economic principal applicants surpassed that of the Canadian population one year after admission, those of all other immigrants were still less than the Canadian median wage.

The median entry wage of economic immigrant dependents admitted in 2018, spouses included, was $27,600. While lower than the 2019 Canadian median wage, this number was 7.0% higher than that of their counterparts admitted in 2017 ($25,800).

There was no change in the median entry wage between family sponsored immigrants admitted in 2017 and 2018 ($24,500). The median entry wage of refugees ($19,200) was the lowest among immigrants admitted in 2018, though it was 2.7% higher compared with that of their counterparts admitted in 2017 ($18,700).

Economic principal applicants are selected on the basis of their education, specific skills and work experience. The vast majority (96.1%) of immigrant taxfilers admitted under this category in 2018 had completed some post-secondary education at the time of their admission. Economic principal applicants are also more likely to have pre-admission experience in Canada. Among those admitted under this category in 2018, almost two-thirds (64.5%) of them had pre-admission experience in Canada, in contrast with their counterparts admitted as refugees (33.3%), through family sponsorship (32.7%), or as dependents of economic immigrants (32.6%).

Pre-admission experience in Canada, particularly work-related, plays an important role in lifting immigrants’ wages, as it provides a pathway for immigrants to acquire language skills and knowledge of the Canadian labour market. Immigrant taxfilers having both study and work permits prior to immigration obtained the highest median wage one year after admission, both for those admitted in 2017 ($44,900) and in 2018 ($44,600). Immigrants only having work permits prior to immigration obtained the second highest median wage one year after admission ($39,900 for those admitted in 2017 and $39,300 for the 2018 admission cohort). Immigrants admitted with pre-admission work-related experience in 2017 and 2018 already had median wages higher than those of the Canadian population in 2018 ($38,200) and 2019 ($38,800), respectively.

Immigrants without pre-admission experience had lower median entry wages than immigrants with Canadian work experience prior to their admission. Their median entry wage was $23,100 for those admitted in 2017 and $25,700 for those admitted in 2018.

Among immigrants with pre-admission experience in Canada, those with study permits only prior to admission had the lowest median entry wages in 2018 ($14,400) and 2019 ($15,100). However, this group of immigrants is on average younger than their counterparts in all other groups, and therefore has a strong potential to increase their earnings as their careers unfold in the Canadian labour market. Furthermore, they are also more likely to have part-time jobs; information about whether or not their employment was full-time, full-year is unavailable.

Chart 1  
Median entry wage of immigrants admitted in 2017 and 2018, by pre-admission experience

Chart 1: Median entry wage of immigrants admitted in 2017 and 2018, by pre-admission experience

Median wages increase over time with different outcomes for men and women according to their immigration category

When tracking changes over time, a focus on immigrant men and women admitted at age 18 or older in 2009 shows that median wages increased across all immigration categories and for both men and women from 2010 to 2019. However, such increases benefited immigrant men and women differently.

Both economic principal applicant men and women admitted in 2009 had median wages far above those of their counterparts in all other categories throughout the 10-year period. The median wage of men nearly doubled, from $32,500 in 2010 to $62,300 in 2019, with an average annual increase rate of 10.2%. The median wage of their woman counterparts nearly doubled as well, from $24,500 to $44,900 over the same period, with an average 9.3% annual increase. Among economic principal applicants, women’s median wage started lower than men’s and men’s median wage increased faster than women’s. As a result, the median wage gap widened between men and women over time in favour of men.

The opposite pattern is observed among all other immigration categories. Although women’s median wage was even lower than men’s within each of those categories, it increased faster than men’s. During the 10-year observational period, men’s median wage increased among economic dependents, refugees, and family sponsored immigrants with average annual increase rates of 11.9%, 10.2% and 10.0%, respectively. The average annual rates of increase for women were 15.4%, 14.4% and 13.1%, respectively, for economic dependents, refugees and family sponsored immigrants. With women’s higher increase rates of their median wages, the median wage gap narrowed between men and women within each of those immigration categories over time in favour of women.

Chart 2  
Median wage of immigrant men admitted in 2009 by immigration category, 2010 to 2019 

Chart 2: Median wage of immigrant men admitted in 2009 by immigration category, 2010 to 2019

Chart 3  
Median wage of immigrant women admitted in 2009 by immigration category, 2010 to 2019

Chart 3: Median wage of immigrant women admitted in 2009 by immigration category, 2010 to 2019

Pay ratio of immigrant women versus men increases over time for all immigration categories except economic principal applicants

Pay disparity between women and men is an important social, economic, and political issue. As immigration aims to respond to Canada’s need for labour supply, the gender parity and successful settlement of women in the labour market is key to achieving Canada’s objectives. To measure the median gender pay ratio, the median annual wages, salaries and commissions of women were divided by the median annual wages, salaries and commissions of men.

From 2010 to 2019, the gender pay ratio for Canadians increased from 67.9% to 72.6%. Among immigrants admitted as adults in 2009, the gender pay ratio followed a similar pattern: 65.5% in 2010 compared with 69.6% in 2019. The gender pay ratio, however, differed by immigration category during this period.

