Recent Immigrants in Metropolitan Areas: Halifax—A Comparative Profile Based on the 2001 Census

Part E: Income

Sources and level of income

Sources of income vary by time in Canada

Income from employment is the most common source of income for the Canadian-born. Nearly seven in ten Canadian-born women and eight in ten Canadian-born men had earnings from employment in the year 2000. A smaller share of very recent immigrants than of the Canadian-born had income from employment, but the reverse is true for men who immigrated during the 1986-1995 period.

Table E-1: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 years of age and over—sources of income, by gender, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2000 (number and percentage)
  No income Employment income Other private income Government transfers Number of persons
Women
Canadian-born 7,620 93,120 42,380 94,290 139,750
Immigrants 630 6,320 4,130 7,490 11,000
 Immigrated before 1986 220 4,010 3,370 5,030 7,350
 Immigrated 1986-1995 220 1,660 580 1,670 2,470
 Immigrated 1996-1999 200 650 180 800 1,190
Men
Canadian-born 4,510 96,150 35,000 72,310 125,600
Immigrants 310 7,820 4,070 6,370 10,800
 Immigrated before 1986 30 5,120 3,400 4,370 7,320
 Immigrated 1986-1995 150 1,890 450 1,320 2,340
 Immigrated 1996-1999 140 820 220 680 1,150
Total
Canadian-born 12,130 189,260 77,380 166,590 265,360
Immigrants 940 14,150 8,220 13,850 21,810
 Immigrated before 1986 240 9,140 6,780 9,390 14,670
 Immigrated 1986-1995 370 3,550 1,040 2,990 4,810
 Immigrated 1996-1999 330 1,470 410 1,480 2,340
 
Women
Canadian-born 5% 67% 30% 67% 100%
Immigrants 6% 57% 38% 68% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 3% 55% 46% 68% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 9% 67% 24% 68% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 17% 55% 15% 67% 100%
Men
Canadian-born 4% 77% 28% 58% 100%
Immigrants 3% 72% 38% 59% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 0% 70% 46% 60% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 6% 81% 19% 56% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 12% 71% 19% 59% 100%
Total
Canadian-born 5% 71% 29% 63% 100%
Immigrants 4% 65% 38% 64% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 2% 62% 46% 64% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 8% 74% 22% 62% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 14% 63% 17% 63% 100%

Note: Incomes are for the year 2000. In all tables in Part E, immigrants and very recent immigrants include only those who landed before the year 2000 and could have had income the entire year. A person may have income from one, two or all three sources. The three sources are defined in the Glossary.

The share of women with employment income was higher in 2000 than in 1995. It increased by seven percentage points for very recent immigrant women and by three percentage points for other female cohorts. Among the four male cohorts, only very recent immigrants experienced an increase in the share of persons with employment income since 1995, when the share was 65%.

The proportion of very recent immigrants with no income is three times as large as that of the Canadian-born with no income. Immigrants from the earliest cohort, those who immigrated before 1986, are less likely than the Canadian-born to have no income. Absence of income among women was less common in 2000 than in 1995. The incidence of zero income dropped by 11 percentage points for the very recent immigrant cohort and by about four percentage points for other female cohorts. Among men there was little change since 1995 in the share with zero income.

Recent immigrants are much less likely to have other private income—for example, income from investments or pension plans—in comparison to the Canadian-born and earlier immigrants. The proportion of recent immigrants with private income was lower in 2000 than in 1995 by about three percentage points for women and by five to nine percentage points for men. The share of earlier immigrants with other private income is much higher than that of the Canadian-born.

The incidence of income from government transfer payments is much the same for recent immigrants, earlier immigrants, and for the Canadian-born. The incidence of this type of income has shifted markedly from men to women since 1995, as in 2000 child benefit payments were made to the mother of the child.

Average income higher for immigrants who have been in Canada longer

Considering only persons who reported income in the year 2000, the average income of recent immigrants in the year 2000 was lower than that of the Canadian-born. For very recent immigrants, average income was 69% of that of the Canadian-born. Those who immigrated during the 1986-1995 period had an average income of 84% of the level of the Canadian-born. Those who immigrated before 1986 had average incomes more than 20% higher than the Canadian-born.

