The Changing Colour of Poverty in Canada

Authors


  • *The authors would like to thank the Editor and three anonymous CRSA reviewers for their very helpful comments and suggestions on an earlier draft of the paper. We would also like to acknowledge the financial support of the study provided by the Prairie Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Integration. This manuscript was first submitted in March 2000, and accepted in February 2001

Abstract

À partir des données des recensements canadiens de 1991 et de 1996, nous nous penchons sur la question des immigrants pauvres et à faible revenu, un sujet très peu traité dans les travaux de recherche précédents sur l'immigration. Comparativement aux Canadiens de souche, les immigrants sont constamment surreprésentés dans la classe des pauvres. Cette surreprésentation comporte une orientation ethnique et raciale claire: les immigrants appartenant aux minorités visibles vivant les pires conditions. Les modèles de régression logis-tique révèlent que, dans leur cas, les chances d'être pauvres sont con-sidérablement plus élevées même en tenant compte de toutes les autres variables pertinentes. Les taux de pauvreté des différentes générations d'immigrants ne suivent pas un modèle logique; ceux qui ont émigréà l'adolescence vivent dans des conditions anormales de pauvreté extrême. La comparaison entre la situation des immigrants en 1991 et en 1996 révèle que l'investissement en matière de capital humain favorise de moins en moins les immigrants.

Using the 1991 and 1996 Canadian census data, the present study addresses the issue of poor or low-income immigrants, a topic largely overlooked in previous immigration research. The authors found that, compared to native-born Canadians, immigrants were consistently over-represented among the poor, and that this over-representation had a clear ethnic and racial colour, with visible minority immigrants experiencing the most severe conditions. For them, the logistic regression models show, the odds of poverty are noticeably higher, even after controlling for all other relevant variables. The poverty rates of different generations of immigrants also show an unexpected pattern, in which those who have migrated during their adolescent years experience unusually severe poverty conditions. A comparison of the situation in 1991 and 1996 shows that human capital endowments are becoming less rewarding for immigrants.

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