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

Part B: Who Are the Recent Immigrants?

Origin, immigration category and religion

Asian origins are predominant

Vancouver’s immigrants come from all over the world and represent a diversity of cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Asia has always been a major source of immigrants for Vancouver. In 2001, for example, there were 189,700 residents of Vancouver who had landed in Canada between 1996 and 2001. The most common country of birth for these immigrants was China, accounting for 20% of very recent immigrants (29% if persons born in Hong Kong are included), followed by Taiwan, which supplied 13% of very recent immigrants. Six of the ten most common countries of birth were in East and Southeast Asia: China, Taiwan, India, Hong Kong, Philippines and South Korea. These countries combined accounted for 65% of very recent immigrants. The large share of recent and very recent immigrants from this part of the world is unique to Vancouver. Other cities, including Toronto, have greater diversity in the countries of birth of recent immigrants.

Among Vancouver’s earlier immigrants—those landing in Canada before 1986—the United Kingdom and China were the most common countries of birth, accounting for 29% of this group.

In general, the birth origins of Vancouver’s immigrant population vary in relation to the period of immigration. Asian birth origins are predominant among those who immigrated in the 1980s and 1990s. As mentioned previously, six of the top ten countries of birth of very recent immigrants are in Asia. For immigrants who landed from 1986 to 1995, eight of the top ten countries of birth are in Asia.

Table B-1: Immigrants by period of immigration—top ten countries of birth, Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Share
All immigrants
1 China, People's Republic of 101,770 14%
2 Hong Kong 85,990 12%
3 United Kingdom 69,110 9%
4 India 67,830 9%
5 Philippines 46,220 6%
6 Taiwan 43,760 6%
7 United States 23,070 3%
8 Viet Nam 22,140 3%
9 Korea, South 20,730 3%
10 Iran 17,620 2%
Top ten countries 498,240 67%
All other countries 240,310 33%
Total 738,550 100%
Immigrated before 1986
1 United Kingdom 59,640 19%
2 China, People's Republic of 30,870 10%
3 India 27,830 9%
4 Hong Kong 21,360 7%
5 Germany 15,280 5%
6 United States 14,590 5%
7 Philippines 13,700 4%
8 Italy 12,480 4%
9 Viet Nam 10,270 3%
10 Netherlands 8,400 3%
Top ten countries 214,420 67%
All other countries 107,390 33%
Total 321,810 100%
Immigrated 1986-1995
1 Hong Kong 48,950 20%
2 China, People's Republic of 36,460 15%
3 India 24,300 10%
4 Taiwan 19,570 8%
5 Philippines 18,190 7%
6 Viet Nam 10,220 4%
7 Korea, South 6,820 3%
8 Iran 6,770 3%
9 United Kingdom 6,700 3%
10 Fiji 5,700 2%
Top ten countries 183,680 74%
All other countries 63,450 26%
Total 247,130 100%
Immigrated 1996-2001
1 China, People's Republic of 34,440 20%
2 Taiwan 22,110 13%
3 India 15,700 9%
4 Hong Kong 15,680 9%
5 Philippines 14,330 8%
6 Korea, South 9,930 6%
7 Iran 8,510 5%
8 United States 3,510 2%
9 United Kingdom 2,780 2%
10 South Africa, Republic of 2,610 2%
Top ten countries 129,600 76%
All other countries 40,020 24%
Total 169,620 100%

A favoured destination

For some immigrant groups, Vancouver is a top destination. For example, of the 60,500 Taiwan-born individuals who immigrated after 1985 and were living in Canada in 2001, 42,000 or 69% were living in Vancouver. Vancouver is also home to a large share of recent immigrants from Hong Kong, China and Fiji. This is in stark contrast to the settlement patterns of recent immigrants born in the United States. Of the 74,000 recent immigrants to Canada born in the United States, a relatively small proportion—11%—were residing in Vancouver in 2001. Even the share of recent immigrants born in the United States and living in Vancouver, however, exceeds the 5% share of Canadian-born persons living in Vancouver.

On average, 17% of recent immigrants chose Vancouver as their place of residence.