Compared to 1995, average income of very recent immigrants increased more than that of other cohorts, by one-third for both men and women. For the Canadian-born and earlier immigrants, the change was in the order of one-fifth. Those who had been in the country between 5 and 15 years did not report a significant change.

The average income of women is about 60% of that of men for all groups shown in the table.

Earnings from employment account for the bulk of income of all groups, and make up a larger proportion of income of recent immigrants than of persons born in Canada. The employment share of income remains much the same as in 1995, but for very recently immigrated men it was higher by six percentage points.

The share of other private income is lower for recent immigrants than for the Canadian-born, especially for men, while transfer payments from government make up approximately the same share of income for recent immigrants and the Canadian-born.

Table E-2: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 years of age and older, with income—average income and sources of average income, by gender, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2000
  Sources of average income
  Average income of persons with income Employment
income
Other private income Government transfers Total
Women
Canadian-born $22,950 73% 12% 15% 100%
Immigrants $24,520 66% 18% 16% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 $27,800 63% 20% 17% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 $18,520 77% 10% 13% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 $14,490 72% 9% 19% 100%
Men
Canadian-born $36,280 80% 12% 8% 100%
Immigrants $42,900 76% 15% 8% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 $48,960 73% 18% 9% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 $30,680 88% 6% 6% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 $25,940 88% 4% 8% 100%
Total
Canadian-born $29,320 77% 12% 11% 100%
Immigrants $33,780 73% 16% 11% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 $38,510 70% 19% 12% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 $24,530 84% 8% 8% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 $20,300 82% 6% 12% 100%

Note: Incomes are for the year 2000. In all tables in Part E, immigrants and very recent immigrants include only those who landed before the year 2000 and could have had income the entire year.

Earnings of recent immigrants who worked mostly full-time lower

The wages and salaries earned by recent immigrants who worked mostly full-time in 2000 are below the Halifax average. By contrast, earlier immigrants had incomes higher than the incomes of the Canadian-born by one-third.

Table E-3: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 years of age and over, employed mostly full-time—average earnings from wages and salaries, and earnings as percentage of overall average, by gender, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2000
  Amount Percentage of overall average
Canadian-born $35,600 99%
Immigrants $42,720 118%
 Immigrated before 1986 $48,120 133%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 $31,770 88%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 $28,970 80%
All who worked mostly full-time $36,050 100%

Note: Incomes are for the year 2000. In all tables in Part E, immigrants and very recent immigrants include only those who landed before the year 2000 and could have had income the entire year.

The relative level of wages and salaries of very recent immigrants, at 80% of the average, was somewhat higher than in 1995. Those who had been in the country from 5 to 15 years however, had lower absolute and relative earnings than their counterparts in 1995.

Transfer payments from government quite similar

In the year 2000, the large majority of households received transfer payments from government. Recent immigrant households were as likely to receive transfer payments as other households. On average, however, the payments received were lower, both in dollar terms and relative to income.

Transfer payments vary considerably with the age of the oldest person in the household, and so do differences between recent immigrant, earlier immigrant and Canadian-born households. Recent immigrant households of the very young received somewhat lower amounts than their Canadian-born and earlier immigrant counterparts, while households of persons aged 25 to 44 and 45 to 64 received amounts that were somewhat larger.

Transfer payments to households without seniors generally reflect benefits of Employment Insurance, Workers Compensation, social assistance, student assistance or other programs. Included in these transfer payments are tax credits such as the Canada Child Benefit, GST tax credits and provincial tax credits. The somewhat greater amounts of transfer payments for recent immigrant households of persons of 25 to 64 years old may have to do with the larger average number of children in families and with differences in labour market participation and unemployment reviewed in Part D.

Almost all households with persons 65 years of age and over received transfer payments from government: Old Age Security, the Guaranteed Income Supplement, or Canada or Quebec Pension Plan benefits. Recent immigrant households of seniors on average received somewhat less than other households, and households consisting only of immigrants who landed very recently received much less. These immigrants are not entitled to Old Age Security and have not built up large credits under the Canada or Quebec Pension Plan.

