Citizenship Acquisition in Canada: An Overview based on Census 1986 to 2006

Executive summary

This profile uses data from the 1986, 1991, 2001, and 2006 censuses to provide an overview of citizenship acquisition of the immigrant population in Canada. The analysis compares citizenship take-up rates of immigrants with various socio-demographic characteristics.Footnote 1

Census data from 1986 to 2006 showed that the citizenship take-up rates among immigrants with at least three years since landingFootnote 2 (3+ YSL) or with at least five years since landing (5+ YSL) were high and increased consistently with each census.

  • The take-up rate for immigrants with 3+ YSL was 85.1% in 2006, just over six percentage points higher compared to the 1986 Census. For immigrants with 5+ YSL the take up rate was 88.3% in 2006, almost eight percentage points higher compared to the 1986 census.

In each census from 1986 to 2006 the citizenship take-up rates among immigrants with 5+ YSL were slightly higher for men compared to women.

Comparing the results across census years from 1986 to 2006, immigrants who have been in Canada for longer periods of time consistently had higher citizenship take-up rates.

  • At the time of the 2006 Census, immigrants with 3-4 YSL had a citizenship take-up rate of 47.6%, the rate for those with 5-14 YSL was almost double (84.1%), and for those with at least 35 YSL it was 91.8%.

In 2006, immigrants born in many African and Asian countries had higher take-up rates compared to those born in North America and Europe.

  • The take-up rate for immigrants with 5+ YSL varied by region of birth; for immigrants from Africa it was 92.4%, from Asia 90.5%, from Europe 88.3% and from North America 63.8%.
  • The take-up rate of immigrants with 5+ YSL varied considerably by country of birth. The take-up rates for immigrants with 5+ YSL were respectively 92.3%, 83.6% and 92.4% for those born in P.R. China, India and the Philippines; while for those who were born in Japan, the United States of America and Australia, the rates were 58.8%, 63.1% and 66.1 % respectively.
  • Differences in take-up rates among immigrants from various countries persist with increased YSL. The take-up rates for immigrants with 25-34 YSL were 98.4%, 93.9% and 98.1% for those who were born in China, India and the Philippines; while for those who were born in Japan, the United States of America and Australia, the rates were 70.6%, 59.4% and 60.8%.

In 2006, immigrants who landed at younger ages generally had higher take-up rates. However, differences in take-up rates by age at landing were most prominent for those with fewer YSL in Canada.

For immigrants with 3-4 YSL who landed at ages 65+, 25-44 and under 15, take-up rates ranged from 39.3% to 46.9% to 54.5%, respectively.

Take-up rates are higher among immigrants with university level education or above compared to those with lower educational attainment, the overall difference however is moderate.

  • In 2006, among immigrants aged 15 and over and with 5+ YSL, the take-up rates for those with bachelor degrees or above were approximately 90%, while the rates for those without university education ranged from 86.9% for those with no certificate, diploma or degree to 88.9% for those with apprenticeship, trades and college diploma.

In 2006, immigrants who self reported speaking at least one of the official languages had a higher citizenship take-up rate compared to those speaking neither English nor French. Among age groups, this difference was more pronounced for those between 25-64, compared those who were younger or older.

Immigrants residing in Quebec had the highest take-up rates in all census years except 1986; while those in the Atlantic Provinces had the lowest take-up rates in all census years.

Table of contents

Introduction

Canada’s immigration, integration/settlement, citizenship and multiculturalism policies aim to provide an inclusive environment for Canada’s culturally diverse population. The Canadian citizenship model is generally regarded as facilitative, in comparison to many other countries. For many who are foreign born, the acquisition of citizenship may mark the final stage of the migration process, and also indicate their commitment to Canada.Footnote 3

The legal status of a Canadian citizen was first recognized with the Canadian Citizenship Act enacted on June 27th, 1946, and which came into force on January 1st, 1947. Canada became the first Commonwealth country to establish this distinct citizenship status — prior to 1947, both native born and those who were naturalized into the country had the status of British subjects.Footnote 4 Thirty years later, legislative changes to this Act aimed to ensure both equal treatment (by removing discriminatory practices) and improved access (e.g. by permitting the dual citizenship and lowering the residency requirement from five to three years).Footnote 5 Hence, the Citizenship Act which came into force on February 15th, 1977 both encourages and facilitates the naturalization of permanent residents. In contrast to the prior Act, citizenship is specified as a right in the 1977 Citizenship Act. A new law amending the Citizenship Act came into effect on April 17th, 2009.Footnote 6 This law confers Canadian citizenship to those who lost or never had it due to provisions in past legislation, such as laws which determined the passage of citizenship on the basis of the marital status of one’s parents.

In general, in order to make a citizenship application an individual must meet requirements in the following six areasFootnote 7: age, permanent resident status, time lived in Canada, language ability, prohibitions on criminal history, and knowledge of Canada. The requirements change over time. For example, before the bill C-24 came into force in 2015,Footnote 8 applicants of the Canadian citizenship must be at least eighteen years old;Footnote 9 applicants must have permanent resident status in Canada, and have lived in the country for at least three years in the past four years before applying for citizenship;Footnote 10 applicants must have adequate knowledge of either of Canada’s official languages (English and French); those with a criminal history (e.g. those charged with an indictable offense or an offense under the Citizenship Act) are ineligible to apply for citizenship; those applying for citizenship must demonstrate an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship; applicants between the ages of 18 and 54 must take a citizenship testFootnote 11 which evaluates their knowledge of Canada; for applicants aged under 18 or aged 55 or older, the knowledge and language requirements are waived and they do not have to write the test.

What you should know about this study

This profile uses data from the 1986, 1991, 2001, and 2006 censuses (20% sample) to portray the citizenship take-up rate of immigrants with various socio-demographic characteristics. Analysis of census data provides a snapshot of citizenship take-up at the time of the census. There are several advantages of using census data to develop a profile of the citizenship take-up of immigrants in Canada. First, census data has a large sample size that allows for detailed geographic analysis and contains many demographic, ethno-cultural and economic variables. Second, data is available for consecutive censuses and this allows for comparisons across census years.Footnote i

However, using census data to develop a profile of citizenship take-up rates has some limitations. It does not capture immigrants who naturalized and subsequently left the country, or those who were absent at the time of the Census. While the census enumerates those living in Canada at census time and records immigrants' year of landing, there is no record of the actual time immigrants spent in Canada.Footnote ii In addition, the census does not reveal when citizenship was obtained. Further, there is no data on immigration categories. Finally, census data are based on self-reported characteristics by individuals and in some cases this person is a proxy reporter for the household.