Table B-2: Recent immigrants in Canada by country of birth and percentage residing in Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area, 2001
Country of Birth Total recent immigrants to Canada Share residing in Vancouver
Taiwan 60,530 69%
Fiji 11,130 66%
Hong Kong 168,770 38%
Malaysia 12,280 34%
Korea, South 50,970 33%
China, People's Republic of 236,930 30%
South Africa, Republic of 19,890 25%
Iran 61,560 25%
India 197,680 20%
Philippines 161,130 20%
All recent immigrants 2,491,850 17%
Viet Nam 72,330 16%
United Kingdom 69,660 14%
All immigrants 5,448,490 14%
Mexico 24,640 12%
United States 73,860 11%
Colombia 10,190 11%
Yugoslavia, Former 35,860 11%
Bosnia and Herzegovina 23,170 11%
El Salvador 29,680 11%
Afghanistan 20,670 10%
Croatia 11,380 10%
Guatemala 10,580 10%
Ukraine 25,530 10%
Peru 12,590 9%
Germany 22,810 9%
Romania 43,200 9%
Russian Federation 35,950 8%
Poland 91,140 7%
Total population 29,639,000 7%
Ethiopia 12,080 6%
Iraq 22,300 6%
Pakistan 64,020 6%
All Canadian-born 23,991,910 5%
Somalia 18,220 4%
Egypt 16,970 4%
France 27,500 4%
Bangladesh 19,920 3%
Sri Lanka 80,080 2%
Ghana 13,450 2%
Lebanon 43,930 2%
Syria 10,340 2%
Trinidad and Tobago 28,790 2%
Morocco 13,510 2%
Portugal 34,120 1%
Jamaica 48,760 1%

Note: Table B-2 lists all countries that are the place of birth of at least 10,000 recent immigrants living in Canada in 2001, with Vancouver’s share being 1% or more.

High share of economic immigrants among very recent landings

Statistics published by Citizenship and Immigration Canada show that the number of immigrants who reported Vancouver as their destination when they landed in Canada increased by 85,000 between the second half of the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s, and by a further 19,000 in the second half of the 1990s. The rise was concentrated in the economic immigration category, while the other immigration categories decreased in the second half of the 1990s. Nearly 70% of very recent immigrants destined for Vancouver entered through the economic category.

Within the family class, the number of sponsored spouses showed little change over the three five-year periods and in the latest 1996-2000 period amounted to more than one-half of this category. The number of other relatives—parents and grandparents, sons and daughters, and fiancés—fell sharply from about 31,000 during the 1991-1995 period to 19,000 during the 1996-2000 period.

Table B-3: Recent immigrants by period of immigration—landings by immigration category, Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area, 1986-2000 (number and percentage distribution)
  1986-1990 1991-1995 1996-2000
Family class 28,900 33% 61,400 34% 46,800 25%
Economic immigrants 44,300 51% 95,900 54% 128,700 69%
Refugees 9,100 10% 10,000 6% 9,800 5%
Other immigrants 4,500 5% 11,800 7% 1,800 1%
Total 86,800 100% 179,000 100% 187,100 100%

Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Facts and Figures 2002 (data set).

Note: The 2001 Census did not ask immigrants about the immigration categories through which they were admitted to Canada. The information in Table B-3 was obtained from records at Citizenship and Immigration Canada and pertains to the time of landing. Immigration categories are described in the Glossary.

As for refugees, both government-assisted and privately-sponsored refugees declined in number. Six thousand government-sponsored refugees went to Vancouver during the 1986-1990 period and only four thousand in each of the two following periods. One thousand privately-sponsored refugees entered in the second half of the 1990s, only one-third of the number that entered in the second half of the 1980s. The other refugee categories, refugees landed in Canada and refugee dependants, increased from negligible levels to the same levels as the other two refugee categories.

Skilled workers and their dependants account for the lion’s share of economic immigrants, and there was a steady flow of new entrants destined for Vancouver throughout the 1986-2000 period.

Immigrants are changing the religious landscape

Immigrants have brought to Vancouver several religions that are virtually absent among the Canadian-born. One-quarter of immigrants as a whole and an even larger share of recent immigrants are Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus or Sikhs. Among the Canadian-born, none of these four religions claims the affiliation of more than 3% of the population.

