ARCHIVED – Immigrant income and the family

III. The LAD population

Figure 1 illustrates the size of the LAD population and the breakdown of the immigrant and non-immigrant populations within it. [note 11] In 1982 there are approximately 3.22 million Canadian tax filers captured in LAD. This number increase each year and by 2003 the population includes information on roughly 4.78 million individuals. Since the LAD identifies immigrants who landed in or after 1980 the number of immigrants in the population is very small in the first few years of observation. However, as time passes more new immigrants are captured in LAD in addition to those previously captured and the share of immigrants increases. The share of immigrants gradually increases each year and reaches nearly 11 percent by 2003. [note 12]

Figure 1: Size of the Non-Immigrant and Immigrant Populations, Tax Years 1982-2003

Source: LAD, Statistics Canada

Figure 1: Size of the Non-Immigrant and Immigrant  Populations, Tax Years 1982-2003

Figure 2 shows the composition of the immigrant population by immigrant category. The category composition observed in the LAD is consistent with that seen in the IMDB across tax years. [note 13] Family class immigrants account for the largest share of the population throughout the entire period. The share of family class immigrants averages over 1/3 of all immigrants during the period, with a peak in the mid-to-late-1980s that corresponds to the pattern seen in immigrant landings. The share of economic principal applicants declines over the period, beginning at roughly 30 percent and falling to 21 percent by 2003. In contrast, the share of economic spouse and dependents increases by 9 percentage points during the period and by 2003 equals that of economic principal applicants. The refugee share remains relatively constant over the period with a decline of only 2 percentage points from 1982 (17 percent) to 2003 (15 percent).

Figure 2: Immigrant Category Composition of the Immigrant Population in LAD, 1982-2003

Source: LAD, Statistics Canada

Figure 2: Immigrant  Category Composition of the Immigrant Population in LAD, 1982-2003

Figure 3 illustrates the age breakdown of the immigrant population by tax year. The composition is noticeably different from that of the non-immigrant population. [note 14] Even though both populations show signs of ageing over the period, the immigrant population remains younger, on average, than the non-immigrant population. The immigrant and non-immigrant populations have a declining share of individuals less than 25 years of age over the period. For both populations the share falls from approximately 20 percent in 1982 to10 percent in 2003. Both populations also have a declining share of individuals aged 25-34 and a constant or increasing share of individuals aged 35-44. For the immigrant population, the share aged 25-34 falls from 40 percent in 1982 to 20 percent in 2003, while the share aged 35-44 rises from 20 percent to 30 percent. For the non-immigrant population the share aged 25-34 falls from 25 percent to 15 percent, while the share aged 35-44 was constant at 20 percent. The share of immigrants aged 45-59 starts out smaller than that of non-immigrants (10 percent compared to 20 percent) but by 2003 one quarter of both populations are aged 45-59. Finally, the immigrant population has a much smaller share of individuals aged 60 or older. The share increases over the period but in 2003 it is only 10 percent compared to 20 percent of non-immigrants.

Figure 3: Age Composition of the Immigrant Population in LAD, 1982-2003

Source: LAD, Statistics Canada

Figure 3: Age Composition of the Immigrant  Population in LAD, 1982-2003

The provincial composition is also notably different for the two populations. [note 15] As previous research shows, the majority of immigrants in Canada choose to reside in Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec and this is clearly reflected in the LAD population. Nearly 55 percent of immigrants reside in Ontario compared to 35 percent of non-immigrants. Another 20 percent of immigrants reside in British Columbia which is double the share of the non-immigrant population. Finally, roughly 15 percent of immigrants live in Quebec, 10 percentage points less than the share for non-immigrants. [note 16] There are also smaller shares of immigrants relative to non-immigrants in all of the remaining provinces. [note 17]

Figure 4: Composition of the Immigrant Population in LAD by Family Type of the Individual, 1982-2003

Source: LAD, Statistics Canada

Figure 4: Composition of the Immigrant Population in LAD by Family Type of the Individual, 1982-2003