The increasing gender pay ratio was seen in all immigration categories, except economic principal applicants. From 2010 to 2019, the gender pay ratio increased from 57.2% to 65.5% among family sponsored immigrants, from 65.4% to 75.1% among dependents of economic immigrants, and from 63.5% to 75.9% among refugees.

For economic principal applicants, however, the gender pay ratio slightly decreased from 75.4% in 2010 to 72.1% in 2019. Further analysis would be required to understand the reasons behind this trend.

Chart 4  
Median pay ratio of immigrant women versus men admitted in 2009 by immigration category, 2010 to 2019

Chart 4: Median pay ratio of immigrant women versus men admitted in 2009 by immigration category, 2010 to 2019

Within immigration categories, the wage gap between women and men decreased overtime, except for economic principal applicants. Although the median wage of economic principal applicant women increased greatly over time, their man counterparts had a larger increase, resulting in a widening of the median wage gap between immigrant women and men.

This article is the first part of a two-part series about recent immigrants’ outcomes using data from the Longitudinal Immigration Database. The second part will discuss immigrants’ mobility.

Source: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/211206/dq211206b-eng.htm?CMP=mstatcan

Study: Religiosity in Canada and its evolution from 1985 to 2019

Interesting findings from the GSS. Census 2021 will include religious affiliation data which will allow for detailed socio-economic analysis:

A new study finds that Canada’s religious landscape has undergone significant changes in recent decades, including a decline in religious affiliation and a decrease in participation in individual and group religious activities.

The study “Religiosity in Canada and its evolution from 1985 to 2019” uses data from the General Social Survey to profile different patterns of religiosity in Canada and examine how they have changed since 1985.

A clearer understanding of how Canadians’ relationships with religion have evolved provides better insight into the country’s cultural and social history of the country and the diversity of today’s population. New data from the 2021 Census will soon update the portrait of religious diversity in Canada by providing detailed information on religious affiliations and the people with these affiliations.

Around two-thirds of Canadians report having a religious affiliation

In 2019, just over two-thirds (68%) of the Canadian population reported having a religious affiliation, and over half (54%) said their religious or spiritual beliefs were somewhat or very important to the way they live their lives. 

More than one-third of Canadians (37%) reported engaging in religious or spiritual activities on their own at least once a month, and almost one-quarter (23%) reported participating in a group religious activity at least once a month in the previous year. 

Women were more likely than men to report having a religious affiliation (72% compared with 64%) or to consider their religious or spiritual beliefs somewhat or very important to how they live their lives (61% vs. 47%). They were also more likely than men to participate in religious or spiritual activities on their own at least once a week (36% vs. 24%) and in group religious activities at least once a month (26% compared with 21%). The same types of results are found by gender and age. Women are more likely than men to report having a religious affiliation, to participate in group or individual religious or spiritual activities, and to place a high value on their religious or spiritual beliefs, regardless of age.

Dynamics vary across regions

The diversity of regional dynamics has long been a fundamental characteristic of Canada’s religious landscape. For example, high proportions of non-affiliation have distinguished British Columbia for several decades and still characterize the province, with 40% of the population reporting no religious affiliation from 2017 to 2019.

In Quebec, religious affiliation is relatively high. However, more often than elsewhere, it goes hand in hand with low importance given to religious or spiritual beliefs. From 2017 to 2019, 40% of Quebec residents reported both a religious affiliation and low importance of religious or spiritual beliefs, compared with 15% to 25% in other provinces.

Trends in religion in the Atlantic provinces have generally been more stable than in other regions, particularly with respect to religious affiliation. However, the most recent data show particularly sharp contrasts between generations, suggesting that significant changes in the religious landscape have begun in these provinces. For example, from 2017 to 2019, those born between 1940 and 1959 were twice as likely to report both having a religious affiliation and considering their religious or spiritual beliefs somewhat or very important (74%) than those born between 1980 and 1999 (37%).

Participation in religious activities varies widely across religious affiliations 

Among those who reported having a religious affiliation between 2017 and 2019, nearly one-third (32%) had participated in group religious activities at least once a month. However, the frequency of participation in religious activities varied widely across religious affiliations.

For example, a majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses (86%), Latter Day Saints (80%) and Anabaptists (75%) participated in group religious activities monthly. In contrast, Buddhists (15%), Anglicans (19%) and those affiliated with the United Church (19%) had proportions of monthly group participation well below average.

There is also some variation in the importance given to religious beliefs by religious affiliation. Nevertheless, a majority of people of each affiliation reported that their religious or spiritual beliefs were somewhat or very important, ranging from 62% for Catholics to 98% for Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Declines in religious affiliation and participation in religious activities

Both religious affiliation and frequency of participation in group religious activities have trended downward in recent decades. For example, the share of people who reported having a religious affiliation fell from 90% in 1985 to 68% in 2019. Meanwhile, the share of those who attended a group religious activity at least once a month fell by almost half, from 43% to 23% over the same period.

Similar trends were also observed with respect to the practice of individual religious or spiritual activities and the importance given to religious and spiritual beliefs. For example, in 2003, 71% of people reported that their religious or spiritual beliefs were somewhat or very important, compared with 54% in 2019. Finally, the proportion of people who engaged in religious or spiritual activities on their own at least once a week fell from 46% in 2006 to 30% in 2019.