Since immigrants were are eligible for citizenship application after three years of residency in CanadaFootnote iii, previous studies selected immigrants with at least three years since landing (YSL) prior to the census year in order to calculate the citizenship take-up rate for all “eligible”Footnote iv immigrantsFootnote vi. However, more recent information suggests that there was time-lag of a few months to about two years between the application and the acquisition of citizenship, depending on the application time and place.Footnote v Using three years since landing (YSL) prior to the census year as cut-off point lowers the calculated rate by including many who had submitted an application but were waiting for the approval of their application. The variation in citizenship application processing time over years makes the comparisons of citizenship take-up rate across census years problematic. In the 2000s, as the citizenship grant application processing time could be as long as up to two yearsFootnote iv, in this study, we use five YSL prior to the census year as the cut-off point to calculate the take-up rate for "eligible immigrants". In order to facilitate the comparison with previous studies, we also calculated the take-up rate using three years as cut-off points.

Throughout this report YSL refers to the difference between the calendar years of the year prior to the census and the landing year. For brevity, the term "prior to the census year" is not always mentioned following YSL.

Footnotes

Footnote i

The format of the question on citizenship and explanation accompanying the question varied across these censuses. Such changes may influence the response to the question and hence the comparability across censuses.

Return to footnote i referrer

Footnote ii

Immigrants may come to Canada first as temporary residents then landed as permanent residents, i.e. immigrants.

Return to footnote ii referrer

Footnote iii

Changes to citizenship rules accessed July 16th, 2012.

Return to footnote iii referrer

Footnote iv

Eligibility based on landing year from the census is an approximation and is based on the assumption that immigrants lived in Canada for the entire period since their landing and did not get credit for the time spent in Canada prior to landing. We can only use this approximation since censuses do not record the actual time immigrants spend in Canada - which is the information needed to identify eligible immigrants. See footnote 10.

Return to footnote iv referrer

Footnote v

Administrative Data obtained from CIC Operational Performance Management Branch.

Return to footnote v referrer

Footnote vi

Tran, Kustec and Chui. 2005. “Becoming Canadian: Intent, process and outcome”. Statistics Canada — Catalogue No. 11-008 accessed July 16th, 2012.

Return to footnote vi referrer

Citizenship Take-up Rates for Immigrants: Censuses 1986 to 2006

Census results from 1986 to 2006 showed high citizenship take-up rates for immigrants with either at least three years since landing (3+ YSL) or with at least five years since landing (5+ YSL). Take-up rates among these immigrants increased in each census. In 2006, the citizenship take-up rates were 88.3% for immigrants with 5+ YSL and 85.1% for those with 3+YSL—approximately eight and six percentage points higher than the corresponding take-up rates in the 1986 census. Figure 1 shows that whereas the gap in take-up rates between immigrants with 5+ and 3+YSL was approximately two percentage points in each census between 1986 and 2001, the difference increased to just over three percentage points by 2006. In part, this may be attributed to longer citizenship application processing times since 2001.

Figure 1: Citizenship Take-up Rate for Immigrants with 3+ and 5+ YSL in Canada, Censuses 1986 to 2006, Canada

Citizenship Take-up Rate for Immigrants with 3+ and 5+ YSL in Canada, censuses 1986 to 2006, Canada, described below
Text version: Citizenship Take-up Rate for Immigrants with 3+ and 5+ YSL in Canada, Censuses 1986 to 2006, Canada
  3+ YSL 5+ YSL
1986 78.7% 80.5%
1991 81.0% 82.9%
1996 83.2% 85.6%
2001 83.9% 86.1%
2006 85.1% 88.3%

Source: 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, and 2006 Censuses, 20% sample.

Figure 2 illustrates that in each census year from 1986 to 2006 the citizenship take-up rate among immigrants with 5+YSL was slightly higher for men compared to women. While in 1986 the difference in men’s and women’s take-up rates was three percentage points; by 2006 this gap decreased to one percentage point.

Figure 2: Citizenship Take-up Rate for Immigrants with 5 + YSL in Canada by Gender, Censuses 1986 to 2006

Citizenship Take-up Rate for Immigrants with 5 + YSL  in Canada by Gender, cenuses 1986 to 2006, described below
Text version: Citizenship Take-up Rate for Immigrants with 5 + YSL in Canada by Gender, Censuses 1986 to 2006
  Male Female
1986 82.0% 79.0%
1991 84.2% 81.7%
1996 86.6% 84.6%
2001 86.9% 85.4%
2006 88.9% 87.8%

Source: 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, and 2006 Censuses, 20% sample

Citizenship Take-up Rate by Landing Period/Years Since Landing (YSL) prior to the Census Year

Comparing the results across census years from 1986 to 2006, immigrants with longer YSL in Canada had consistently higher citizenship take-up rates. However, citizenship take-up rates of immigrants in the same YSL categories vary across census years.

In each census year from 1986 to 2006, immigrants with longer YSL in Canada had higher citizenship take-up rates. For example, at the time of the 2006 Census, immigrants with 3-4 YSL had a citizenship take-up rate of 47.6%, the rate for those with 5-14 YSL was almost double (84.1%), and for those with 35+ YSL it was 91.8% (Figure 3). In this paper, when we compare the citizenship take-up rates between immigrants with different YSL based on one census, we compare the take-up rates of immigrants who landed in Canada in different periods and hence have different YSL (Table 1). This should not be confused with comparing take-up rate change of the same landing cohorts across years since landing.

Table 1: Correspondence between Landing Periods and the Categories of Years Since Landing (YSL) prior to the Census Year, Censuses 1986 to 2006
Census year 3+ YSL 5+ YSL 3-4 YSL 5-14 YSL 15-24 YSL 25-34 YSL 35+ YSL
1986 Before 1983 Before 1981 1981 to 1982 1971 to 1980 1961 to 1970 1951 to 1960 Before 1951
1991 Before 1988 Before 1986 1986 to 1987 1976 to 1985 1966 to 1975 1956 to 1965 Before 1956
1996 Before 1993 Before 1991 1991 to 1992 1981 to 1990 1971 to 1980 1961 to 1970 Before 1961
2001 Before 1998 Before 1996 1996 to1997 1986 to 1995 1976 to 1985 1966 to 1975 Before 1966
2006 Before 2003 Before 2001 2001 to 2002 1991 to 2000 1981 to 1990 1971 to 1980 Before 1971

Citizenship take-up rates of immigrants in similar YSL categories varied across census years. Figure 3 illustrates that the citizenship take-up rates for immigrants with 3-4 YSL are lower in recent census years compared to earlier Censuses. In the three Censuses from 1986, 1991 to 1996 the citizenship take-up rates of immigrants with 3-4 YSL increased from 47.7%, to 51.2%, to 58.7%. In contrast, from 2001 to 2006 citizenship take-up rates of immigrants with 3-4 YSL decreased to 57.3% and 47.6%.

Figure 3 also shows higher citizenship take-up rates in later Censuses for immigrants with both 5-14 YSL and 15-24 YSL. Compared to the 1986 census when the citizenship take-up rate for immigrants with 5-14 YSL was 68.2 %, in 2006 the take-up rate was sixteen percentage points higher. In the case of immigrants with 15-24 YSL from the 1986 to 2006 census there was a thirteen percentage point increase in take-up from 76.8% to 89.4%. In all five census years the citizenship take-up rates for immigrants with 35+YSL were above ninety percent; however take-up rates decreased from a high of 94.6% in 1986 to 91.8% in 2006.