Table E-4: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—percentage of households receiving transfers, average amount of government transfer payments, and transfers as a share of income, by age of older parent in family or oldest person in non-family household, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2000
  15 to 24
years
25 to 44
years
45 to 65
years
65 years and over Total
Share of households receiving government transfer payments
Canadian-born households 92% 83% 79% 100% 85%
Earlier immigrant households 100% 80% 72% 99% 82%
Recent immigrant households 92% 84% 85% 92% 85%
 1986-1995 immigrants 100% 82% 82% 97% 83%
 1996-1999 immigrants with others 100% 82% 87% 67% 85%
 1996-1999 immigrants only 63% 92% 96% 80% 92%
Average amount of transfer per receiving household
Canadian-born households $2,740 $3,280 $4,190 $16,740 $5,990
Earlier immigrant households $2,250 $3,560 $3,510 $17,350 $7,670
Recent immigrant households $2,270 $3,700 $4,680 $15,370 $4,590
 1986-1995 immigrants $1,980 $3,490 $3,900 $4,440
 1996-1999 immigrants with others $4,430 $3,420 $9,440 $5,040
 1996-1999 immigrants only $160 $4,460 $5,740 $7,660 $4,790
Transfers as a share of income, all households
Canadian-born households 12% 5% 5% 41% 9%
Earlier immigrant households 22% 4% 3% 34% 9%
Recent immigrant households 11% 6% 6% 26% 7%
 1986-1995 immigrants 11% 5% 5% 6%
 1996-1999 immigrants with others 15% 5% 6% 6%
 1996-1999 immigrants only 2% 12% 15% 21% 13%

Note: Incomes are for the year 2000. In all tables in Part E, immigrants and very recent immigrants include only those who landed before the year 2000 and could have had income the entire year.

The distribution of income

Large differences between all groups

Of very recent immigrants, nearly six in ten women and four in ten men reported no income or income of less than $10,000 in 2000. The share reporting no income is lower for persons who immigrated during the 1986-1995 period. And the share of persons without income is even lower for earlier immigrants, who also reported income below $10,000 in much smaller proportions than recent immigrants.

Table E-5: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 years of age and over—income levels, by gender (number and percentage distribution) and average income, by gender, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2000
  Without
income
$1 to
$9,999
$10,000 to $29,999 $30,000 to $49,999 $50,000 and over Total
Women
Canadian-born 7,630 37,830 56,860 25,890 11,550 139,760
Immigrants 640 3,080 4,490 1,640 1,140 10,990
 Immigrated before 1986 220 1,630 3,280 1,230 970 7,340
 Immigrated 1986-1995 220 970 840 320 140 2,460
 Immigrated 1996-1999 200 490 380 90 30 1,190
Men
Canadian-born 4,510 21,830 37,380 33,860 28,040 125,600
Immigrants 290 1,690 3,190 2,470 3,160 10,810
 Immigrated before 1986 20 710 2,110 1,890 2,590 7,320
 Immigrated 1986-1995 140 640 650 440 470 2,340
 Immigrated 1996-1999 130 340 430 140 110 1,150
Total
Canadian-born 12,130 59,650 94,240 59,750 39,590 265,360
Immigrants 930 4,780 7,700 4,110 4,310 21,800
 Immigrated before 1986 240 2,350 5,400 3,120 3,570 14,660
 Immigrated 1986-1995 370 1,610 1,490 750 600 4,800
 Immigrated 1996-1999 330 830 810 240 140 2,340
  Without
income
$1 to
$9,999
$10,000 to $29,999 $30,000 to $49,999 $50,000 and over Total Average income
Women
Canadian-born 5% 27% 41% 19% 8% 100% $21,700
Immigrants 6% 28% 41% 15% 10% 100% $23,150
 Immigrated before 1986 3% 22% 45% 17% 13% 100% $27,020
 Immigrated 1986-1995 9% 39% 34% 13% 5% 100% $16,910
 Immigrated 1996-1999 16% 41% 32% 8% 3% 100% $12,100
Men
Canadian-born 4% 17% 30% 27% 22% 100% $34,980
Immigrants 3% 16% 30% 23% 29% 100% $41,750
 Immigrated before 1986 0% 10% 29% 26% 35% 100% $48,830
 Immigrated 1986-1995 6% 27% 28% 19% 20% 100% $28,820
 Immigrated 1996-1999 11% 30% 37% 12% 9% 100% $23,010
Total
Canadian-born 5% 22% 36% 23% 15% 100% $27,980
Immigrants 4% 22% 35% 19% 20% 100% $32,350
 Immigrated before 1986 2% 16% 37% 21% 24% 100% $37,880
 Immigrated 1986-1995 8% 33% 31% 16% 13% 100% $22,690
 Immigrated 1996-1999 14% 36% 35% 10% 6% 100% $17,470