Chart 1  
Evolution of the different religiosity indicators, 1985 to 2019

Chart 1: Evolution of the different religiosity indicators, 1985 to 2019

Religious affiliation and participation are less common among younger generations

In general, recent generations were less likely than the generations that came before them to report a religious affiliation, to participate in group or individual religious activities, or to place a high value on religious and spiritual beliefs in how they live their lives.

For example, at the same age, when they were 20 to 30 years old, those born between 1960 and 1969 were significantly more likely to report a religious affiliation (82%) than those born between 1990 and 1999 (54%). They were also more likely to participate in group religious activities (24%) than their counterparts born between 1990 and 1999 (14%). Similar trends were also observed for participation in individual religious or spiritual activities and the importance of religious beliefs.

The succession of generations displaying these forms of religiosity less and less often accounts for much of the decline in religious affiliation, practices and importance among the Canadian population over the past few decades.

In terms of religiosity, people born outside Canada differ more from those born in Canada among the younger generations

In general, people born outside Canada are more likely than those born in Canada to report a religious affiliation, to consider their religious and spiritual beliefs important to how they live their lives, and to participate in group or individual religious activities. However, this difference is more pronounced among members of younger generations.

For example, among those born between 1980 and 1999, those born outside Canada were much more likely than those born in Canada to report a religious affiliation (71% vs. 59%) or to consider their religious beliefs to be somewhat or very important (62% compared with 39%). In comparison, those born outside Canada between 1940 and 1959 were about as likely as their Canadian-born counterparts to report a religious affiliation (85% vs. 87%) and only slightly more likely to consider their religious beliefs to be somewhat or very important (74% compared with 66%).

Given that immigration is an important factor in Canada’s population growth, these trends could have an impact on the evolution of the various religiosity indicators examined in this study.

In addition, information from the 2021 Census will soon provide an updated picture of religious diversity in Canada. This information will provide a more detailed picture of religious affiliations and the people with these affiliations.

Source: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/211028/dq211028b-eng.htm?CMP=mstatcan

Numbers reveal a ‘diversity deficit’ in boardrooms of the charitable and non-profit sectors

Good and useful survey by Statistics Canada and ongoing work by Senator Omidvar in this area:

There’s a “diversity deficit” in the boardrooms of Canada’s charitable and not-for-profit sector, even though government funding and public donations are their main source of revenues.

A Statistics Canada survey has found 59 per cent of responding board members in the sector were women, but designated groups appeared to be under-represented in the governance of these organizations.

Of the 6,182 people who sat on these boards and responded to the survey, only 14 per cent identified themselves as immigrants; 12 per cent as belonging to a visible minority group; nine per cent as LGBTQ2+; six per cent as persons with a disability; and three per cent as First Nations, Métis or Inuit.

Only 42 per cent of the respondents reported that their organization has a written policy on board diversity, said the report released Thursday.

According to the federal agency, 22 per cent of the Canadian population are immigrants; 19 per cent belong to a visible minority group; 22 per cent of those aged 15 and above have one or more disabilities; and five per cent are First Nations, Métis or Inuit. A 2015 Canadian health report found three per cent of Canadians aged between 18 and 59 self-identified as gay or bisexual, and other estimates have been significantly higher.

Although this survey data was collected through crowdsourcing from professional networks within the sector — and not through probability-based sampling — it provides a glimpse into how well the leadership reflects and includes the voices of diverse communities.

“The numbers tell us that there is a diversity deficit in the governance of the sector. Many charities have challenges in this context,” says Sen. Ratna Omidvar of Ontario, who challenged the sector last summer to start collecting demographic data in the wake of the racial reckoning spearheaded by the Black Lives Matter Movement.

“It’s important for all of the society, particularly for charities and not-for-profit organizations because governors set their missions. They decide how dollars are spent. They make decisions on how an organization will respond to this or that. They are in control of the resources that come both from the government and donors.”

Researchers surveyed almost 9,000 people in total and 6,182 of them reported sitting on a board in the non-profit sector.

Three quarters of these board members belonged to an organization that operates locally; 13 per cent at a provincial level; eight per cent nationally; and three per cent internationally.

Their organizations engaged in a range of activities: social services (23 per cent); arts and culture (16 per cent); education and research (13 per cent); sports and recreation (12 per cent); and health (10 per cent). More than half of the respondents said their organizations served at least one of the designated minority groups.

While the local organizations were more likely to be involved in social services, their provincial and national counterparts tended to engage in education and research or in grants and fundraising, or were business or professional associations or unions. The international organizations reported global activities or arts and culture as their main focus.

Organizations engaged in sports and recreation or in religious non-profits and charities were least likely to have a written policy on board diversity. Respondents belonging to the designated groups were often involved in organizations with an official diversity mandate.

Omidvar said it’s important for the sector to look at governance through a diversity lens and follow a federal reporting system that’s already required of corporations to disclose demographic diversity in their governance.

“We ask nothing of the charitable and non-profit sector. We all think of them as angels and they are, but even angels need evidence to take further actions,” she said. “We need reliable, ongoing surveys and data that’s analyzed to move forward.”

