Immigrant children start off in life poorer than their Canadian-born friends but are more likely to go to college and university – and they grow up even more likely to attain the Canadian dream.
“Although immigrant children (at 32.2 per cent) are more than twice as likely as non-immigrant children (at 15.4 per cent) to live in low-income households, factors such as the opportunity to be educated in the Canadian system and an increased proficiency in the official languages help immigrant children attain wages in adulthood similar to those of their Canadian-born peers,” concludes a Statistics Canada report.
In its Longitudinal Immigration Database: Immigrant children and census metropolitan area tables, 2018, the statistical analysis agency noted that immigrant children whose parents came under economic programs are even more likely to go to university and prosper in Canada once they reach adulthood.
“Among children admitted in economic immigrant families, 75 per cent of those who were 20 years old in 2018 reported postsecondary education participation,” notes Statistics Canada. “This compares with 60 per cent for children admitted in sponsored families, 51 per cent for refugees and 56 per cent for the overall population of the same age, in the same year.”
That means the children of immigrants who come to Canada under economic programs are 47 per cent more likely than Canadian-born kids to go to college or university.
By the time those children of economic immigrants hit 30 years of age, they are typically earning more than those who were Canadian-born.
“At the age of 30, in 2018, people admitted as children in economic immigrant families had median wages of $52,400,” states Statistics Canada. “This compares with $41,600 for immigrants admitted as children in refugee families, $40,100 for immigrants admitted as children in sponsored families, and $41,810 for the overall population.”
Economic Immigrants’ Children Earn More Than Canadian-Born
The grown children of economic immigrants to Canada outperform Canadian-born adults of the same age by $10,590, or 25.3 per cent.
Those benefits, though, are not shared equally among both boys and girls of immigrant families. The girls are much more likely to get post-secondary education but less likely to earn as much money as the boys once they grow up.
“In 2018, 74 per cent of 20-year-old immigrant women admitted as children reported participating in postsecondary education,” notes Statistics Canada. “In comparison, participation rates were lower among immigrant men (at 65 per cent) who also came to Canada as children.
“The participation rate of immigrant women who came as children was also higher than the rate of the overall female population (at 62 per cent) and the overall male population (at 50 per cent) of the same age.”
While immigrant women are almost 50 per cent more likely to get a college or university education, that does not typically translate into higher salaries for them compared to immigrant men of the same age who also came to Canada as children.
“With regard to wages, 30-year-old immigrant women admitted to Canada as children had median wages of $43,300 … Their median wages were lower than those of immigrant men who also came as children ( who earned a median wage of $51,900) and of the overall male population (who earn a median wage of $48,850),” states Statistics Canada.
“These gender income differences are in line with those in previous studies that found that women with a similar level of education as men report lower income.”
Despite that wage disparity compared to men, immigrant women do typically earn $8,020, or 22.7 per cent, more than Canadian-born women.