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

Part E: Income

Sources and level of income

Sources of income vary by time in Canada

Two-thirds of Canadian-born women and three-quarters of 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, while among immigrants who landed during the 1986-1995 period a higher proportion than the Canadian-born had income from employment. The relatively low share of very recent immigrants with employment income reflects lower participation in the workforce. For immigrants who landed before 1986, the proportion with income from employment is low.

Table E-1: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 years of age and over—sources of income, by gender, Victoria Census Metropolitan Area, 2000 (number and percentage)
  No income Employment income Other private income Government transfers Total
Women
Canadian-born 4,350 70,290 40,070 69,550 105,310
Immigrants 1,020 15,110 14,490 21,270 29,740
 Immigrated before 1986 520 10,920 12,710 17,060 23,400
 Immigrated 1986-1995 290 3,350 1,320 3,330 4,840
 Immigrated 1996-1999 210 840 460 890 1,500
Men
Canadian-born 3,590 71,360 31,190 53,550 95,750
Immigrants 340 15,640 11,680 16,460 25,150
 Immigrated before 1986 50 11,720 10,370 13,470 19,980
 Immigrated 1986-1995 200 3,010 1,040 2,190 3,890
 Immigrated 1996-1999 90 920 280 800 1,280
Total
Canadian-born 7,940 141,650 71,250 123,100 201,060
Immigrants 1,350 30,750 26,160 37,730 54,890
 Immigrated before 1986 560 22,630 23,070 30,520 43,380
 Immigrated 1986-1995 500 6,370 2,350 5,520 8,730
 Immigrated 1996-1999 290 1,760 740 1,690 2,780
 
Women
Canadian-born 4% 67% 38% 66% 100%
Immigrants 3% 51% 49% 72% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 2% 47% 54% 73% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 6% 69% 27% 69% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 14% 56% 31% 60% 100%
Men
Canadian-born 4% 75% 33% 56% 100%
Immigrants 1% 62% 46% 65% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 0% 59% 52% 67% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 5% 77% 27% 56% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 7% 71% 21% 62% 100%
Total
Canadian-born 4% 70% 35% 61% 100%
Immigrants 2% 56% 48% 69% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 1% 52% 53% 70% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 6% 73% 27% 63% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 10% 63% 26% 61% 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 persons with employment income was lower in 2000 than in 1995, except for among Canadian-born women and immigrants who landed during the 1986-1995 period. The largest decrease, a decline of about nine percentage points, was observed among very recent immigrants.

Recent immigrants are more likely than the Canadian-born and earlier immigrants to have no income. Immigrants from the earliest cohort, those who immigrated before 1986, are less likely than the Canadian-born to have no income. In comparison to 1995, the incidence of zero income was the same in 2000.

The share of recent immigrants with other private income—for example, income from investments or pension plans—is smaller than the share of the Canadian-born and earlier immigrants with other private income.

The incidence of government transfer payment income is roughly the same for recent immigrants as for the Canadian-born. In 2000, the share of men who received transfer payments fell by about thirteen percentage points in comparison to 1995, while that of women increased by about seven percentage points. This shift is due in part to the fact that child benefit payments in 2000 were generally made to the mother, resulting in a lower proportion of women that had no income.

Average income of very recent immigrants lower than in 1995

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 about three-fifths of that of the Canadian-born. Those who immigrated during the 1986-1995 period had an average income of about nine-tenths of the level of the Canadian-born. Those who immigrated before 1986 had a higher average income than the Canadian-born.

Table E-2: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 years of age and over, with income—average income and sources of average income by gender, Victoria 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 $25,480 69% 16% 15% 100%
Immigrants $25,630 56% 23% 20% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 $26,770 53% 25% 21% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 $22,890 75% 12% 13% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 $15,140 64% 17% 18% 100%
Men
Canadian-born $35,510 76% 15% 9% 100%
Immigrants $37,890 64% 22% 13% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 $39,800 61% 24% 15% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 $32,830 82% 12% 6% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 $21,730 83% 9% 8% 100%
Total
Canadian-born $30,270 73% 16% 11% 100%
Immigrants $31,320 61% 23% 16% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 $32,840 58% 25% 18% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 $27,340 79% 12% 9% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 $18,300 75% 13% 13% 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.