Table B-4: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—religious affiliation, Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Canadian-born Immigrants Immigrated before 1986 Immigrated 1986-1995 Immigrated 1996-2001
Roman Catholic 207,460 147,730 76,260 45,330 26,130
Protestant 381,670 117,890 78,130 24,570 15,170
Orthodox Christian 9,840 16,290 5,380 4,640 6,270
Other Christian 60,570 38,480 12,680 15,130 10,680
Muslim 10,940 39,960 12,010 13,830 14,130
Buddhist 13,220 59,140 17,400 27,280 14,460
Hindu 8,490 18,310 7,420 6,940 3,950
Sikh 38,880 59,290 24,130 22,370 12,790
Other 32,330 12,760 7,120 3,160 2,500
No religion 436,390 228,710 81,310 83,850 63,550
Total 1,199,760 738,550 321,800 247,130 169,620
 
Roman Catholic 17% 20% 24% 18% 15%
Protestant 32% 16% 24% 10% 9%
Orthodox Christian 1% 2% 2% 2% 4%
Other Christian 5% 5% 4% 6% 6%
Muslim 1% 5% 4% 6% 8%
Buddhist 1% 8% 5% 11% 9%
Hindu 1% 2% 2% 3% 2%
Sikh 3% 8% 7% 9% 8%
Other 3% 2% 2% 1% 1%
No religion 36% 31% 25% 34% 37%
Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

Note: Religions are listed in order of their share of the population of Canada, from highest to lowest, with Christian religions grouped together.

Fifteen percent of very recent immigrants report an affiliation with the Roman Catholic faith, a share only slightly smaller than that of the Canadian-born. The share of recent immigrants who are Protestants is half the share of Protestants among those who immigrated before 1986. The proportion of recent immigrants reporting no religion is greater than one-third, the same share as for the Canadian-born.

Age and gender

Large share of very recent immigrants are working-age adults 25 to 44

The age distribution of the very recent immigrant population (those landing between 1996 and 2001) is markedly different from that of the Canadian-born population, with a larger proportion of persons aged 25 to 44 and proportionally fewer children under 15 years of age. In 2001, over two-fifths of recent immigrants living in Vancouver were between the ages of 25 and 44, compared to less than one-third of the Canadian-born. Children less than 15 years of age accounted for one-fifth of the very recent immigrant population compared with one-quarter of the Canadian-born.

Table B-5: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—age and gender, Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Under 15 years 15 to 24 years 25 to 44 years 45 to 64 years 65 years and over Total
Women
Canadian-born 143,450 87,780 182,760 121,420 64,760 600,160
Immigrants 23,500 37,550 140,830 122,770 61,650 386,290
 Immigrated before 1986 0 3,310 41,760 75,240 46,150 166,460
 Immigrated 1986-1995 7,880 19,870 57,350 33,240 11,910 130,240
 Immigrated 1996-2001 15,620 14,370 41,730 14,290 3,600 89,600
Men
Canadian-born 151,850 91,380 188,470 120,240 47,680 599,610
Immigrants 24,580 39,690 118,860 115,920 53,240 352,270
 Immigrated before 1986 0 3,770 40,020 71,950 39,600 155,340
 Immigrated 1986-1995 8,390 22,210 46,350 29,190 10,770 116,910
 Immigrated 1996-2001 16,190 13,710 32,500 14,780 2,870 80,030
Total
Canadian-born 295,300 179,160 371,220 241,650 112,440 1,199,760
Immigrants 48,070 77,230 259,700 238,680 114,880 738,550
 Immigrated before 1986 0 7,090 81,770 147,190 85,750 321,810
 Immigrated 1986-1995 16,270 42,080 103,700 62,420 22,670 247,130
 Immigrated 1996-2001 31,810 28,070 74,220 29,070 6,460 169,620
 
Canadian-born 25% 15% 31% 20% 9% 100%
Immigrants 7% 10% 35% 32% 16% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 0% 2% 25% 46% 27% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 7% 17% 42% 25% 9% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 19% 17% 44% 17% 4% 100%
Total population 18% 13% 33% 25% 12% 100%

These differences in age structure are to some degree a result of how we define immigrants and the Canadian-born. The immigrant population grows older like the Canadian population but does not renew itself in the same way, as children born in Canada to immigrants are not considered immigrants. Thus, there are no persons under 15 years of age among immigrants who landed before 1986, and the older age groups are over-represented among these earlier immigrants. By the same token, the share of children among the Canadian-born is large, given that it includes children born in Canada to immigrant parents.