Figure 3: Citizenship Take-up Rate by YSL, Censuses 1986 to 2006

Citizenship Take-up Rate by YSL , Censuses  1986 to 2006, described below
Text version: Citizenship Take-up Rate by YSL, Censuses 1986 to 2006
  1986 1991 1996 2001 2006
3-4 YSL 47.7% 51.2% 58.7% 57.3% 47.6%
5-14 YSL 68.2% 75.2% 79.8% 81.4% 84.1%
15-24 YSL 76.8% 79.5% 84.0% 86.8% 89.4%
25-34 YSL 88.3% 85.8% 85.6% 86.4% 89.1%
35+ YSL 94.6% 93.4% 93.1% 91.9% 91.8%

Source: 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, and 2006 Censuses, 20% sample.

Figure 4 demonstrates that the difference in citizenship take-up rates between men and women was slightly larger for those with less YSL, and also more pronounced for earlier Censuses. For example, in 1986, the difference in the take-up rates between males and females for immigrants with 3-4 YSL was just about four percentage points (49.7% vs. 45.8%); whereas in the 2006 census take-up rates were almost the same (47.7% vs. 47.6%). In contrast, for all five Censuses the difference in citizenship take-up rates between male and female immigrants with 35+ YSL was close to one percentage point.

Figure 4: Citizenship Take-up Rate by Gender and by YSL, Censuses 1986 to 2006

Citizenship Take-up Rate by Gender and  by YSL, Censuses 1986 to 2006, described below
Text version: Citizenship Take-up Rate by Gender and by YSL, Censuses 1986 to 2006
    1986 1991 1996 2001 2006
3-4 YSL Male 49.7% 52.6% 59.8% 57.1% 47.7%
Female 45.8% 49.8% 57.7% 57.5% 47.6%
5-14 YSL Male 70.1% 76.8% 80.7% 81.7% 84.3%
Female 66.5% 73.8% 79.0% 81.0% 83.9%
15 -24 YSL Male 79.0% 81.1% 85.2% 87.7% 89.9%
Female 74.7% 78.0% 82.8% 85.9% 88.9%
25-34 YSL Male 89.7% 87.2% 87.0% 87.6% 89.9%
Female 86.8% 84.5% 84.3% 85.2% 88.3%
25-34 YSL Male 95.2% 93.9% 93.7% 92.7% 92.6%
Female 94.1% 93.0% 92.5% 91.1% 91.1%

Source: 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, and 2006 Censuses, 20% sample

Citizenship Take-up Rate by Region and Country of Birth (2006 Census)

The citizenship take-up rates of immigrants varied by their region of birth. Immigrants born in Africa and Asia had the higher take-up rates compared to those from North America and Europe.

Table 2 shows that in 2006 the citizenship take-up rate of immigrants varied according to region of birth. The average citizenship take-up rate for immigrants with 5+ YSL from all regions of birth was 88.3%. In comparison, the rates for those born in Africa and Asia were 92.4% and 90.5% respectively. In contrast, immigrants born in North America had a take-up rate of 63.4%, the lowest of all regions and substantially below the average rate.

Table 2: Citizenship Take-up Rates by Region of Birth and by YSL prior to the Census Years, 2006 Census
  Years Since Landing
Place of birth of immigrants 3-4 5-14 15-24 25-34 35+
Asia 46.3% 86.0% 94.4% 96.4% 97.6%
Eastern Asia 44.1% 87.4% 95.7% 97.2% 98.2%
Southern Asia 42.8% 80.9% 90.3% 94.5% 97.0%
Southeast Asia 49.7% 87.9% 95.4% 97.4% 97.5%
West Central Asia and the Middle East 55.4% 90.4% 94.9% 95.5% 97.1%
Europe 51.0% 82.4% 82.7% 84.2% 92.1%
Southern Europe 61.2% 87.8% 75.8% 85.5% 91.4%
Northern Europe 37.3% 60.9% 75.3% 82.0% 90.3%
Eastern Europe 55.2% 91.4% 95.0% 95.4% 97.7%
Western Europe 37.1% 63.4% 70.7% 79.8% 92.6%
Americas 49.4% 77.0% 84.7% 84.1% 84.1%
Caribbean and Bermuda 45.1% 80.1% 89.6% 93.7% 95.9%
North America 50.4% 57.6% 57.0% 59.6% 72.9%
South America 47.2% 81.7% 91.1% 93.8% 97.4%
Central America 58.9% 84.1% 92.2% 95.2% 97.1%
Africa 48.5% 88.0% 95.2% 96.9% 97.7%
Northern Africa 47.5% 89.2% 95.4% 96.2% 98.0%
Eastern Africa 48.7% 88.5% 95.9% 98.2% 97.6%
Western Africa 53.3% 89.5% 94.7% 96.5% 93.3%
Southern Africa 42.3% 84.4% 94.3% 94.8% 97.6%
Central Africa 49.8% 81.6% 88.1% 91.4% 88.1%
Oceania 41.2% 72.2% 82.9% 84.6% 84.5%
Total 47.6% 84.1% 89.4% 89.1% 91.8%

Source: 2006 Census, 20% sample.

Figure 5 reveals that immigrants born in different regions had varying patterns of citizenship take-up by YSL. Immigrants from Africa and Asia showed citizenship take-up rates greater than the average rates for all regions of birth for each of the four YSL categories ( 5-14, 15-24, 25-34 and 35+ or more), while immigrants from the Americas and Oceania exhibited citizenship take-up rates below the average take-up rates for these YSL periods. Immigrants from Europe had citizenship take-up rates below the average rates for the YSL periods 5-14, 15-24 and 25-34, but immigrants with 35+ YSL had rates similar to the average rate (92.1% compared to 91.8%).

Figure 5: Citizenship Take-Up Rate by Region of Birth and YSL, 2006 Census

Citizenship Take-up Rate by Gender and  by YSL, Censuses 1986 to 2006, described below
Text version: Citizenship Take-Up Rate by Region of Birth and YSL, 2006 Census
Years Since Landing 3-4 YSL 5-14 YSL 15-24 YSL 25-34 YSL 35+ YSL
All Regions 47.6% 84.1% 89.4% 89.1% 91.8%
Americas 49.4% 77.0% 84.7% 84.1% 84.1%
Oceania 41.2% 72.2% 82.9% 84.6% 84.5%
Europe 51.0% 82.4% 82.7% 84.2% 92.1%
Asia 46.3% 86.0% 94.4% 96.4% 97.6%
Africa 48.5% 88.0% 95.2% 96.9% 97.7%

Source: 2006 Census, 20% sample

Table 3 shows that for immigrants from all regions of birth the average citizenship take-up rates of males exceeded the average take-up rate of females (with either 3+YSL or 5+YSL) by approximately one percentage point. For immigrants (with 3+YSL or 5+YSL) born in Asia, Europe and the Americas, the gap in citizenship take-up rates between males and females is also one percentage point in each of these regions. In contrast, in Oceania female immigrants with 3+YSL and 5+YSL had a citizenship take-up rate of approximately one percentage point higher than males. In the African region female immigrants had similar citizenship take-up rates to male immigrants.

