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The Roles of Ethnicity and Language Acculturation in Determining the Interprovincial Migration Propensities in Canada: from the Late 1970s to the Late 1990s

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  • Xiaomeng Ma
  • Kao-Lee Liaw

Abstract

The main purpose of this paper is to study the roles of ethnicity and language acculturation in determining the propensities to make interprovincial migration in Canada in 1976-81, 1981-86, and 1996-2001, based on the micro data of the 1981, 1986 and 2001 censuses. Since these propensities are also subject to the strong effects of other explanatory factors, a multivariate analysis using a binomial logit model is conducted. An important methodological contribution of this paper is the clarification of the interpretational mistakes in the previous multivariate analyses of Trovato and Halli (1983 and 1990) that depended on the widely used log linear models. Our empirical findings turn out to be substantively more sensible than the earlier findings in the literature. With respect to the less complicated case of non-French minority ethnic groups, the empirical data are found to be mostly supportive of the following two hypotheses. H1: The propensities to make inter- provincial migration are lower for minority ethnic groups than for the mainstream ethnic group. H2: The use of English as home language, which represents an important cultural shift towards the mainstream, increases the inter-provincial migration propensities of minority ethnic groups. The very strong support for these two hypotheses by the Italian ethnic group and the lack of support for H2 by the Jewish ethnic group are highlighted and explained. With respect to the more complicated case of the French ethnic group, our findings are supportive of the following two hypotheses. H3: Among those residing outside Quebec, the propensities to make inter-provincial migration are greater for the French ethnic group than for the mainstream ethnic group. H4: This difference is greater for the French ethnic group that continues to use French as the home language than for the French ethnic group that has shifted the home language to English. It is unfortunate that the support for H4, which could aggravate the spatial polarization of the French and Non-French populations between Quebec and the rest of Canada, became successively stronger towards the late 1990s. Fortunately, this trend was countered by a mild narrowing of the extremely wide gap in the propensities to leave Quebec between the English-speaking British and the French-speaking French.

Suggested Citation

  • Xiaomeng Ma & Kao-Lee Liaw, 2007. "The Roles of Ethnicity and Language Acculturation in Determining the Interprovincial Migration Propensities in Canada: from the Late 1970s to the Late 1990s," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 208, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:208
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    File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/sedap/p/sedap208.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2001:91:3:392-399_5 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. McDonald, James Ted & Kennedy, Steven, 2005. "Is migration to Canada associated with unhealthy weight gain? Overweight and obesity among Canada's immigrants," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(12), pages 2469-2481, December.
    3. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1996:86:6:837-843_0 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. McDonald, James Ted & Kennedy, Steven, 2004. "Insights into the 'healthy immigrant effect': health status and health service use of immigrants to Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(8), pages 1613-1627, October.
    5. Nicholas Biddle & Steven Kennedy & James Ted Mcdonald, 2007. "Health Assimilation Patterns Amongst Australian Immigrants," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 83(260), pages 16-30, March.
    6. Steven Kennedy & James Ted McDonald & Nicholas Biddle, 2006. "The Healthy Immigrant Effect and Immigrant Selection: Evidence from Four Countries," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 164, McMaster University.
    7. Guillermina Jasso & Douglas S. Massey & Mark R. Rosenzweig & James P. Smith, 2004. "Immigrant Health--Selectivity and Acculturation," Labor and Demography 0412002, EconWPA.
    8. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1991:81:7:885-891_4 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Interprovincial Migration; Ethnic Selectivity; Language Acculturation; Canada;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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