The housing experiences of new Canadians: Insights from the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada (LSIC)

Appendix C: Details on variable creation

Housing costs: These variables, hsXd118 (hs1d118 for wave 1, hs2d118 for wave 2, and hs3d118 for wave 3), report on how much a respondent and his/her household pays in monthly housing costs.

Visible minority indicators: In wave 1, individuals were invited to identify as a member of a visible minority population. This variable, lr1g044, was used to create a series of dummy variables.

Age: Individuals were asked about their age in every wave. These variables are the lrd005 series.

Education: These variables were created using the variable ed1g221. The LSIC variable was transformed into four dummy variables, used to denote those with less than highschool, a highschool diploma, other post-secondary training, and a university degree.

Spouse came before respondent: respondents were asked in LSIC if they had a spouse already here in Canada. This variable (lr1d060) was dichotomized and used to predict home ownership.

Entry wealth is measured using two variables. The first is a dummy variable to denote the presence of any entry wealth whatsoever. The second is the logged value of the stated amount (set to 0 for those that did not bring wealth). The reason behind coding wealth in this manner is that individuals with no wealth are likely to differ qualitatively from those with wealth. As a result, the dummy variable captures this difference, while the logged amount captures the effect of wealth amount.

Religion: LSIC collects information on religion in variable lr1g046. This study creates a separate dummy variable for each category used by Statistics Canada.

Class of entry: categories of the variable lr1d011 were collapsed and used to create a series of dummy variables.

Income: This refers to an economic family’s self-reported income by month, and adjusted to 2002 dollars. This number is logged to reduce the influence of extreme values. For waves 2 and 3, this information was directly asked (they appear in LSIC as variables in2d069x and in3d069x) For wave 1, monthly is not asked but instead total income earned in Canada is asked. This information was divided by the number of months a respondent has been in Canada.

Household composition: LSIC respondents were asked a series of questions about their living arrangements. This gave Statistics Canada enough information to construct several variables. For this report, respondents were sorted according to four potential living arrangements. These indicators denote the living arrangements within the household, and are based on the hhxd023 variables in LSIC. A multiple family is any where there is more than one full family living in a dwelling. This family may be several lone parents and their children, or more than one husband-wife family (with or without children). A person living alone has no other dweller listed in the registry, and a person that lives with non-family persons has several roommates that have no familial connection whatsoever. Finally, one family household with/without family persons refers to any dwelling that contains one person that is not part of the primary family.

Number of jobs: This refers to the number of jobs held since coming to Canada, and ranges from 0 to 8, and is taken from variables em1d322, em2d322, and em3d322.

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