Note: Incomes are for the year 2000. In all tables in Part E, immigrants and very recent immigrants include only those who landed before the year 2000 and could have had income the entire year.

At the high end of the income scale, very recent immigrants are underrepresented. Their share in the upper income cohort of $50,000 and over is less than one-half of that of the Canadian-born. The proportion with incomes of $50,000 and over is almost the same among immigrant men who landed during the 1986-1995 period as among the Canadian-born. By contrast, the share of earlier immigrants with incomes of $50,000 and over is considerably larger than that of the Canadian-born.

Average household income higher

In 2000, recent immigrant households had average income of $58,200, more than the average income of Canadian-born households and 80% of the average income of earlier immigrant households. Households consisting only of very recent immigrants were the only households with lower average income than Canadian-born households.

Table E-6: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—household income levels (number and percentage distribution) and average household income, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2000
Households $0 to $19,999 $20,000 to $39,999 $40,000 to $59,999 $60,000 to $79,999 $80,000 and over Total Average income
Canadian-born 24,530 30,210 27,400 20,240 25,870 128,240 $55,130
19% 24% 21% 16% 20% 100%
Earlier immigrants 1,210 2,130 2,320 1,720 3,640 11,010 $72,880
11% 19% 21% 16% 33% 100%
Recent immigrants 710 1,040 720 590 820 3,890 $58,510
22% 26% 18% 14% 20% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 410 650 490 430 690 2,670 $63,130
15% 24% 18% 16% 26% 100%
 1996-1999 immigrants
 with others
50 150 110 100 90 510 $69,170
14% 30% 23% 15% 17% 100%
 1996-1999 immigrants
  only
260 240 120 70 50 720 $33,960
46% 29% 13% 7% 5% 100%
All households 27,140 33,630 30,600 22,610 30,460 144,440 $56,360
19% 23% 21% 16% 21% 100%

Note: Incomes are for the year 2000. In all tables in Part E, immigrants and very recent immigrants include only those who landed before the year 2000 and could have had income the entire year. The total “All households” includes households of non-permanent residents not shown in the table. For definitions of household and related concepts, see the Glossary.

The distribution of household incomes presents a similar picture. Only households consisting of only very recent immigrants are found in the lowest income range in a larger proportion than the Canadian-born.

One-third of very recent immigrants have low income

Recent immigrants are more likely than earlier immigrants and the Canadian-born to live in families with incomes that fall below the median family income or, if they do not live in families, to have income below the median for unattached individuals. They are also more likely to have or live in families with incomes that fall below one-half of the median income—that is, to have low income. The percentage of immigrants with income in the bottom half or quarter of the income distribution declines in relation to the length of stay in Canada of the cohort.

Figure E-1: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—percentage with family or individual income below the median and below one-half of the median, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2000
Figure E-1

Note: Incomes are for the year 2000. In all figures in Part E, immigrants and very recent immigrants include only those who landed before the year 2000 and could have had income the entire year. For a definition of median income and details about the calculations, see the Glossary.

The proportion of very recent immigrants who have low income is twice as large as that of the Canadian-born. The proportion of very recent immigrants with income below the median is also much higher, with seven out of ten in this situation.

