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Life Satisfaction Among Recent Immigrants in Canada: Comparisons to Source-Country and Host-Country Populations

Author

Listed:
  • Kristyn Frank

    () (Statistics Canada)

  • Feng Hou

    (Statistics Canada)

  • Grant Schellenberg

    (Statistics Canada)

Abstract

Abstract Research examining how changes in life circumstances affect subjective well-being has been dominated by set-point theory. New evidence challenges the assumptions of this theory, indicating that major life events can result in lasting changes to individuals’ life satisfaction. This study examines whether changes in national-level conditions following migration affect the life satisfaction of immigrant groups from different source countries by comparing the average life satisfaction levels of immigrant groups to that of non-emigrants in their source countries. Life satisfaction differences between immigrant groups and the native-born population in Canada are also examined. Results show that migration to a country with improved national-level conditions increases immigrants’ life satisfaction. Most immigrant groups had higher life satisfaction than their source-country counterparts and life satisfaction scores were similar to those of the native-born population. These findings persist when the sample includes immigrants who have resided in Canada for up to 20 years.

Suggested Citation

  • Kristyn Frank & Feng Hou & Grant Schellenberg, 2016. "Life Satisfaction Among Recent Immigrants in Canada: Comparisons to Source-Country and Host-Country Populations," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 1659-1680, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:17:y:2016:i:4:d:10.1007_s10902-015-9664-2
    DOI: 10.1007/s10902-015-9664-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. John F. Helliwell & Aneta Bonikowska & Hugh Shiplett, 2016. "Migration as a Test of the Happiness Set Point Hypothesis: Evidence from Immigration to Canada," NBER Working Papers 22601, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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