One suggestion, she said, is for the Canada Revenue Agency to require every charitable and not-for-profit organization to submit information pertaining to their governance diversity in order to renew their registration status annually.

“Adding that one question is not going to cost anyone any money, but it will get us the evidence that we need and then we will be able to take it further,” said Omidvar.

“It requires political will. There are candidates who are qualified, willing, ready and able to sit on boards. They did not get that opportunity. It’s time that Canadians woke up to that diversity deficit in our charities and non-profit sector.”

Source: Numbers reveal a ‘diversity deficit’ in boardrooms of the charitable and non-profit sectors

COVID-19 mortality rate higher in neighbourhoods with more visible minorities: StatsCan

Yet more evidence of correlation between visible minorities, lower income and poorer housing:

Residents of communities home to more visible minorities had a higher likelihood of dying from COVID-19 in Canada’s three largest provinces, according to Statistics Canada, in a trend health experts say underscores the need for provinces such as B.C. and Quebec to improve their data collection on race and mortality.

report issued by StatsCan late last month looking into COVID-19 mortality rates in “ethno-cultural neighbourhoods” found communities in B.C. that were home to more than 25 per cent visible minorities had an age-adjusted COVID-19 mortality rate that was 10 times higher than neighbourhoods that were less than one per cent visible minority.

In Ontario and Quebec, neighbourhoods with large visible minority populations had age-adjusted mortality rates three times higher than the general public.

That COVID-19 deaths in B.C.’s ethno-cultural neighbourhoods are ten times higher than comparable rates for Canada’s broader population could be partially linked to a lower general death rate in the province.

As of Monday, 299 people with the virus had died in B.C., out of more than 11,000 deaths across Canada.

The Statistics Canada analysis was compiled when B.C. had fewer than 200 coronavirus deaths. But the analysis is part of a growing body of literature showing that visible minority communities in Canada have been hit harder by the virus than the general population.

Dr. Andrew Boozary, the executive director of Social Medicine and Population Health at the University Health Network in Toronto, said it’s important to have specific, reliable data so affected populations can be protected.

“We’ve not been a leader on that front and it has been awfully expensive in not allowing our response to be as precise as we hoped, but also not allowing us to galvanize the response as quickly as we should have.”

‘Extremely important to be collecting that data’

Unlike Ontario, Quebec and B.C. are still not collecting the data that would identify which communities are most at risk, or why they are at risk, despite repeated calls to do so.

Source: COVID-19 mortality rate higher in neighbourhoods with more visible minorities: StatsCan

Inside Statistics Canada’s efforts to improve diversity data

Good account. Some of the data on breakdowns between different Black groups can be found and analysed through of mix of ethnic ancestry, place of birth and generation status (approach used I believe in the StatsCan overview of the Canadian Black community.

The issue is less with respect to basic demographic and socioeconomic data and more with respect to specialized data sets that can identify, highlight and quantify inequities in areas such as health, education, policing etc:

When the Liberals announced the Centre for Gender, Diversity, and Inclusion Statistics in 2018, the government said it would have a “particular” focus on Black Canadians, recognizing a gap in data collection that academics and organizers say is so large it renders promises to address anti-racism “meaningless.”

For the centre to effectively offer information on Canada’s diverse Black population, understand how it’s doing and create policy to address inequality, both it and Statistics Canada need much more funding than the Liberals have allocated, according to one of its academic advisors on Statistics Canada’s Expert Working Group on Black Communities in Canada, and on immigration and ethnocultural statistics.

For months now, as COVID-19 swept across Canada, advocates and researchers have been calling for race-based data on the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on vulnerable communities. In the wake of Black Lives Matter protests across the world and Canada, advocates have redoubled that call.

With its “very poor” disaggregated data Canada can’t properly address systemic experiences around racism, including disparities of income and health, said Malinda Smith, a University of Alberta professor.

“You can’t address them without good data. It doesn’t get measured, it doesn’t get done,” she said. “My view is any politician, policy maker, university president making a statement about a commitment to address anti-racism and yet are not collecting data, are not consulting the Black population, I think those commitments, those statements become meaningless.”

Over the last week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Que.) spoke of systemic racism in Canada, promising to change “the systems that do not do right by too many Indigenous people and racialized Canadians.”

In the 2018 budget, the Liberals announced $6.7-million over five years to launch the centre. That funding is applied to both the centre and across various units at the agency to fulfill the mandate, said Statistics Canada spokesperson Peter Frayne by email. It has 10 people whose salaries are at least 50-per-cent funded by the centre, but who also have other duties, he said. In 2019, the Liberals’ anti-racism strategy set aside another $4.2-million, he added, so it could expand data collection in four areas: the general social survey, potential changes to the uniform crime reporting survey, supporting a new advisory committee on ethnocultural and immigration statistics, and added analysis of existing data to include racialized communities.

That funding is “peanuts,” said Prof. Smith who said these gestures give the ”appearance of addressing the problem.”

For the Nova Scotia-based Delmore “Buddy” Daye Learning Institute, it can be difficult to get important details about Black Nova Scotians, said its executive director Sylvia Parris-Drummond.