Table E-7: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born —family or individual income below the median, by age and gender, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2000 (number and percentage)
  Under 15 years 15 to 24 years 25 to 64 years 65 years and over Total
Women
Canadian-born 15,310 12,610 25,150 29,270 82,340
Immigrants 410 610 1,730 3,020 5,750
 Immigrated before 1986 110 580 2,470 3,150
 Immigrated 1986-1995 100 320 640 420 1,470
 Immigrated 1996-1999 310 180 510 140 1,140
Men
Canadian-born 15,490 10,460 20,950 22,220 69,100
Immigrants 400 750 1,510 2,600 5,250
 Immigrated before 1986 90 620 2,060 2,770
 Immigrated 1986-1995 190 390 510 350 1,420
 Immigrated 1996-1999 220 280 380 200 1,060
Total
Canadian-born 30,790 23,070 46,100 51,480 151,440
Immigrants 810 1,350 3,240 5,620 11,000
 Immigrated before 1986 190 1,200 4,530 5,920
 Immigrated 1986-1995 290 710 1,150 760 2,890
 Immigrated 1996-1999 530 460 890 330 2,200
 
Women
Canadian-born 49% 53% 44% 50% 48%
Immigrants 62% 63% 50% 46% 49%
 Immigrated before 1986 64% 37% 44% 43%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 49% 60% 54% 55% 55%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 67% 71% 72% 60% 69%
Men
Canadian-born 47% 47% 40% 44% 44%
Immigrants 68% 69% 47% 40% 46%
 Immigrated before 1986 44% 37% 38% 38%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 66% 69% 53% 43% 55%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 70% 86% 64% 83% 73%
Total
Canadian-born 48% 50% 42% 47% 46%
Immigrants 65% 67% 49% 43% 48%
 Immigrated before 1986 53% 37% 41% 41%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 59% 64% 54% 49% 55%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 69% 79% 68% 72% 71%

Note: Incomes are for the year 2000. In all tables in Part E, immigrants and very recent immigrants include only those who landed before the year 2000 and could have had income the entire year. For a definition of median income and details about the calculations, see the Glossary.

The proportion of individuals with income below the median varies with age and to a lesser extent gender. In all age and gender groups the proportion of persons with income below the overall median is much higher among recent immigrants than among the Canadian-born. Due to the low number of seniors among recent and very recent immigrants, no information is available for this age group.

Table E-8: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born —family or individual income below one-half of the median, by age and gender, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2000 (number and percentage)
  Under 15 years 15 to 24 years 25 to 64 years 65 years and over Total
Women
Canadian-born 6,280 6,540 8,840 9,010 30,660
Immigrants 210 300 690 890 2,080
 Immigrated before 1986 50 180 660 900
 Immigrated 1986-1995 50 140 260 170 590
 Immigrated 1996-1999 160 120 260 70 590
Men
Canadian-born 6,030 4,680 5,920 7,140 23,760
Immigrants 150 330 530 850 1,860
 Immigrated before 1986 20 190 640 840
 Immigrated 1986-1995 60 190 170 130 550
 Immigrated 1996-1999 90 120 170 90 470
Total
Canadian-born 12,310 11,210 14,760 16,140 54,420
Immigrants 350 630 1,220 1,740 3,940
 Immigrated before 1986 70 370 1,300 1,740
 Immigrated 1986-1995 110 330 430 290 1,140
 Immigrated 1996-1999 250 240 430 150 1,060
 
Women
Canadian-born 20% 27% 16% 15% 18%
Immigrants 31% 31% 20% 14% 18%
 Immigrated before 1986 27% 12% 12% 12%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 22% 25% 22% 22% 22%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 35% 47% 36% 29% 36%
Men
Canadian-born 18% 21% 11% 14% 15%
Immigrants 25% 31% 16% 13% 16%
 Immigrated before 1986 10% 11% 12% 11%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 21% 34% 18% 16% 21%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 28% 38% 29% 36% 32%
Total
Canadian-born 19% 24% 13% 15% 17%
Immigrants 28% 31% 18% 13% 17%
 Immigrated before 1986 18% 11% 12% 12%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 22% 30% 20% 19% 22%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 32% 42% 33% 33% 34%

Note: Incomes are for the year 2000. In all tables in Part E, immigrants and very recent immigrants include only those who landed before the year 2000 and could have had income the entire year. For a definition of median income and details about the calculations, see the Glossary.

Just over one-third of immigrants who landed between 1996 and 1999 have low incomes or live in low-income families, twice as large a share as among the Canadian-born. The incidence of low incomes is much greater among recent immigrants than among the Canadian-born in all age groups.

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