The age structure of very recent immigrants closely resembles age at landing. Immigrants tend to arrive in Canada during their prime working-age years. This was the case among immigrants who landed more than 30 years ago, and it is still the case today. It is therefore not surprising that a large share of very recent immigrants were in the 25 to 44 age group.

Many of the characteristics and circumstances described in this profile vary with age. Differences between immigrants or groups of immigrants and the Canadian-born often are at least in part a reflection of differences in the age structure.

Figure B-1: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—age, Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (percentage distribution)
Figure B-1

More women than men

The proportion of women in the recent immigrant population in Vancouver is similar to but, at 53%, slightly higher than that of the Canadian-born population. More than 60% of recent immigrants from Japan, Slovakia and the Philippines are women.

Table B-6: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—percentage of women by age, Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area, 2001
  Under 15 years 15 to 24 years 25 to 44 years 45 to 64 years 65 years and over Total
Canadian-born 49% 49% 49% 50% 58% 50%
Immigrants 49% 49% 54% 51% 54% 52%
 Immigrated before 1986 - 47% 51% 51% 54% 52%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 48% 47% 55% 53% 53% 53%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 49% 51% 56% 49% 56% 53%

There are 25,000 more women than men among the 416,700 recent immigrants in Vancouver. The number of women is particularly high among recent immigrants from the Philippines (6,700 more women than men out of 32,500 recent immigrants) and China (4,700 more women than men out of 70,900 recent immigrants).

As women on average live longer than men, they make up a large share of persons aged 65 years and over. But the higher proportion of women among recent immigrants is not related to age. For instance, nearly two-thirds of recent immigrants aged 25 to 44 from the Philippines are women. Many of them have obtained permanent resident status after a period of employment as live-in caregivers.

At the opposite end of the spectrum of the gender mix are Iran and Pakistan. Over 52% of recent immigrants from these countries are men. Men outnumber women by 600 among recent immigrants from Iran and by 400 in the case of Pakistan.

The gender balance, by country of origin, has not changed greatly since 1996.

Language and education

Six in seven very recent immigrants speak English or French

A large majority of Vancouver’s immigrants 15 years of age and over reported being able to carry on a conversation in at least one of Canada’s two official languages. Among very recent immigrants, who landed in Canada between 1996 and 2001, six in seven (87% of men and 82% of women) reported being able to speak an official language in May 2001. One in seven of these very recent immigrants could not speak either official language. Knowledge of official languages was greater among those who immigrated before 1986—92% of women and 96% of men indicated that they were able to speak an official language.

Table B-7: Very recent immigrants (immigrated between 1996 and 2001)—15 years of age and over—knowledge of official languages, by age and gender, Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  English only French only English and French Neither English nor French Total
Women
15 to 24 years 13,030 30 610 695 14,360
25 to 44 years 35,200 50 1,610 4,880 41,730
45 to 64 years 8,880 20 280 5,110 14,290
65 years and over 1,040 20 30 2,510 3,600
15 and over 58,150 120 2,520 13,190 73,980
Men
15 to 24 years 12,660 20 470 570 13,710
25 to 44 years 28,340 40 1,340 2 790 32,500
45 to 64 years 10,930 20 300 3 540 14,780
65 years and over 1,180 10 90 1,600 2,870
15 and over 53,100 70 2,190 8,490 63,840
Total
15 to 24 years 25,700 40 1,080 1,270 28,080
25 to 44 years 63,540 90 2,950 7,660 74,220
45 to 64 years 19,810 40 580 8,650 29,070
65 years and over 2,220 30 110 4,110 6,460
15 and over 111,250 190 4,710 21,680 137,820
 
Women
15 to 24 years 91% 0 2% 4% 5% 100%
25 to 44 years 84% 0 1% 4% 12% 100%
45 to 64 years 62% 0 1% 2% 36% 100%
65 years and over 29% 0 6% 1% 70% 100%
15 and over 79% 0 2% 3% 18% 100%
Men
15 to 24 years 92% 0 1% 3% 4% 100%
25 to 44 years 87% 0 1% 4% 9% 100%
45 to 64 years 74% 0 1% 2% 24% 100%
65 years and over 41% 0 3% 3% 56% 100%
15 and over 83% 0 1% 3% 13% 100%
Total
15 to 24 years 92% 0 1% 4% 5% 100%
25 to 44 years 86% 0 1% 4% 10% 100%
45 to 64 years 68% 0 1% 2% 30% 100%
65 years and over 34% 0 5% 2% 64% 100%
15 and over 81% 0 1% 3% 16% 100%