It’s evident Black Canadians face systemic racism across the board, she said, given they are disproportionately low income, have poorer health outcomes, and lower wages. Black people represent 8.6 per cent of the federal prison population, despite accounting for 3.5 per cent of Canada’s population.

“We know all those things exist, we would know them more deeply if we could get the disaggregation of data more strongly done,” she said, and the gap necessarily means policy making is coming from “a less informed place.”

Centre’s work on Black Canadians ‘key,’ says centre specialist

Since 2018, the centre and Statistics Canada have undertaken “major work” on the Black community, said Jean-Pierre Corbeil, the centre’s assistant director and chief specialist.

“Clearly the work on Black Canadians is key,” he said in an interview with The Hill Times about the centre’s work over the past two years, including four projects focused on the population.

After the 2018 budget announcement, Statistics Canada struck an ethnocultural advisory committee, which met that summer and into the fall. During Black History month in February 2019, it published an infographic demonstrating the growing diversity in Canada’s Black population and a 20-page overview of how it had changed over the decades. It showed that Canada’s Black population doubled in size between 1996 and 2016.

It was important to showcase the diversity of Black population, Mr. Corbeil said, and it was the first of its kind at that level of detail and “very well received.” In the early 2000s, the agency offered a few portraits of ethnocultural groups, but not to that level.

Using census data, he said it presented statistics in an accessible way, including portraits of differences between provinces, like Nova Scotia, where the Black community is for the most part third generation, compared to recent immigrants in Toronto and Montreal.

It also showed that cities like Edmonton and Calgary have more than 50,000 Black residents, noted Ms. Smith, which is consistent with the fact that the Prairies have a fast-growing Black population in Canada. Lethbridge, Alta., and Moncton, N. B., were two of the fastest growing populations.

“Diversity has escaped much attention and analysis,Prof. Smith said, adding it may be surprising for people to know that before 1981, more than 80 per cent of the Black population immigrated from the Caribbean, but since 2001, it’s shifted to more than 62 per cent from Africa.

“There’s a tendency to treat it as a homogenous group,” she said, and Canada’s lack of data has helped make that so.

In February 2020, the centre released another report called “Canada’s Black population education, labour, and resilience.” In this study, the centre integrated the 2006 census with the 2016 census for the same person, making it possible to look at education attainment and the educational characteristics of Black youth in Canada and look at labour market integration 10 years later.

It showed that Canada’s Black population is younger than average, and though more Black youth aged 15-25 (94 per cent) reported wanting to get a university degree, only 60 per cent thought it would happen, compared to 79 per cent of the rest of that age range in Canada.

Labour force ‘pilot’ survey to include visible minorities

In July, the labour force survey will include a question about visible minority status for the first time. These mandatory monthly surveys have a 56,000-household sample, so there will still be limitations in the technical analysis, but Mr. Corbeil said it’ll be a first for tracking employment.

Mr. Frayne said the pilot to expand the survey makes up part of Statistics Canada’s response to the data needs stemming from the pandemic. The agency has “enhanced crowdsourcing survey instruments to enable reporting for key vulnerable populations,” including immigrants, Indigenous people, and visible minority groups.

“Statistics Canada recognizes that the social, economic and labour market impacts of COVID-19 have not been equally felt by all Canadians,” he said, adding the agency is also developing techniques to add information by race and visible minority status to previously released data.

Also, in the coming months, the centre plans to release a comprehensive report on changes to the socioeconomic situation of Canada’s Black population, from 2001 to 2016, Mr. Corbeil said, noting there’s a “very, very big appetite” for this analysis.

And, through Canada’s anti-racism strategy, announced in 2019, the centre received an additional $3-million to expand the sample size for the next social identity cycle of the General Social Survey—a smaller, annual themed survey. The survey typically has about 25,000 respondents, while the 2020 survey will be expanded to 80,000 respondents and will allow StatsCan to track perception of discrimination and belonging.

Mr. Frayne added by email that an advisory committee on immigration and ethnocultural statistics has been formed and met once, with another meeting this week.  There is also work underway to improve information on hate crimes by linking police data to courts data, he said.

Canada is long overdue in developing better data on its Black and broader visible minority populations, said Prof. Smith, far behind the United States and United Kingdom. In Britain, researchers can break down racialized students attending post-secondary institutions, but Canada is unable to do that.

“Frankly, we need a Royal Commission on visible minorities in order to examine more systematically and thoroughly the different experiences of the nine groups within that category,” she said, saying it remains shocking to her that the Black population is considered one category despite remarkably different immigration routes and experiences. There are more than 170 different places of birth for the Black immigrants in Canada.

Over the next three years, the centre is also planning to release new indicators, consulting with the agency’s expert advisory committee on ethnocultural and immigration statistics to develop a conceptual framework on ethnocultural diversity and inclusion to better track relevant “inclusion” indicators over time.

“This is a great opportunity to identify data gaps,” Mr. Corbeil said, and when some surveys do not have a large enough sample, it’s an opportunity “to send the message” if more information is needed. Asked if the centre had enough resources, including staffing and funding, he said following the 2018 budget it was “clearly” a key initiative from the government to assign resources to address gaps.

“This is where the emphasis right now is put, trying to get the funding to have the oversampling and all the efforts to integrate the information with different data sources,” he said.

