ARCHIVED – Portrait of an Integration Process

Overview

As time went on, fewer newcomers needed to focus on three of the four integration tasks examined here (Table 1). During the initial 6 months, 66% or 104,100 of all the LSIC immigrants had tried to get education or training which was the smallest proportion among the four main integration activities. By the 4th year in Canada, only 24% or 38,200 reported engaging in accessing education or training. The number of immigrants participating in the other settlement and integration activities such as obtaining employment and finding housing also dropped substantially. Accessing health care services was the only area where immigrants’ behaviour was consistent (more than 70% throughout three waves).

Declined involvement implies progress made by newcomers towards a more stable life. The longer immigrants were in Canada, more immigrants appeared to be settled, had secured employment, and fewer were taking education, resulting in smaller engagement proportions in the settlement and integration activities.

Table1: Involvement in four main settlement and integration tasks in the first 4 years in Canada

  6 months
after landing
2 years
after landing
4 years
after landing
All immigrants 157,615 157,615 157,615
Immigrants who tried to find employment 112,841 91,512 77,328
72% 58% 49%
Immigrants who accessed education or training1 2 104,080 46,343 38,246
66% 29% 24%
Immigrants who accessed health care services3 119,631 114,794 113,631
76% 73% 72%
Immigrants who tried to find housing 120,707 84,686 67,516
77% 54% 43%

1The coverages were different in the 3 waves. Education or training included language training in the Wave1 questionnaire while excluding language training in the Wave 2 and 3 questionnaires.

2In the Wave 1 questionnaire, the LR is asked if he/she has tried to get education or training. Here reported number for Wave 1 (6 months after landing) is of the LRs who tried (may get or may not get) to get education or training in Wave 3, instead of those who actually took education.

3In the Wave 1 questionnaire, the LR is asked if he/she has tried to get health care services. Here reported number for Wave 1 (6 months after landing) is of the LRs who tried (may get or may not get) to get health care services in Wave 3, instead of those who actually got health care services.

Source: Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada - Wave 3, 2005

Looking at these four key areas of settlement and the subsequent decrease in reported problems, it appeared that the LSIC immigrants made progress adapting to the new life 4 years after arrival. As shown by Figure 1, for most integration tasks, newcomers were less likely to report difficulties the longer they were in Canada. The proportion of immigrants reporting problems finding employment declined steadily, from 50% at 6 months after landing to 40% at 2 years after arrival and further to 29% at the end of the 4th year in Canada. Similar progress was evident in problems reported finding housing (29%, 14% and 7% for the interview times of three waves respectively). Although there were variations in the over-time change of incidence of encountering problems in the areas of accessing education or training and health care services, there was still a better cross-time picture in terms of fewer people reporting difficulties.

Figure 1: Presence of problems in the four integration tasks in the first 4 years

Figure 1: Presence of problems in the four integration tasks in the first 4 years
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