At the sub-regional level, the difference in citizenship take-up rates between males and females was the largest for immigrants born in North America and the smallest for those born in Caribbean and Bermuda. For those immigrants with 3+YSL born in North America, the citizenship take-up rate of male immigrants exceeded that of females by six percentage points, while for those with 5+YSL the gap between male and female take-up rates was seven percentage points. For those immigrants born in the Caribbean and Bermuda, the citizenship take-up rate of female immigrants with 3+ YSL and 5+YSL exceeded that of male immigrants by three percentage points.

Table 3: Citizenship Take-up Rate by Region of Birth and Gender, 2006 Census
  Take-up rate 3+YSL Take-up rate 5+YSL
Places of birth of immigrants Total Male Female Total Male Female
Asia 85.0% 85.4% 84.8% 88.3% 88.9% 87.8%
Eastern Asia 85.7% 85.5% 85.9% 90.5% 90.9% 90.2%
Southern Asia 79.0% 80.5% 77.4% 91.5% 91.5% 91.5%
Southeast Asia 89.8% 90.0% 89.6% 85.9% 87.4% 84.3%
West Central Asia and the Middle East 87.3% 87.6% 86.9% 93.0% 93.1% 92.9%
Europe 87.1% 87.6% 86.5% 92.6% 92.8% 92.3%
Southern Europe 88.2% 88.9% 87.4% 88.3% 88.8% 87.7%
Northern Europe 84.3% 84.2% 84.4% 88.7% 89.4% 87.9%
Eastern Europe 91.5% 91.9% 91.1% 85.0% 85.1% 85.0%
Western Europe 84.4% 85.6% 83.3% 94.7% 95.0% 94.4%
Americas 80.0% 80.6% 79.5% 85.8% 87.0% 84.6%
Caribbean and Bermuda 87.0% 85.5% 88.1% 82.2% 82.9% 81.6%
North America 62.6% 66.2% 59.9% 89.2% 87.7% 90.3%
South America 85.6% 85.3% 85.8% 63.4% 67.3% 60.6%
Central America 86.8% 86.8% 86.7% 89.4% 89.1% 89.7%
Africa 86.3% 86.1% 86.5% 89.2% 89.2% 89.3%
Northern Africa 84.8% 84.5% 85.1% 92.4% 92.4% 92.5%
Eastern Africa 89.6% 89.6% 89.6% 93.0% 93.1% 93.0%
Western Africa 84.3% 85.0% 83.5% 93.6% 93.5% 93.7%
Southern Africa 86.8% 86.7% 86.9% 91.5% 91.6% 91.4%
Central Africa 76.7% 76.4% 76.9% 91.1% 90.9% 91.3%
Oceania 78.4% 77.7% 79.0% 84.1% 84.4% 84.0%
Total 85.1% 85.6% 84.6% 88.3% 88.9% 87.8%

Source: 2006 Census, 20% sample.

Tables 4 to 8 illustrate that in 2006 the take-up rate of immigrants varied considerably by country of birth. Table 4 shows the take-up rates of immigrants from sixteen countries of birth from which there were 100,000 or more immigrants in the 2006 Census. Among these sixteen countries, the citizenship take-up rates for immigrants with 5+ YSL ranged from a high of 96.1% for those born in Hong Kong, to a low of 63.1% for those born in the United States of America. With the exception of the United States of America, immigrants with 5+ YSL born in all other countries had rates greater than 80%.

Table 4: Citizenship Take-up Rate by Selected Country of Birth and by YSL, 2006 Census
  Years Since Landing
Place of birth 3+ 5+ 3-4 5-14 15-24 25-34 35+
United Kingdom 84.4% 85.1% 37.2% 61.1% 76.2% 82.4% 90.3%
PRC 84.3% 92.3% 45.4% 88.3% 96.7% 98.4% 98.8%
India 76.3% 83.1% 36.2% 74.5% 87.9% 93.9% 97.0%
Philippines 87.7% 92.4% 48.9% 88.0% 96.2% 98.1% 98.5%
Italy 88.4% 88.5% 47.4% 73.5% 74.7% 82.2% 90.0%
USA 62.3% 63.1% 50.4% 57.0% 56.4% 59.4% 72.8%
Hong Kong 95.6% 96.1% 64.7% 93.8% 97.9% 98.3% 98.7%
Germany 83.4% 84.1% 44.5% 56.4% 62.9% 74.1% 91.2%
Poland 93.3% 93.9% 53.3% 88.1% 94.4% 95.2% 97.8%
Viet Nam 94.5% 95.6% 62.3% 91.7% 96.6% 97.9% 96.2%
Portugal 81.1% 81.4% 49.4% 66.1% 70.2% 82.5% 89.8%
Eastern Europe Republics (former Soviet) 88.9% 94.8% 58.4% 92.8% 97.1% 95.9% 98.3%
Pakistan 81.4% 90.8% 52.3% 88.9% 94.6% 97.2% 97.1%
Jamaica 86.7% 88.3% 43.1% 77.6% 87.0% 93.6% 96.5%
Netherlands 86.5% 87.2% 27.9% 45.5% 56.6% 70.9% 94.1%
Sri Lanka 85.7% 90.2% 44.4% 87.7% 95.8% 98.9% 96.8%
Total place of birth 85.1% 88.3% 47.6% 84.1% 89.4% 89.1% 91.8%

Note: The countries of birth selected are those for which there are more than 100,000 immigrants enumerated in the 2006 Census.

Source: 2006 Census, 20% sample.

Table 5 illustrates that among the countries of birth with more than 100,000 immigrants in 2006, the citizenship take-up rates of males exceeded that of female immigrants by the largest percentage points for those born in the United States of America, India and Italy (with either 3+YSL and 5+YSL). Of these three countries, the difference was greatest for immigrants born in the United States of America, where the citizenship take-up rate of male immigrants exceeded that of females by six and seven percentage points for those with 3+YSL and 5+YSL respectively. In contrast, for those immigrants born in Jamaica and the Philippines, the citizenship take-up rates of female immigrants with 3+ YSL and 5+YSL exceeded that of male immigrants by a few percentage points.

