ARCHIVED – Immigrant income and the family

Highlights

Lone-parents and unattached individuals have the least favourable income situations.
For both immigrants and non-immigrants, lone-parents and unattached individuals less than 60 years of age have the lowest family employment earnings, with immigrant lone-parents and unattached immigrants reporting the lowest of all groups. In 2003, lone-parents and unattached immigrants account for 20 percent of the immigrant population 60 years of age or less.

Lone-parents and unattached individuals over 60 years of age also have the least favourable income situations for their age group (and again it is even less favourable for immigrants relative to non-immigrants). Immigrant lone-parents and unattached immigrants aged 60 or older are less likely to report employment earnings and more likely to report provincial supplements, OAS and GIS/Allowance. In 2003, lone-parents and unattached immigrants account for 4 percent and 33 percent of the immigrant population aged 60 or older, respectively.

Immigrant seniors are less self-sufficient than non-immigrant seniors.
Non-immigrant seniors rely more on contributory retirement income (C/QPP, RRSP and private pensions) while immigrant seniors rely more on non-contributory retirement income (OAS and GIS/Allowance). Family class immigrants (66% of the senior immigrant population) and refugees (8%) receive more than half of their income from provincial supplements, OAS, and GIS/Allowance. In contrast, senior economic immigrants (18%) show stronger labour market attachment and receive 60 percent of their income from labour market sources, especially employment earnings. Senior economic principal applicants are also the category most likely to report C/QPP and least likely to report OAS/GIS.

There are notable differences in private pension coverage between immigrants and non-immigrants.
With the exception of refugees non-immigrants report private pensions that are only slightly higher than immigrants, on average. In fact, economic principal applicants have a slightly higher average than non-immigrants. The difference is that there are far fewer immigrants receiving private pensions at all. In 2003, half of non-immigrants aged 60 or older were reporting private pension income and only 12 percent of immigrants. The difference is further reflected in the composition of total income for immigrants and non-immigrants. In 2003, private pension income accounts for near one-third of total income for non-immigrants and only 13 percent for immigrants.

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