The proportion of Vancouver’s immigrants who report being able to carry on a conversation in English or French decreases with age. Among immigrants under age 45 who landed in Canada between 1996 and 2001, almost all (both men and women) are able to speak an official language. Among those aged 45 to 64, however, the proportion who can speak English or French decreases, and more so for women than men. Men and women aged 65 and over are least likely to have conversational ability in English or French.

Ability to converse in either or both official languages has improved with the very recent immigrant cohort: 3% more men and 4% more women had this ability in 2001 compared to a similar cohort (those who landed within the five years prior to the census) in 1996. This may reflect changes in countries of origin, the increase in the number of economic immigrants and perhaps also greater awareness among immigrants of the need to speak Canada’s languages before and after arrival.

Three in four very recent immigrants speak a foreign language at home

For the majority of Vancouver’s recent immigrants the language spoken most often at home is one other than English or French. Three-quarters of immigrants who landed between 1996 and 2001 most often speak a foreign language in their homes.

The use of foreign languages is also high among other immigrant cohorts. Seven in ten of those who immigrated between 1986 and 1995 and one in three of those who immigrated prior to 1986 most often speak a foreign language at home.

Figure B-2: Immigrants by period of immigration—15 years of age and over — use of a foreign language at home, Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (percentage)
Figure B-3

The use of foreign languages in the home among very recent immigrants was not as high in 2001 as in 1996 when 78% of very recent immigrants reported use of a foreign language in the home. Among those who had lived in Canada from 5 to 15 years, 69% commonly used a foreign language in 2001, compared to 63% in 1996.

Many university graduates among recent immigrants

The share of immigrants with a minimal education is more than three times larger than the share of the Canadian-born with a minimal education. The Canadian-born are more likely than immigrants to have some high school or to have completed high school. University degrees, however, are more common among immigrants than among the Canadian-born. In particular, very recent immigrants boast a large number of university graduates. The high proportion of university graduates is most likely a result of immigrant selection policy. A large share of very recent immigrants entered as economic immigrants, and level of education is an important admission criterion in this category.

When education levels are compared by age group, the younger generation has a much higher level of education than older groups, whether born inside or outside Canada. Over six in ten Canadian-born under 45 years of age have a post-secondary diploma or degree compared to four in ten men over age 65 and three in ten women over age 65. A similar difference in educational qualifications is observed among immigrants.

Table B-8: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 years of age and over—highest level of education, by gender, Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Less than grade 9 Some high school High school diploma College or trade diploma University degree Total
Women
Canadian-born 11,920 102,470 119,740 138,440 84,170 456,710
Immigrants 48,650 65,300 80,280 94,380 74,190 362,790
 Immigrated before 1986 25,830 30,580 34,100 48,970 27,000 166,460
 Immigrated 1986-1995 16,440 21,900 30,300 29,150 24,570 122,360
 Immigrated 1996-2001 6,390 12,820 15,880 16,270 22,630 73,980
Men
Canadian-born 13,110 105,730 108,280 135,540 85,100 447,750
Immigrants 29,090 59,670 64,770 90,160 84,020 327,700
 Immigrated before 1986 15,930 25,930 25,490 53,510 34,500 155,350
 Immigrated 1986-1995 9,620 22,330 26,940 24,260 25,380 108,510
 Immigrated 1996-2001 3,540 11,440 12,350 12,380 24,150 63,840
Total
Canadian-born 25,030 208,190 228,020 273,980 169,260 904,460
Immigrants 77,740 124,970 145,050 184,530 158,200 690,480
 Immigrated before 1986 41,760 56,500 59,590 102,470 61,500 321,810
 Immigrated 1986-1995 26,060 44,230 57,240 53,410 49,940 230,870
 Immigrated 1996-2001 9,920 24,250 28,230 28,650 46,770 137,820
 
