Statistics Canada: Patterns and Determinants of Immigrants’ Sense of Belonging to Canada and Their Source Country

statscan-gss-belongingImportant study by Statistics Canada and John Berry from the General Social Survey confirming high levels of belonging to Canada:

The results show that 93% of immigrants had a very strong or a strong sense of belonging to Canada. Furthermore, a strong sense of belonging to the receiving country is not necessarily incompatible with a sense of belonging to the source country. About 69% of all immigrants had strong sense of belonging to both Canada and their source country (the integrated belonging profile). Another 24% of immigrants had a strong sense of belonging to Canada and a weak sense of belonging to their source country (the national belonging profile). In comparison, very few (3%) had a strong sense of belonging to their source country but a weak sense of belonging to Canada (the source-country belonging profile); and very few (4%) had a weak sense of belonging to both Canada and their source country (the weak belonging profile).

Compared with immigrants in the integrated belonging profile, those in the national belonging profile were characterized by lower levels of civil liberty and life satisfaction in their source countries and by more exposure to Canadian society. Younger age at immigration, more years of residence in Canada, and speaking English or French at home are all significant predictors of the national belonging profile.

The source-country belonging profile was characterized by a high average level of life satisfaction in the source country, older age at immigration, shorter stay in Canada, and perceived discrimination. The weak belonging profile was relatively more prevalent among spouses and dependants of economic principal applicants, or immigrants who came to join their relatives in Canada, and among those who were unemployed, never married, or had very low income.

Overall, this study finds that the overwhelming majority of immigrants had a strong sense of belonging to Canada, with or without a strong sense of belonging to their source country. Source-country attributes were as important as immigration entry status and post-migration experience in affecting immigrants’ sense of belonging to Canada and their source country.

Source: Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series: Patterns and Determinants of Immigrants’ Sense of Belonging to Canada and Their Source Country

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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