Source: Inside Statistics Canada’s efforts to improve diversity data

Impact of economic consequences of COVID-19 on Canadians’ social concerns – Immigrant status

From the StatsCan online panel on immigration status:

In addition to education, other factors are associated with the social concerns of Canadians. In particular, immigrants are more likely than the Canadian-born to worry about the social impacts of the pandemic (LaRochelle-Côté and Uppal 2020). This analysis supports these earlier findings because—even after all other factors were taken into account—immigrants still worried more than the Canadian-born. Furthermore, immigrants were more than twice as likely as people born in Canada to be worried about the potential of violence in the home.

Source: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/45-28-0001/2020001/article/00025-eng.htm

Discrepancy between Elections Canada, StatsCan reports likely due to social desirability bias

Of note. The limits of self-reporting and social bias:

Despite an 11-percentage-point discrepancy between self-reported and actual voter turnout, a recent Statistics Canada survey still provides valuable information on the electorate and voting trends, experts say.

The StatsCan survey, which relies on self-reporting, collected data by adding five election-related questions to the 2019 Labour Force Survey, which is distributed to approximately 56,000 households. The survey does not include Indigenous people living on reserve, full-time members of the Canadian armed forces, prisoners, and households in remote areas with very low population density.

Because the survey misses certain groups, it actually looks more like the electorate than the entire population, Richard Johnston, professor at the University of British Columbia and Canada Research Chair in public opinion, elections, and representation.

“The people who are missed by the survey tend to be the sort of people who are generally socially disconnected and are least likely to be subject to kinds of social pressure that get people to the polls,” Prof. Johnston said.

There was a similar gap between the reported turnout numbers after the 2015 election. Actual turnout in 2015, as reported by Elections Canada, was 68 per cent. The StatsCan post-2015 election report had self-reported turnout at 77 per cent, a difference of nine percentage points.

The data in the Elections Canada post-election survey is more accurate, said Lydia Miljan, University of Windsor political science professor, as the StatsCan survey relies on self-reporting. Prof. Miljan said the social desirability bias explains much of the discrepancy between the StatsCan survey and Elections Canada report.

“It’s not socially desirable to say, ‘I don’t vote’, so that’s why you always end up having a higher rate of self-reporting as opposed to what’s actually happening,” Prof. Miljan said.

Despite the discrepancy, Prof. Miljan said StatsCan’s report is valuable for the details it offers on demographic splits, which can “give a good trend analysis from one election to another.”

“If you’re trying to get inside the guts of social, psychological, or political differences in turnouts, these surveys are pretty good. It’s just that the baseline is too high,” Prof. Johnston said.

No interest in politics still top reason

A disinterest in politics was the top reason voters, in every age group except non-voters 75 years and older, cited for skipping out on the 2019 federal election, at 35 per cent, StatsCan’s report suggested. The same reason topped the list in the 2015 and 2011 federal elections. No data exists for prior elections, according to the agency, as the survey was inaugurated after the 2011 election. In 2019, the surveyed showed 23 per cent of Canadians did not vote.

Non-voters between 55 and 64 were the most likely to cite no interest in politics as the reason for not voting, at 38 per cent. Non-voters between 18 and 24, and 25 and 34, commonly thought of as the least-engaged age groups, were actually less likely than older voters to cite no interest.

Interest in politics appears to sharply increase between those who are 65 to 74 years old and those 75 years old and older. For voters between 65 and 74, 34 per cent said they lack sufficient interest, but that number drops to 21 per cent for voters 75 and up.

Women also appear to be generally more interested in politics than men, with 32 per cent of women and 37 per cent of men reporting a lack of interest as the prime reason for staying home.

Among the provinces, voters in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Quebec were the most likely to say they lack an interest in politics. Quebecers appear to be the most disengaged, with 41 per cent lacking an interest, compared to 40 per cent in Nova Scotia and 39 per cent in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Other voters reported they were too busy to vote, making it the second most-common reason at 22 per cent, which is also consistent across the three elections surveyed.

Younger voters were much more likely to cite being too busy than older voters. Voters between 25 and 34 years old were the most likely to be too busy, with 30 per cent reporting it as their reason. As voters get older, it drops precipitously. Just 16 per cent of voters between 55 and 64, seven per cent between 65 and 74, and four per cent older than 75 report being too busy to vote. Discrepancies in gender are virtually nonexistent, with 22 per cent of men and 21 per cent of women reporting being too busy.

The third most-common reason was suffering from an illness or disability. In 2019, 13 per cent of non-voters said an illness or disability prevented them from voting, up from 12 per cent in 2015 and nine per cent in 2011.

In a supplementary post-2015 report from Elections Canada that broke down turnout by demographics, youth voter turnout was actually 57 per cent. A similar supplementary report for the 2019 election has not yet been released.

Self-reported turnout amongst voters aged 55 and up has held steady around 80 per cent over the past three elections, but self-reported turnout amongst those 44 and younger jumped at least 10 points between 2011 and 2015, and remained high for the 2019 election.

“In 2015, there was a sort of social movement quality to the Trudeau victory, and the evidence suggests that the turnout surge in 2015 was a surge of younger people looking for a new kind of politics. And a lot of those younger people stuck around in 2019,” Prof. Johnston said.

