Immigrants in Canada are flourishing — financially, professionally, academically, and socially — so much so that they are now among the top performing members of Canadian society.
Around 21 percent of Canada’s population is made up of immigrants who made the momentous decision to settle in Canada. Here are five signs that point to their success today.
1. The average wealth of established immigrant families is now over $1 million
New research from Statistics Canada (StatsCan) shows that investment in property by immigrant families has been a major factor in helping them plug the wealth gap that existed between them and their Canadian-born peers. In fact, immigrant families who have been in Canada for more than two decades tend to be worth more than families who were born in the country.
Immigrant families and Canadians have both, on the whole, seen big increases in their wealth. The average wealth of established immigrant families — those whose major income earner was aged 45 to 64 and landed in Canada before 1996 — grew by close to 70 percent from $625,000 in 1999 to $1.06 million in 2016, surpassing the $979,000 average net worth of Canadian-born families.
Immigrant families are much more likely to put their money into real estate, with home ownership rates now higher than among the Canadian-born section of the population. “Compared with Canadian-born families, immigrant families generally hold a greater share of their wealth in housing but a smaller share in [registered pension plan] assets,” stated StatsCan.
Comparing home ownership rates
In 1999, less than one third of recently immigrated families owned their own home. By 2016, home ownership rates for those families was greater than those of native-born Canadians.
2. More than 50 sitting parliamentarians were born outside Canada, and the Immigration Minister is one of them
If you moved to Canada some time over the past two years, it was a Somalia-born refugee who had the final say on whether to let you in. Ahmed Hussen, who first moved to Canada as a teenager, has been a rising star in Canadian politics over the past few years, and he has served as Immigration Minister in the Liberal government since January, 2017. He’s one of 56 MPs and senators who were born outside Canada, showing how immigrants to Canada can start by following the rules before having a direct role in creating them.
Current MPs were born in locations such as Tanzania, Poland, India, China, the United States, Lebanon, Hong Kong, Trinidad & Tobago, South Africa, Iran, the United Kingdom, Grenada, Portugal, Syria, Uganda, Pakistan, and Switzerland.
Dozens more parliamentarians are the children of immigrants, which brings us neatly on to . . .
3. Immigrant children are picking up English and French quickly and entering higher education
Immigrants and their children play a major role in making Canada one of the best-educated countries in the world.
A 2018 report found that 36 percent of the children of immigrants aged 25 to 35 held university degrees, compared to 24 percent of their peers with Canadian-born parents. More than half of children of immigrants from China and India graduated from university.
“The educational attainment of the parents matters; children with highly educated parents are more likely to be highly educated themselves. And immigrant parents in Canada tend to have higher levels of educational attainment than Canadian-born parents,” said the report.
“Parents’ expectations regarding education matters, and immigrant families, particularly Asian families, tend to have higher educational expectations for their children, on average, than families with Canadian-born parents.”
- Learn more: The Moving2Canada study section.