Table 5: Citizenship Take-up Rate by Gender for Selected Country of Birth, 2006 Census
  Take-up rate 3+YSL Take-up rate  5+YSL
Place of birth Total Male Female Total Male Female
United Kingdom 84.4% 84.2% 84.6% 85.1% 85.1% 85.2%
PRC 84.3% 83.5% 85.0% 92.3% 91.8% 92.8%
India 76.3% 78.1% 74.4% 83.1% 85.1% 81.2%
Philippines 87.7% 86.7% 88.4% 92.4% 91.8% 92.8%
Italy 88.4% 89.6% 87.0% 88.5% 89.8% 87.1%
United States of America 62.3% 65.9% 59.7% 63.1% 66.9% 60.3%
Hong Kong 95.6% 95.6% 95.5% 96.0% 96.0% 96.1%
Poland 93.2% 93.7% 92.8% 93.9% 94.2% 93.5%
Viet Nam 94.5% 95.1% 93.9% 95.6% 95.9% 95.3%
Portugal 81.1% 81.4% 80.9% 81.4% 81.6% 81.1%
Eastern Europe Republics, former Soviet 88.9% 89.1% 88.7% 94.8% 94.8% 94.8%
Pakistan 81.4% 82.0% 80.6% 90.8% 91.3% 90.3%
Jamaica 86.7% 84.1% 88.6% 88.3% 85.8% 90.2%
Netherlands 86.5% 86.9% 86.1% 87.2% 87.7% 86.7%
Sri Lanka 85.7% 86.8% 84.5% 90.2% 91.0% 89.4%
Total place of birth 85.1% 85.6% 84.6% 88.3% 88.9% 87.8%

Note: The countries of birth selected are those for which there are more than 100,000 immigrants enumerated in the 2006 Census.

Source: 2006 Census, 20% sample.

Based on the 2006 Census, 102 countries of birth were recorded as having 5,000 or more landed immigrants in Canada. Immigrants who were born in a majority of these countries (73 out of 102), and who had 5+ YSL in Canada had citizenship take-up rates greater than of 88.3%—the average rate for immigrants from all countries of birth. Table 6 lists fifteen of these countries where immigrants with 5+YSL had the highest citizenship take-up rates. From these top fifteen countries, immigrants from Tanzania, Laos and Uganda had the highest rates (97.2%, 96.5% and 96.5% respectively). In general, the citizenship take-up rates for immigrants from these fifteen countries exceeded the average rate for immigrants from all countries of birth in each YSL category. Compared to the average take-up rate of 84.1% for all immigrants with 5-14 YSL, those from eleven of these fifteen countries in this YSL landing category had take-up rates of more than 90%. For immigrants with 35+ YSL, those from all countries except Cambodia had take-up rates that exceeded 95%.

Table 6: Citizenship Take-up Rate for Countries of Birth with Highest Rates by YSL, 2006 Census
  Years Since Landing
Countries of birth 3+ 5+ 3-4 5-14 15-24 25-34 35+
Tanzania 95.0% 97.2% 44.7% 90.7% 98.0% 99.0% 100.0%
Laos 96.2% 96.5% 58.3% 94.3% 96.7% 96.9% 100.0%
Uganda 95.9% 96.5% 72.7% 87.8% 93.6% 98.7% Footnote *98.4%
Macau 95.8% 96.3% 76.7% 94.8% 96.0% 99.5% 100.0%
Hong Kong 95.6% 96.1% 64.7% 93.8% 97.9% 98.3% 98.7%
Romania 89.2% 95.9% 53.5% 95.2% 96.3% 97.2% 97.7%
Slovenia 95.6% 95.8% 76.5% 91.8% 96.3% 92.8% 96.4%
Hungary 94.8% 95.8% 48.1% 84.9% 95.4% 95.0% 97.6%
Baltic Republics 94.2% 95.7% 56.9% 90.9% 93.1% 90.7% 97.3%
Ukraine 90.1% 95.7% 55.6% 93.1% 96.6% 97.1% 98.3%
Viet Nam 94.5% 95.6% 62.3% 91.7% 96.6% 97.9% 96.2%
Egypt 92.6% 95.4% 53.4% 91.4% 97.7% 95.7% 98.5%
Slovakia 91.7% 95.3% 38.0% 89.3% 96.8% 94.7% 97.6%
Croatia 94.5% 95.1% 73.6% 90.4% 92.6% 95.3% 97.7%
Cambodia 94.2% 95.0% 67.9% 88.8% 96.3% 96.0% 81.8%
Total place of birth 85.1% 88.3% 47.6% 84.1% 89.4% 89.1% 91.8%

Note: Country of birth are selected where there were more than 5,000 immigrants enumerated in the 2006 Census, and where the citizenship take-up rate is greater than 95.0% for immigrants with 5+YSL.

Source: 2006 Census, 20% sample.

Table 7 lists twenty nine countries of birth which had more than 5,000 immigrants enumerated in the 2006 Census; and from where immigrants with 5+ YSL in Canada had citizenship take-up rates less than 88.3%—the average rate for immigrants from all countries of birth. Immigrants born in Japan and the United States of America showed the lowest take-up rates, at 58.8% and 63.1% respectively. In general, the citizenship take-up rates of immigrants in these twenty nine countries increased with YSL in Canada. Between these countries there were different patterns of citizenship-take-up across YSL categories. First, the take-up rate for immigrants born in several countries (e.g. UK, Germany, Australia and New Zealand) was below the average take-up for all YSL categories under consideration. Second, immigrants born in several other countries (e.g. South Korea, India, Malaysia and France) had lower than average take-up rates in earlier YSL, but then had citizenship take-up rates that equaled or exceeded the average rate for immigrants with longer YSL (25-34 and 35+).