Newfoundland and Labrador had the lowest self-reported turnout in the 2011, 2015, and 2019 general elections. In 2019, provincial turnout was 68 per cent, seven points lower than Manitoba at 75 per cent, the province with the second lowest turnout rate in 2019. Manitoba faced severe storms during advance polling time, causing evacuations, power outages, road closures, flooding, and some polling stations to close. Elections Canada set up an additional polling station at the University of Winnipeg for voters from four electoral districts, and teamed up with the Canadian Red Cross to transport voters. Elections Canada reported that 270 people used this option. Emergency workers helping with disaster response were also provided with additional polling stations, and 592 voted at the additional stations.

Prince Edward Island had the highest turnout in the 2011, 2015, and 2019 elections, topping 80 per cent each time. In 2019, turnout was 82 per cent, down from 86 per cent in 2015. Prof. Miljan and Prof. Johnston said P.E.I is usually the most turnout-heavy province in both federal and provincial elections.

Despite P.E.I.’s high turnout, the rate actually decreased the most between the 2015 and 2019 elections, from 86 to 22 per cent. Quebec, from 78 to 76 per cent, and British Columbia, from 79 to 76 per cent, also had turnout drops. Turnout largely remained the same in the remaining provinces.

Prof. Johnston provided an anecdotal explanation for the Atlantic provinces turnout numbers. He said the social pressure to vote in P.E.I is potentially higher given the population density, 25.1 people per square kilometre, which is the highest in the country. Newfoundland and Labrador is the province with the lowest population density, at 1.4 people per square kilometre.

“There’s a sense in which someone from P.E.I is going to feel social pressure to turn out because they see each other more regularly and they know each other. There are social networks that reinforce participation,” Prof. Johnston said.

Turnout increased the most between 2015 and 2019 in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Alberta turnout rose from 77 to 80 per cent, and Saskatchewan from 77 to 81 per cent. 

Prof. Miljan suggested one reason for increased turnout in Western Canada was due to frustration with the Trudeau government.

“When people don’t vote, it means they’re pretty happy with the regime and they don’t feel it [their vote] matters one way or another,” she said. This theory suggests that Western voters are “not happy with the regime and they really wanted to make sure their voices were heard.”

Source: Discrepancy between Elections Canada, StatsCan reports likely due to social desirability bias

New StatCan data shows how Canada is failing new generations of Black youth

Looking forward to seeing future StatsCan work to see if this pattern is common to both recent and long-term immigrants and region of origin, given that recent Black economic immigrants tend to be more highly skilled/educated than earlier waves. As there are few third generation immigrants for recent immigrants, will take some time to see but second generation outcomes will likely be illustrative:

If statistical data tell us stories in numerical form, new information from StatCan depicts Canada as a nation that’s continuing to fail its Black youth. It also shows that the commonly accepted narrative that immigrants fare better with successive generations simply may not hold true for all immigrant groups.

While these outcomes will not come as a surprise to those who have long observed and studied Black experiences, they make the implications of Statistics Canada’s conclusions inescapable.

“The persistent gaps between the Black population and the rest of the population suggest that other factors not measured by the data used, including discrimination, could have an effect,” concludes Martin Turcotte in the study, titled “Education and Labour Market Integration of Black Youth in Canada.” It was published this week in the journal Insights on Canadian Society and is based on information from the 2006 and 2016 censuses.

The study compares Black Canadian youth with non-Black youth as they transition from childhood or adolescence to adulthood.

StatCan also released what it called a booklet, “Canada’s Black Population: Education, Labour and Resilience.”

Two key data sets show why this latest snapshot has significant implications for the Black community, said York University professor Carl James, who, as a member of the Working Group on Black Communities, offered advice and guidance for this project.

First, the Black population is young and growing. Canada’s Black population doubled between 1996 and 2016, from 600,000 to 1.2 million. In 2016, more than a quarter of the Black population was less than 15 years of age, compared with 16.9 per cent of the total population. Its median age is about 30, while it is 40 years for the total population.

“This means you can understand how the concerns of the Black community are weighted around ‘What’s happening to our young population,’” James said.

Second, about nine per cent of Black people in Canada are at least the third generation to be born in this country — a rate that is higher, he said, than for other racialized minorities.

“There needs to be a serious concern about this generation,” James said. “We’re responsible for their welfare in the Canadian state.”

Because the modern wave of Black immigration to Canada dates back to the 1960s, the outcomes for Black people could serve as a bellwether for minorities who arrived later.

“This is what we see for Black youth now. It is possible as other groups become third-generation you’re going to see more similar patterns,” he said.

The unique experiences of Black people also mean they should be disaggregated from the more general “visible minority” category, he said.

Some of the key StatCan findings include:

  • Most Black youth aspire to a university degree but are less likely to think they will obtain it. In 2016, although 94 per cent of Black youth aged 15 to 25 said that they would like to get a bachelor’s degree or higher, only 60 per cent thought that they could.
  • There persists a gap in post-secondary graduation rates between Black youth and their counterparts who are not Black. About half (51 per cent) of Black men aged 23 to 27 in 2016 had a post-secondary qualification, compared with 62 per cent of other men.
  • There persists a gap in employment rates between Black and non-Black youth. Young Black males were nearly twice as likely as other young males not to have a job in 2016.

