The Community Engagement of Immigrants in Host Societies: The Case of Canada



Using the data from the General Social Survey (2003), the community engagement of immigrants in Canada has been examined along 15 different dimensions. The findings indicate that immigrants add to the overall level of community engagement in Canada in the areas of confidence in public institutions -- such as judiciary, government, police, welfare system, education, and health care -- and involvement in religious activities. The areas in which immigrants fall behind are those that involve social interactions with the host population (e.g., trust, neighbourliness, social networks, group activities, volunteering, etc.) or engagement with private sector (i.e., confidence in private institutions such as banks and major corporations). Some of these measures of community engagement improve over time, but there is also an alarming trend that some decline with longer stays in Canada. The implications of these findings are discussed.