Note: Country of birth selected are those from which there are more than 5,000 immigrants in the 2006 Census, and where the citizenship take-up rate is less than 88.3%—the average rate for all immigrants with 5+ YSL. Scandinavia comprises Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Table 7: Citizenship Take-up Rate for Countries of Birth with Lowest Rates by YSL, 2006 Census
  Landing period and YSL
Countries of Birth (2006) Before 2003 / 3+ YSL Before 2001 / 5+ YSL 2001-2002 / 3-4 YSL 1991-2000 / 5-14 YSL 1981-1990 / 15-24 YSL 1971-1980 / 25-34 YSL Before 1971 / 35+ YSL
Switzerland Footnote **86.43% 88.1% 39.4% 77.4% 87.3% Footnote **89.3% Footnote **94.4%
Turkey 82.2% 87.5% 44.3% 79.4% Footnote **91.2% Footnote **96.0% Footnote **97.2%
Netherlands Footnote **86.5% 87.2% 27.9% 45.5% 56.6% 70.9% Footnote **94.1%
France 83.0% 87.2% 34.9% 73.7% 88.7% Footnote **92.4% Footnote **94.1%
Austria Footnote **86.6% 87.1% 24.3% 49.3% 68.1% 73.4% Footnote **92.5%
Ireland Footnote **86.1% 86.6% 44.9% 66.3% 79.4% 84.6% Footnote **91.1%
Spain Footnote **85.7% 86.5% Footnote **48.8% 66.7% 83.3% 85.2% 91.3%
Grenada 83.0% 86.1% 35.4% 75.2% 86.4% Footnote **94.1% Footnote **99.0%
Brazil 78.7% 85.3% 41.2% 78.6% 89.4% Footnote **89.2% Footnote **95.6%
UK 84.4% 85.1% 37.2% 61.1% 76.2% 82.4% 90.3%
Saint Vincent & Grenadines 83.3% 84.8% Footnote **54.3% 68.0% 86.6% Footnote **92.5% Footnote **97.6%
Indonesia 77.9% 84.4% 35.1% 69.7% 89.2% 86.4% Footnote **95.3%
Germany 83.4% 84.1% 44.5% 56.4% 62.9% 74.1% 91.2%
Malaysia 81.4% 84.0% 26.7% 72.7% 82.4% Footnote **95.7% Footnote **97.7%
Ecuador 80.2% 83.9% 41.1% 77.4% 83.5% 87.6% Footnote **93.5%
Belgium 82.5% 83.9% 38.2% 55.7% 65.3% 78.4% Footnote **92.7%
Cuba 73.1% 83.7% 39.2% 82.2% 86.1% 84.9% Footnote **94.2%
Sudan 73.7% 83.3% Footnote **50.1% 81.1% Footnote **92.7% Footnote **100.0% Footnote **93.6%
India 76.3% 83.1% 36.2% 74.5% 87.9% Footnote **93.8% Footnote **97.0%
DRC 74.5% 82.8% Footnote **47.9% 80.4% Footnote **93.9% Footnote **91.7% 86.4%
Scandanavia countries 82.1% 82.6% 34.0% 55.2% Footnote ***50.2% 71.9% 89.8%
South Korea 72.2% 82.3% 34.6% 74.1% 88.4% Footnote **98.3% Footnote **96.2%
Chile 80.2% 81.5% 47.2% 64.7% 81.9% 87.9% Footnote **95.6%
Singapore 77.9% 81.5% 40.5% 70.2% 84.2% Footnote **92.0% Footnote **97.7%
Portugal 81.1% 81.4% Footnote **49.4% 66.1% 70.2% 82.5% 89.8%
New Zealand 76.7% 79.4% 34.7% 59.5% 76.5% 85.8% 87.9%
Austrailia 64.5% 66.1% 43.4% 54.2% 60.1% 60.8% 78.6%
USA 62.3% 63.1% Footnote **50.4% 57.0% 56.4% Footnote ***59.4% Footnote ***72.8%
Japan Footnote ***54.7% Footnote ***58.8% Footnote ***24.2% Footnote ***38.7% 56.3% 70.6% 90.7%
Total 85.1% 88.3% 47.6% 84.1% 89.4% 89.1% 91.8%

Source: 2006 Census, 20% sample.

In summary, in 2006 the citizenship take-up rates of immigrants varied by their country of birth and YSL. Further, there were different patterns of citizenship take-up over YSL among immigrants born in different countries. To illustrate this point, Table 8 and Figure 6 compare the citizenship take-up rate of immigrants from selected countries of birth across YSL categories. First, immigrants born in some countries had citizenship take-up rates that exceeded the average citizenship take-up rates in all five YSL categories. This pattern is exemplified by immigrants born in the Philippines, Hong Kong and Vietnam. Second, immigrants from some other countries had citizenship take-up rates that were lower than the average rate for earlier YSL, but then had rates equal to or greater than the average take-up rates for longer YSL (25-34 and 35+). This is illustrated by immigrants born in India, France and South Korea. Finally, immigrants from some countries (e.g. United Kingdom and Japan) had citizenship take-up rates that were lower than the average citizenship take-up rates for each of the five YSL (3-4, 5-14, 15-24, 25-34 and 35 or more) categories. In the case of immigrants from the United States of America, only those with 3-4 YSL had citizenship take-up rates that exceeded the average take-up rate for that YSL category; immigrants from the United States of America in all other YSL categories had take-up rates that were lower than average rates.

Figure 6: Citizenship Take-Up Rate for Selected Countries/Regions of Birth and by YSL, 2006 Census

Citizenship Take-Up Rate for Selected Countries/Regions of Birth and by YSL, 2006 Census, described below
Text version: Citizenship Take-Up Rate for Selected Countries/Regions of Birth and by YSL, 2006 Census
Years Since Landing 3-4 YSL 5-14 YSL 15-24 YSL 25-34 YSL 35+ YSL
USA 50.4% 57.0% 56.4% 59.4% 72.8%
Japan 24.2% 38.7% 56.3% 70.6% 90.7%
UK 37.2% 61.1% 76.2% 82.4% 90.3%
South Korea 34.6% 74.1% 88.4% 98.3% 96.2%
India 36.2% 74.5% 87.9% 93.9% 97.0%
France 34.9% 73.7% 88.7% 92.4% 94.1%
Vietnam 62.3% 91.7% 96.6% 97.9% 96.2%
Philippines 48.9% 88.0% 96.2% 98.1% 98.5%
Hong Kong 64.7% 93.8% 97.9% 98.3% 98.7%
All countries 47.6% 84.1% 89.4% 89.1% 91.8%

Source: 2006 Census, 20% sample. See Appendix 1 for the table corresponding to this figure.

Citizenship Take-up Rate by Age at Landing (2006 Census)

Immigrants who landed at younger ages generally had higher citizenship take-up rates.

Figure 7 shows that immigrants who landed in Canada at younger ages generally had higher citizenship take-up rate than those who landed at older ages. However, differences in take-up rates by age at landing were most prominent for those with fewer YSL in Canada. In 2006, take-up rates for immigrants with 3-4 YSL in age at landing categories 65+, 25 to 44 and under 15 ranged from 39.3% to 46.9% to 54.5%. In contrast, with increased YSL, immigrants across all age at landing categories had converging citizenship take-up rates. For example, take-up rates for immigrants with 25-34 YSL for all age groups were approximately 90%.

Figure 7: Citizenship Take-up Rate by Age at Landing and by YSL for Immigrants with 5+ YSL, 2006 Census

Citizenship Take-up Rate by Age at Landing and by YSL for Immigrants with 5+ YSL, 2006 Census, described below
Text version: Citizenship Take-up Rate by Age at Landing and by YSL for Immigrants with 5+ YSL, 2006 Census
Years Since Landing 3-4 YSL 5-14 YSL 15-24 YSL 25-34 YSL 35+ YSL
Under 15 54.5% 86.8% 90.6% 88.5% 92.8%
15-24 45.5% 82.4% 88.4% 89.1% 91.4%
25-44 46.9% 84.4% 89.3% 89.6% 91.2%
45-64 38.8% 80.4% 89.6% 88.3% 84.9%
65+ 39.3% 80.0% 83.0% 87.0% 0.0%

Source: 2006 Census, 20% sample.

Citizenship Take-up Rate by Educational Attainment at Time of Census (2006 Census)

Citizenship take-up rates varied with educational attainment. Take-up rates were higher among immigrants with university level education compared to those with lower educational attainment.

Figure 8 demonstrates that among immigrants aged 15 and over, take-up rates are slightly higher among those with university level education compared to those with lower educational attainment. For those with university level education, citizenship take-up rates ranged from 89.7% for those with doctorates to 93.2% for immigrants with degrees in medicine and related fields. For those without university education, take-up rates ranged from 86.9% for those with no certificate, diploma or degree, to 88.9% for those with apprenticeship, trades and college diploma. Among those with university level education, women had slightly lower citizenship take-up rates than men. There was little difference in take-up rates between male and female immigrants without university education.

