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Immigrant children become more educated and higher paid than Canadian average: study

February 12, 2022

By CIC News

A new Statistics Canada study shows immigrant children have a higher postsecondary education rate, and make more money after their mid-20s than the overall Canadian population.

The study is based on 2019 income tax data from the Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB), which provides a long-term perspective on how immigrant children integrate into Canadian society.

The results show immigrants who came to Canada as children participated in postsecondary education more often than the Canadian population as a whole, with those admitted at younger ages participating the most. Also, children admitted as economic immigrants fared better than the overall Canadian average from age 25 on. Then by age 30, children of sponsored and refugee families had median wages comparable to the overall population. These results were similar to what Stats Can found in a study for the 2018 tax year.

Data from 2019 will contribute to baseline estimates in preparation for future research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on immigrant children, their adjustment period, and their long-term socioeconomic outcomes in adulthood.

Immigrant kids participation in post-secondary studies

Kids who immigrated to Canada before age 15 had particularly high rates of postsecondary participation. The participation rate was about 70% for 20-year-old immigrants admitted as children, compared with about 59% of the overall Canadian population. At age 25, the participation rate was about 33% for immigrants admitted as children, and about 27% for the overall Canadian population.

As immigrant kids landed at older ages, their participation in postsecondary education generally decreased. In 2019, nearly 77% of 20-year-old immigrants admitted before age five went into postsecondary studies. The participation rate dipped to about 72% for those admitted between ages five to nine, and nearly 64% for those admitted between the ages of 10 to 14 years. Various factors affect postsecondary participation, such as academic preparation and knowledge of official languages.

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