The Wealth Position of Immigrant Families in Canada
The economic assimilation of immigrants is a key concern for economists and policy makers. The topic has been widely explored in terms of earnings assimilation of immigrants. Using the 1999 Survey of Financial Security, this study attempts to look at the issue from the wealth perspective. Among married families, immigrants have higher wealth than their native-born counterparts from the 40th to 90th percentiles of the distribution, with the wealth gap ranging between $20,000 and $78,000. Among single families, immigrants have higher wealth from the 55th to 95th percentiles, with the wealth gap ranging between $14,000 and $145,000. At the bottom of the distribution, however, evidence suggests that immigrants have lower wealth, although the gap is generally below $10,000. Various decomposition results indicate that the age of the major income recipient (and of the spouse for married families) as well as factors affecting permanent income explain a significant portion of the wealth gap in cases where immigrant families have higher wealth than the native-born. At the bottom of the wealth distribution, however, the wealth gap cannot be explained by the age of the major income recipient, permanent income factors, or family size (or lone-parent status), suggesting that low-wealth immigrant families may behave differently than low-wealth Canadian-born families in their wealth accumulation process. The wealth gap is also studied from a cohort perspective. Not surprisingly, recent immigrants have lower wealth than comparable Canadian-born families, and immigrants who arrived before 1976 have higher wealth. While immigrants who arrived in Canada between 1976 and 1985 are widely believed to initially have had more of an earnings disadvantage than their predecessors with respect to the Canadian-born, this study finds that, over the upper segment of the distribution, the wealth of this cohort is not significantly different from that of comparable Canadian-born families. But over the lower portion of the distribution, the cohort has lower wealth.
|Date of creation:||18 Nov 2003|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Tunney's Pasture, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0T6|
Web page: http://www.statcan.gc.ca
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:2003197e. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Brown)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.