Age-at-Arrival’s Effects on Asian Immigrants’ Socioeconomic Outcomes in Canada and the U.S.


  • This is a revised version of papers presented at the annual meetings of the Population Association of America, April 15–17, 2010, Dallas, Texas, and the annual meetings of the Canadian Population Society, June 1–3, 2010, Montreal, Quebec. We thank anonymous reviewers for their comments on an earlier draft. This research is part of a project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada. The authors are solely responsible for the results and interpretations presented in the article.


Age-at-arrival is a key predictor of many immigrant outcomes, but discussion continues over how to best measure and study its effects. This research replicates and extends a pioneering study by Myers, Gao, and Emeka [International Migration Review (2009) 43:205–229] on age-at-arrival effects among Mexican immigrants in the U.S. to see if similar results hold for other immigrant groups and in other countries. We examine data from the 2000 U.S. census and 2006 American Community Survey, and 1991, 2001, and 2006 Canadian censuses to assess several measures of age-at-arrival effects on Asian immigrants’ socioeconomic outcomes. We confirm several of Myers et al.’s key findings, including the absence of clear breakpoints in age-at-arrival effects for all outcomes and the superiority of continuous measures of age-at-arrival. Additional analysis reveals different age-at-arrival effects by gender and Asian ethnicity. We suggest guidelines, supplementing those offered by Myers et al., for measuring and studying age-at-arrival’s effects on immigrant outcomes.