Women
Canadian-born 3% 22% 26% 30% 18% 100%
Immigrants 13% 18% 22% 26% 20% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 16% 18% 20% 29% 16% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 13% 18% 25% 24% 20% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 9% 17% 21% 22% 31% 100%
Men
Canadian-born 3% 24% 24% 30% 19% 100%
Immigrants 9% 18% 20% 28% 26% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 10% 17% 16% 34% 22% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 9% 21% 25% 22% 23% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 6% 18% 19% 19% 38% 100%
Total
Canadian-born 3% 23% 25% 30% 19% 100%
Immigrants 11% 18% 21% 27% 23% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 13% 18% 19% 32% 19% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 11% 19% 25% 23% 22% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 7% 18% 20% 21% 34% 100%
Table B-9: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—25 years of age and over, with no high school diploma or with post-secondary diploma or degree—by age and gender, Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage)
  No high school diploma With post-secondary diploma or degree
  25 to 44 years 45 to 65 years 65 years and over 25 to 44 years 45 to 65 years 65 years and over
Women
Canadian-born 23,280 24,260 33,170 117,060 66,550 18,590
Immigrants 24,930 36,990 38,800 87,450 59,380 13,240
 Immigrated before 1986 7,400 20,800 27,670 25,260 38,550 10,930
 Immigrated 1986-1995 12,270 11,100 8,560 32,910 14,440 1,710
 Immigrated 1996-2001 5,260 5,090 2,560 29,290 6,400 600
Men
Canadian-born 31,440 25,130 21,890 114,070 70,990 19,050
Immigrants 21,860 26,470 24,550 74,940 70,420 21,810
 Immigrated before 1986 7,890 15,700 17,500 23,950 45,360 17,310
 Immigrated 1986-1995 10,500 7,470 5,670 26,430 15,870 3,410
 Immigrated 1996-2001 3,490 3,320 1,390 24,570 9,190 1,080
Total
Canadian-born 54,720 49,380 55,060 231,120 137,540 37,640
Immigrants 46,800 63,450 63,340 162,390 129,800 35,050
 Immigrated before 1986 15,270 36,490 45,180 49,190 83,900 28,250
 Immigrated 1986-1995 22,770 18,570 14,230 59,330 30,300 5,110
 Immigrated 1996-2001 8,760 8,400 3,960 53,870 15,590 1,680
 
Women
Canadian-born 13% 20% 51% 64% 55% 29%
Immigrants 18% 30% 63% 62% 48% 21%
 Immigrated before 1986 18% 28% 60% 60% 51% 24%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 21% 33% 72% 57% 43% 14%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 13% 36% 71% 70% 45% 17%
Men
Canadian-born 17% 21% 46% 61% 59% 40%
Immigrants 18% 23% 46% 63% 61% 41%
 Immigrated before 1986 20% 22% 44% 60% 63% 44%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 23% 26% 53% 57% 54% 32%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 11% 22% 49% 76% 62% 38%
Total
Canadian-born 15% 20% 49% 62% 57% 33%
Immigrants 18% 27% 55% 63% 54% 31%
 Immigrated before 1986 19% 25% 53% 60% 57% 33%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 22% 30% 63% 57% 49% 23%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 12% 29% 61% 73% 54% 26%

Three-quarters of men aged 25 to 44 who immigrated from 1996 to 2001 have a post-secondary diploma or degree, compared to three-fifths of Canadian-born men. For very recent immigrant women in the same age group, 70% have a post-secondary diploma, exceeding the 64% share of Canadian-born women of the same age.

As for persons 45 years and over, the education level of very recent immigrant men is about the same as that of Canadian-born men, while women in the very recent immigrant cohort have less schooling than their Canadian-born counterparts.

Recent immigrants add to Vancouver’s pool of scientists and engineers

Approximately three out of every five men who immigrated after 1986 and have a post-secondary diploma or degree majored in physical sciences, engineering or trades. This compares to half of Canadian-born men. Among women with a post-secondary diploma or degree, one-quarter of recent immigrants have studied some physical science or technology, compared to one in ten Canadian-born women with similar education levels.