Figure 4 illustrates the breakdown of the immigrant population by family type. [note 18] Generally speaking, the immigrant population is similar to that of the non-immigrant population with respect to family type. Approximately 20 percent of both populations are unattached individuals, another 5 percent are lone parents, and the majority are married. There are some differences between the two populations however. The share of the immigrant population defined as a child has increased from 5 to 10 percent but remains lower than the non-immigrant share which increased from 10 to 15 percent. The immigrant population also has a larger share of married individuals. This share has declined from 70 to 65 percent over the period but has remained evenly split between males and females. For the non-immigrant population the share of married individuals was constant at 60 percent over the period and also had an even gender split.

Figure 5 shows the composition of the immigrant population by the number of children in the family. [note 19] The majority of immigrants have at least one child in the family, with one or two being the most common number of children. Since the immigrant population is more likely to be of childbearing age and to be married, it is not surprising that immigrants are also more likely to have a child in the family. Figures 5 and A6 illustrate just this. The proportion of the non-immigrant population without children increases from 40 percent to 50 percent over the period. In contrast, the proportion of the immigrant population without children decreases from 45 percent to 35 percent. Relative to the non-immigrant population, the immigrant population has a larger share of families with one child (25 percent compared to 20 percent), two children (25 percent compared to 20%), and three or more children (15 percent compared to 10 percent).

Figure 5: Composition of the Immigrant Population in LAD by Number of Children in Family, 1982-2003

Source: LAD, Statistics Canada

Figure 5: Composition  of the Immigrant Population in LAD by Number of Children in Family, 1982-2003

Note that in the LAD there is no restriction on the ages of children. A child is defined as anyone who is single and living with one or both parents. For example, a 50 year-old child may be living with a 70-year old parent. This family would be classified as a lone-parent family. For this reason it is important to take a closer look at the population of children. [note 20] Figures A7 and A8 divide the immigrant and non-immigrant populations of children into two categories: adult child (25 years of age or older) and child (less than 25 years of age). [note 21] In 2003, for the majority (87 percent) of non-immigrant families with children in the LAD, the age of the youngest child is less than 25 years. The proportion is even higher for immigrant families with children (93 percent). Since for the vast majority in the LAD, the age of the youngest child is less than 25 years, the lack of a restriction on the ages of children is not expected to have a significant impact on the family income analysis.

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11  See Table A2 in the Appendix for the immigrant/non-immigrant composition for each taxation year.

12  The share of immigrants in the LAD is slightly higher than the comparable population in the 2001 Census. Immigrants account for 18.4 percent of the Canadian population in the 2001 Census. This, however, does not restrict immigrants to a specified landing period. Immigrants landing after 1980 account for 9.8 percent of Canadian population in the 2001 Census.

13  See Figure A1 in the appendix for the category composition of the immigrant population in the IMDB.

14  See Figure A2 in the Appendix for the age composition of the non-immigrant population.

15  See Figures A3 and A4 in the Appendix for the provincial composition of the immigrant and non-immigrant populations.

16  The provincial distribution seen in the 2001 Census is very similar to this; with 55 percent of immigrants landing after 1980 residing in Ontario, 20 percent in British Columbia, and 14 percent in Quebec. For non-immigrants the shares are 35 percent in Ontario, 11 percent in British Columbia, and 26 percent in Quebec.

17  The age and provincial compositions of the immigrant population in LAD are also consistent with those observed in the IMDB.

18  See Figure A5 in the Appendix for the family type composition of the non-immigrant population.

19  See Figures A6 in the Appendix for the composition of the non-immigrant population by the number of children in the family.

20  See Figures A7 and A8 in the Appendix for the composition of the immigrant and non-immigrant populations by age of the youngest child.

21  The adult child variable was created by using the age of the youngest child. If the age of the youngest child was greater than 25 years the family is said to have an adult child present. The variable was created in an attempt to identify situations where a 50 year old is living with an elderly parent, while, at the same time, trying to avoid classifying a 25 year old college student who is still very much dependent on his/her parent(s) as an adult.

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