Figure 8: Citizenship Take-up Rate for Immigrants Aged 15+ with 5+ YSL by Educational Attainment and Gender, 2006 Census

Citizenship Take-up Rate for Immigrants aged 15+ with 5+ YSL by Educational Attainment and Gender, 2006 Census, described below
Text version: Citizenship Take-up Rate for Immigrants aged 15+ with 5+ YSL by Educational Attainment and Gender, 2006 Census
  Total Male Female
No certificate, diploma or degree 86.9% 87.0% 86.8%
High school certificate or equivalent 86.8% 87.4% 86.4%
Apprenticeship, trades or college diploma 88.9% 89.5% 88.3%
Bachelor's degree 90.8% 91.4% 90.1%
Master's degree 90.6% 91.4% 89.5%
Earned doctorate 89.7% 90.3% 88.1%
Degree in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or optometry 93.2% 94.0% 92.0%

Source: 2006 Census, 20% sample.

Citizenship Take-up Rate by Self-reported Official Language Knowledge at Census Time (2006 Census)

Immigrants who spoke at least one of the official languages had a higher citizenship take-up rate compared to those who spoke neither English nor French.

In the 2006 Census, immigrants with at least 5 YSL who reported knowledge of an official language had markedly higher citizenship take-up rates than those who spoke neither English nor French. Figure 9 shows that among immigrants who spoke both English and French the citizenship take-up rate was just over ninety percent (90.8%); whereas the take-up rate was just three percentage points lower for those who spoke one of these languages, it was ten percentage points lower for immigrants who spoke neither language. There was little difference between the citizenship take-up rate of men and women in each language category.

Figure 9: Citizenship Take-up Rate for Immigrants with 5+ YSL by Official Language Knowledge and by Gender, 2006 Census

Citizenship Take-up Rate for Immigrants with 5+ YSL by Official Language Knowledge and by Gender, 2006 Census, described below
Text version: Citizenship Take-up Rate for Immigrants with 5+ YSL by Official Language Knowledge and by Gender, 2006 Census
  Total - Gender Male Female
Total 88.3% 88.9% 87.8%
English only 88.4% 88.9% 88.0%
French only 88.1% 88.2% 88.0%
English and French 90.8% 91.4% 90.2%
Neither English nor French 81.2% 81.3% 81.2%

Source: 2006 Census, 20% sample.

Figure 10 demonstrates that among immigrants who spoke neither official language, the take-up rates for those aged 25 to 44 or 45 to 64 were particularly low, about 16 percentage points lower than immigrants in the same age group who spoke both official languages, or 11-14 percentage points lower than those speaking English or French. For immigrants in all other age groups, the take-up rate was also lower for those speaking neither official language compared to those speaking at least one of the official languages. The differences, however, were less pronounced for those aged 65+ or under 18; being waived from the knowledge test and the knowledge of the official languages requirement for citizenship application of seniors and juniors likely underlay these smaller differences than other age groups.

Figure 10: Citizenship Take-up Rate for Immigrants with 5+ YSL by Official Language Knowledge and by Age at Census, 2006 Census

Citizenship Take-up Rate for Immigrants with 5+ YSL by Official Language Knowledge and by Age at Census, 2006 Census, described below
Text version: Citizenship Take-up Rate for Immigrants with 5+ YSL by Official Language Knowledge and by Age at Census, 2006 Census
  Under 18 years 18 -24 25-44 45-64 65 and over
English only 85.2% 87.4% 86.2% 88.8% 91.6%
French only 83.7% 80.1% 84.3% 89.5% 92.5%
English and French 88.0% 89.6% 89.3% 92.1% 92.9%
Neither English nor French 82.9% 78.8% 73.0% 75.3% 86.3%

Source: 2006 Census, 20% sample.

Citizenship Take-up Rate by Region/Province of Residence at Time of Census (2006 Census)

Immigrants in Quebec had the highest take-up rates in all census years except 1986; while those residing in the Atlantic region had the lowest take-up rates in all census years.

Table 8 and Figure 11 illustrate that across the census years the citizenship take-up rate of immigrants with 5+ YSL varied by region/province. For example, in all census years except 1986, immigrants in Quebec had the highest take-up rates. In 1986, Quebec and Saskatchewan had highest take-up rates, at 85.3% and 85.9% respectively. The difference between the take-up rate for immigrants in Quebec and the average rate in Canada decreased in each successive Census—it was greater by 4.8 and 1.2 percentage points in 1986 and 2006 respectively. In the Atlantic Region, immigrants with 5+ YSL had the lowest citizenship take-up rates compared to other provinces. In each census year, immigrants in the Atlantic region and the Territories had take-up rates seven and three percentage points lower than the average rate for Canada.

Figure 11: Citizenship Take-up Rate for Immigrants with 5+ YSL prior to the Census Year by Region/Province, Census Years 1986 to 2006

Citizenship Take-up Rate for Immigrants with 5+ YSL prior to the Census Year by Region/Province, Census Years 1986 to 2006, described below
Text version: Citizenship Take-up Rate for Immigrants with 5+ YSL prior to the Census Year by Region/Province, Census Years 1986 to 2006
  1986 1991 1996 2001 2006
Canada 80.5% 82.9% 85.6% 86.1% 88.3%
Atlantic Region 73.7% 76.2% 78.1% 77.9% 81.3%
QC 85.3% 86.9% 89.0% 88.8% 89.5%
ON 78.8% 82.1% 85.4% 86.2% 88.7%
MB 82.8% 84.5% 86.5% 87.6% 88.1%
SAK 85.9% 84.8% 86.7% 85.9% 86.6%
AB 80.5% 82.4% 84.8% 85.2% 87.0%
BC 81.9% 83.2% 84.5% 85.1% 87.6%
Territories 77.3% 79.7% 82.8% 82.4% 84.6%

Source: 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, and 2006 Census, 20% sample.

Table 8: Citizenship Take-up Rate for Immigrants with 5+YSL by Region/Province, Census 1986 to 2006
Region / Census Year 1986 1991 1996 2001 2006
AtlanticRegion Footnote ***73.7% Footnote ***76.2% Footnote ***78.1% Footnote ***77.9% Footnote ***81.3%
Quebec Footnote **85.3% Footnote **86.9% Footnote **89.0% Footnote **88.8% Footnote **89.5%
Ontario Footnote ***78.8% 82.1% Footnote ***85.4% Footnote **86.2% Footnote **88.7%
Manitoba Footnote **82.8% Footnote **84.5% Footnote **86.5% Footnote **87.6% Footnote **88.1%
Saskatchewan Footnote **85.9% Footnote **84.8% Footnote **86.7% Footnote ***85.9% Footnote ***86.6%
Alberta Footnote **80.5% Footnote ***82.4% Footnote ***84.9% Footnote ***85.2% Footnote ***87.0%
Territories Footnote ***77.2% Footnote ***79.5% Footnote ***83.0% Footnote ***82.4% Footnote ***84.5%
British Columbia Footnote **81.9% Footnote **83.2% Footnote ***84.5% Footnote ***85.1% Footnote ***87.6%
Canada 80.5% 82.9% 85.6% 86.1% 88.3%

Source: 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, and 2006 Census, 20% sample.