Table B-10: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 years of age and over, with post-secondary diploma or degree—major field of study by gender, Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Physical sciences, engineering and trades Social sciences, education and arts Commerce, management and business administration Health professions and related technologies Total
Women
Canadian-born 25,470 99,630 58,600 38,340 222,030
Immigrants 28,160 62,850 49,750 27,190 167,940
 Immigrated before 1986 9,060 19,710 17,120 7,600 53,480
 Immigrated 1986-1995 10,070 28,740 22,220 14,680 75,710
 Immigrated 1996-2001 9,020 14,410 10,410 4,900 38,730
Men
Canadian-born 105,640 63,860 41,220 9,530 220,240
Immigrants 95,880 36,740 31,520 9,490 173,610
 Immigrated before 1986 25,700 10,700 10,160 2,900 49,460
 Immigrated 1986-1995 49,570 19,010 14,460 4,750 87,790
 Immigrated 1996-2001 20,610 7,030 6,900 1,840 36,380
Total
Canadian-born 131,100 163,480 99,820 47,860 442,250
Immigrants 124,030 99,580 81,260 36,670 341,540
 Immigrated before 1986 34,750 30,400 27,280 10,490 102,910
 Immigrated 1986-1995 59,650 47,750 36,680 19,440 163,510
 Immigrated 1996-2001 29,630 21,450 17,310 6,740 75,120
 
Women
Canadian-born 11% 45% 26% 17% 100%
Immigrants 17% 37% 30% 16% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 17% 37% 32% 14% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 13% 38% 29% 19% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 23% 37% 27% 13% 100%
Men
Canadian-born 48% 29% 19% 4% 100%
Immigrants 55% 21% 18% 5% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 52% 22% 21% 6% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 56% 22% 16% 5% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 57% 19% 19% 5% 100%
Total
Canadian-born 30% 37% 23% 11% 100%
Immigrants 36% 29% 24% 11% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 34% 30% 27% 10% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 36% 29% 22% 12% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 39% 29% 23% 9% 100%

By contrast, recent immigrants are represented in smaller proportions than the Canadian-born in the social sciences, education and the arts (taken as a group). Somewhat less than one-half of Canadian-born women have diplomas or degrees in these fields, compared to over one-third of recent immigrant women. For men, the share of diplomas and degrees in the social fields of studies is three-tenths for the Canadian-born and one-fifth for recent immigrants. The several immigrant cohorts and the Canadian-born are more alike with respect to the proportions that specialize in health professions and technologies.

The educational choices of very recent immigrants are much the same as in 1996.

Recent immigrants more likely to attend school

Very recent immigrants are relatively likely to be in school. School attendance is at least six percentage points higher for this group than for the Canadian-born, in both the 25-44 and 45-64 age groups.

Table B-11: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born, 15 to 64 years of age, attending school—by age and gender, Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage)
  15 to 24 years 25 to 44 years 45 to 64 years 15 to 24 years 25 to 44 years 45 to 64 years
Women
Canadian-born 57,130 31,020 7,590 65% 17% 6%
Immigrants 27,850 25,830 7,220 74% 18% 6%
 Immigrated before 1986 2,150 5,690 3,490 65% 14% 5%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 15,020 8,860 1,840 76% 15% 6%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 10,660 11,270 1,890 74% 27% 13%
Men
Canadian-born 56,020 25,920 4,620 61% 14% 4%
Immigrants 29,630 19,130 5,290 75% 16% 5%
 Immigrated before 1986 2,200 4,890 2,440 58% 12% 3%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 16,960 6,520 1,430 76% 14% 5%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 10,470 7,720 1,430 76% 24% 10%
Total
Canadian-born 113,150 56,920 12,220 63% 15% 5%
Immigrants 57,480 44,950 12,510 74% 17% 5%
 Immigrated before 1986 4,370 10,590 5,930 62% 13% 4%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 31,970 15,370 3,270 76% 15% 5%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 21,140 18,990 3,320 75% 26% 11%

School attendance, of course, is much higher in the youngest age group, persons of 15 to 24 years of age, than in older age groups. Here we find a higher rate for men and women who immigrated very recently than among their Canadian-born counterparts. The relatively high rate for women is quite noteworthy, as educational participation of young Canadian-born women is very high by international standards. School attendance is also high among young earlier immigrants. School attendance rates for all cohorts are similar to those in 1996.

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