Ethnic Inequality in Canada: Economic and Health Dimensions
This study examines ethnic based differences in economic and health status. We combine existing literature with our analysis of data from the Canadian Census and National Population Health Survey. If a given sub-topic is well researched, we summarize the findings; if, on the other hand, less is known, we present data placing them in the context of whatever literature does exist. Our findings are consistent with existing literature on ethnic inequalities in Canada. Recent immigrants with a mother tongue other than English or French are among the most economically disadvantaged in Canadian society, though the results vary depending on gender and ethnic background. In fact economic inequality according to type of occupation can be attributed to gender rather than ethnicity; that is, the Canadian labour force continues to be more gender- than ethnically-differentiated. Yet recent immigrants, especially from Asia, are advantaged in health outcomes compared to Canadian-born persons – the “healthy immigrant” effect. Interestingly they are less likely to report having a physical check-up and, for women (especially Asian-born women), a mammogram within the last year compared to their Canadian-born counterparts. Given the significance of both gender and ethnicity as predictors of well-being, future research should examine the intersection between the two identity markers and their relationship to social inequality.
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