Reasons for not voting in the federal election, October 21, 2019

StatsCan analysis of the 2019 election. Some interesting variations between immigrant and Canadian-born voters in terms of reasons for not voting (would be interesting to see if these variations continue into the section generation):

Voter turnout among youth holds steady for the October 21, 2019, federal election

Just over three-quarters (77%) of Canadians reported voting in the 2019 federal election, unchanged from the 2015 election.

In particular, following notable increases of more than 10 percentage points between the 2011 and 2015 elections, voter turnout among younger people aged 18 to 24, and 25 to 34, remained at similar levels in 2019.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Voter turnout by age group, 2011, 2015 and 2019 federal elections
Voter turnout by age group, 2011, 2015 and 2019 federal elections

Chart 1: Voter turnout by age group, 2011, 2015 and 2019 federal elections

Voter turnout increases in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Ontario

Compared with the 2015 federal election, the proportion of Canadians who reported voting in 2019 increased in Saskatchewan (+4 percentage points), Alberta (+3 percentage points), and Ontario (+2 percentage points). These are more modest increases than those observed in most provinces between the 2011 and 2015 elections.

While Prince Edward Island had the highest proportion (82%) of people who reported voting in the 2019 election, voter turnout in the province decreased by 4 percentage points compared with 2015. Declines were also recorded in British Columbia (-3 percentage points) and Quebec (-2 percentage points). There was little change in the remaining provinces.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Voter turnout by province, 2011, 2015 and 2019 federal elections
Voter turnout by province, 2011, 2015 and 2019 federal elections

Chart 2: Voter turnout by province, 2011, 2015 and 2019 federal elections

“Not interested in politics” remains top reason for not voting

Among the 23% of eligible Canadians who did not vote, the top reason for not voting in the federal election was “not interested in politics,” cited by 35% of non-voters in 2019. This was the most common reason for all age groups, with the exception of those aged 75 and older, who were most likely to indicate that they did not vote due to an illness or disability (49%).

Non-voters who were Canadian citizens by birth were more likely to report a lack of interest in politics as the reason for not casting a ballot (37%), compared with citizens by naturalization—both those who had been in Canada for 10 years or less (26%) and those who immigrated more than 10 years earlier (also 26%).

One in five non-voters report being too busy

Collectively, everyday life reasons were cited by nearly half of all non-voters (46%); these include being too busy (22%), having an illness or disability (13%), or being out of town (11%).

Everyday life issues were the most common reasons cited by non-voters in British Columbia, while political issues (including not interested in politics) were most prevalent in Nova Scotia.

Women more likely to report illness or disability

Female non-voters (48%) were more likely than their male counterparts (44%) to cite one of the everyday life issues as the reason for not voting, most notably having an illness or disability (16% versus 10%). This is partly related to the fact that a higher proportion of women were in the older age groups compared with men. One in ten female non-voters was aged 75 or older.

In contrast, men (37%) were more likely to report not being interested in politics compared with women (32%).

Some electors not voting for reasons related to the electoral process

Among Canadians who did not vote in the 2019 federal election, 5% identified issues with the electoral process as the reason for not voting, including not being able to prove their identity or address, a lack of information about the voting process, or issues with the voter information card.

Non-voters aged 75 and older (9%) and aged 18 to 24 (8%) were most likely to report electoral process issues as the reason for not voting. However, the proportion of youth citing this reason declined by 3 percentage points compared with the 2015 election.

Source: Reasons for not voting in the federal election , October 21, 2019 

Diversity of the Black population in Canada: An overview Text – Selected

The booklet provides a good overview of the diverse demographics of Canada’s Black population. Look forward to future work looking at the socioeconomic characteristics of the different Black communities in Canada, in particular with respect to whether how well the more highly skilled recent Black immigrants and their children in relation to earlier waves of Black immigrants, as well as with respect to other immigrant and non-immigrant groups:

There were almost 1.2 million Black people living in Canada in 2016. The Black population is diverse and has a long and rich history in the country. More than 4 in 10 Black people were born in Canada.

Among the Black population born outside of Canada, the source countries of immigration have changed over time. More than half of this population who immigrated before 1981 were born in Jamaica and Haiti. Black newcomers now come from about 125 different countries, mainly from Africa.

The vast majority of the Black population live in large urban areas. In 2016, 94.3% of Black people lived in Canada’s census metropolitan areas, compared with 71.2% of the country’s total population. Toronto had the largest Black population in the country, with 442,015 people or 36.9% of Canada’s Black population. It was followed by Montréal, Ottawa–Gatineau, Edmonton and Calgary, each home to at least 50,000 Black people.

To illustrate the growth and the diversity of the Black population, a first infographic was released on February 6, 2019. A booklet is now available to provide more information about the richness of diversity among the Black population in Canada. A number of topics are covered in this booklet including population growth, age and sex structure, place of birth, generation status, immigration, ethnic and cultural origins, languages and a few geographical highlights.

Diversity of the Black population in Canada: An overview