Figure 12 demonstrates that across regions/provinces there are different patterns of citizenship take-up by YSL categories. For example, in the Atlantic region, the take-up rate of immigrants are higher than the average rate for Canada only for the 3-4 YSL category; in all other YSL categories take-up rates are lower than the average rate. In Quebec, whereas immigrants with 3-4 YSL and 5-14 YSL have slightly lower than the average rates, those with 15-24 YSL and 25-34 YSL have higher than the average rates.

Figure 12: Citizenship Take-up Rate by YSL and by Region/Province, 2006 Census

Citizenship Take-up Rate by YSL and by Region/Province, 2006 Census, described below
Text version: Citizenship Take-up Rate by YSL and by Region/Province, 2006 Census
YSL Canada Atlantic Region QC ON MB SAK AB Territories BC
3-4 YSL 47.6% 50.4% 45.4% 50.2% 42.6% 41.8% 39.9% 65.4% 46.2%
5-14 YSL 84.1% 74.3% 84.0% 85.2% 80.8% 80.2% 80.9% 78.0% 83.1%
15-24YSL 89.4% 75.8% 91.2% 89.5% 88.6% 84.6% 88.6% 85.0% 89.0%
25-34 YSL 89.1% 75.2% 92.4% 89.2% 89.1% 81.8% 88.2% 81.7% 88.5%
35+ YSL 91.8% 89.7% 93.1% 91.6% 92.1% 93.2% 91.7% 92.5% 91.7%

Source: 2006 Census, 20% sample. See Appendix 2 for the table corresponding to this Figure. The take-up rate for immigrants with 3-4 YSL in the Territories are based on a number less than 300.

Conclusion

This review of census data from 1986 to 2006 shows that take-up rates among immigrants with 3+ YSL and 5+YSL were high and increased consistently in each census year. However, across census years, citizenship take up rates varied by years since landing, place of birth, age at landing, educational attainment, knowledge of official languages and province of residence at the time of the census. Comparing the results across census years from 1986 to 2006, immigrants with longer YSL in Canada had consistently higher citizenship take-up rates. For immigrants who had landed in Canada for 35 years and over, the take-up rates were all over 91% for all five census years. However, citizenship take-up rates of immigrants in the same YSL categories varied across census years. The gap in take-up rates between immigrants with 5+ and 3+YSL was larger in 2006 compared to the earlier Censuses.

In addition, information from the Census shows that citizenship take-up rates were also highest among immigrants from several African and Asian countries and lowest for those who were born in Japan, the United States of America and Australia.

Further, in terms of age at landing, younger immigrants had higher take-up rates than older immigrants, but this was more pronounced for those with shorter YSL. In addition, take-up rates were also higher among immigrants with university level education compared to those with lower educational attainment. Immigrants who self reported knowledge of at least one official language had higher citizenship take-up rates compared to those who spoke neither English nor French. Across provinces, immigrants in Quebec had the highest take-up rates in all census years except 1986; while those residing in the Atlantic region had the lowest take-up rates in all census years.

Overall, the gender difference in the citizenship take-up rates is moderate. In each census from 1986 to 2006 the citizenship take-up rates among immigrants with 5+ YSL were slightly higher for men compared to women. The difference in citizenship take-up rates between men and women was slightly higher for those with less YSL, and also more pronounced for earlier Censuses. There was little difference between the citizenship take-up rates of men and women in each official language category (i.e. those who spoke English only, French only, English and French and Neither English nor French). Among the countries of birth where more than 100,000 immigrants were enumerated in the 2006 Census, for those immigrants born in Jamaica, PRC and the Philippines, the citizenship take-up rates of female immigrants with 3+ YSL and 5+YSL exceeded that of male immigrants.

Analysis of the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) data will reveal how the citizenship take-up rates of immigrants have changed compared to earlier census years. The linked data of the 2011 NHS with the CIC permanent resident landing file will also allow to breakdown the take-up rate by immigration category. Further research could draw on CIC administrative data and can show how citizenship-take up rates differ by both admissions class and by landing cohort for immigrants with various demographic profiles. This data can also be used to investigate why citizenship take up rates have decreased for immigrants with 3-4YSL in more recent census years. In conclusion, the analysis presented in this paper shows that the majority of “eligible” immigrants become Canadian citizens.

Appendix Tables

Citizenship Take-up Rate (%) by YSL for Selected Countries of Birth, 2006 Census
Places of birth of immigrants Years Since Landing
3+ 5+ 3-4 5-14 15-24 25-34 35+
Japan Footnote ***54.7% Footnote ***58.8% Footnote ***24.2% Footnote ***38.7% 56.3% 70.6% 90.7%
USA 62.3% 63.1% Footnote **50.4% 57.0% 56.4% Footnote ***59.4% Footnote ***72.8%
UK 84.4% 85.1% 37.2% 61.1% 76.2% 82.4% 90.3%
South Korea 72.2% 82.3% 34.6% 74.1% 88.4% Footnote **98.3% Footnote **96.2%
India 76.3% 83.1% 36.2% 74.5% 87.9% Footnote **93.9% Footnote **97.0%
France 83.0% 87.2% 34.9% 73.7% 88.7% Footnote **92.4% Footnote **94.1%
Viet Nam Footnote **94.5% Footnote **95.6% Footnote **62.3% Footnote **91.7% Footnote **96.6% Footnote **97.9% Footnote **96.2%
Philippines Footnote **87.7% Footnote **92.4% Footnote **48.9% Footnote **88.0% Footnote **96.2% Footnote **98.1% Footnote **98.5%
Hong Kong Footnote **95.6% Footnote **96.1% Footnote **64.7% Footnote **93.8% Footnote **97.9% Footnote **98.3% Footnote **98.7%
Total place of birth 85.1% 88.3% 47.6% 84.1% 89.4% 89.1% 91.8%

Source: 2006 Census, 20% sample.

Citizenship Take-up Rate (%) by YSL and by Province/Region, 2006 Census
Province/Region Years Since Landing
3-4 5-14 15-24 25-34 35+
Atlantic Region 50.4% 74.3% 75.8% 75.2% 89.7%
Quebec 45.4% 84.0% 91.2% 92.4% 93.1%
Ontario 50.2% 85.2% 89.5% 89.2% 91.6%
Manitoba 42.6% 80.8% 88.6% 89.1% 92.1%
Saskatchewan 41.8% 80.2% 84.6% 81.8% 93.2%
Alberta 39.9% 80.9% 88.6% 88.2% 91.7%
Territories 65.4% 78.0% 85.0% 81.7% 92.5%
British Columbia 46.2% 83.1% 89.0% 88.5% 91.7%
Canada 47.6% 84.1% 89.4% 89.1% 91.8%

Source: 2006 Census, 20% sample.

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