Compared to 1995, the average income of very recent immigrants was lower by 11% in 2000. It is notable that income of very recent immigrants was lower in 2000 than in 1995, while income of other groups increased. Victoria is unique in this respect, as in many other cities very recent immigrants had significantly higher income in 2000 than five years earlier. For the Canadian-born and earlier immigrants, the increase in income was in the order of 10%, and for immigrants who landed five to fifteen years before the census it was 20%.

The average income of women is about 70% of that of men. 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, except for among very recent immigrant women. Compared to 1995, the employment share of income increased significantly for men and women who landed during the 1986-1995 period.

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 Victoria average. By contrast, earlier immigrants earned 15% more than the Canadian-born.

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, Victoria Census Metropolitan Area, 2000
  Amount Percentage of overall average
Canadian-born $37,060 99%
Immigrants $40,060 107%
 Immigrated before 1986 $42,690 114%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 $34,160 91%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 $26,320 70%
All who worked mostly full-time $37,590 100%

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 70% of the average, was similar to that in 1995. Those who had been in the country from 5 to 15 years, however, had a higher relative earnings level than their counterparts of five years earlier.

Transfer payments from government somewhat lower

In the year 2000, the large majority of households received transfer payments from government. Recent immigrant households were as likely to receive transfer payments from government 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 were less likely to receive transfer payments and received lower amounts on average than their Canadian-born and earlier immigrant counterparts. For households of persons aged 25 to 44 and 45 to 64, an opposite pattern applies.

Table E-4: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—percentage of households receiving transfer payments, average amount of government transfer payments, and transfer payments as a share of income, by age of older parent in family or oldest person in non-family household, Victoria 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 88% 80% 74% 100% 83%
Earlier immigrant households 103% 80% 71% 100% 85%
Recent immigrant households 78% 83% 83% 96% 85%
 1986-1995 immigrants 78% 83% 82% 96% 85%
 1996-1999 immigrants with others 90% 82% 82% 96% 84%
 1996-1999 immigrants only 67% 83% 97% 100% 86%
Average amount of transfer per receiving household
Canadian-born households $2,320 $3,130 $3,370 $16,440 $6,270
Earlier immigrant households - $3,220 $3,560 $17,260 $9,400
Recent immigrant households $1,880 $3,870 $3,550 $14,760 $5,270
 1986-1995 immigrants $2,290 $3,740 $3,260 $14,280 $5,260
 1996-1999 immigrants with others $780 $4,190 $4,570 $20,220 $5,870
 1996-1999 immigrants only $1,690 $4,170 $4,100 $11,270 $4,420
Transfers as a share of income, all households
Canadian-born households 9% 5% 4% 37% 10%
Earlier immigrant households 10% 4% 3% 36% 13%
Recent immigrant households 10% 6% 5% 27% 8%
 1986-1995 immigrants 10% 5% 4% 24% 8%
 1996-1999 immigrants with others 6% 6% 5% 48% 8%
 1996-1999 immigrants only 15% 10% 11% 37% 12%

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.

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 incidence and 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 of 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 a smaller amount, and households consisting only of very recent immigrants received even less. Very recent immigrants are not entitled to Old Age Security and have not built up large credits under the Canada or Quebec Pension Plan.

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. The share of persons without income is even lower for earlier immigrants, who also report income below $10,000 in much smaller proportions than recent immigrants.

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. By contrast, the share of earlier immigrants with incomes of $50,000 and over is slightly higher than that of the Canadian-born.

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, Victoria 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 4,360 23,750 41,720 24,650 10,850 105,310
Immigrants 1,010 6,090 13,400 6,180 3,060 29,740
 Immigrated before 1986 510 4,180 11,000 5,060 2,670 23,410
 Immigrated 1986-1995 300 1,260 1,980 980 340 4,840
 Immigrated 1996-1999 210 660 430 150 60 1,500
Men
Canadian-born 3,590 16,770 27,050 25,820 22,520 95,750
Immigrants 340 3,070 8,780 6,670 6,300 25,140
 Immigrated before 1986 50 1,970 6,960 5,550 5,500 19,980
 Immigrated 1986-1995 200 700 1,380 890 700 3,890
 Immigrated 1996-1999 90 410 450 240 110 1,280
Total
Canadian-born 7,940 40,520 68,760 50,470 33,360 201,060
Immigrants 1,340 9,150 22,190 12,860 9,330 54,890
 Immigrated before 1986 560 6,120 17,950 10,610 8,120 43,380
 Immigrated 1986-1995 490 1,970 3,370 1,870 1,040 8,730
 Immigrated 1996-1999 290 1,070 880 380 170 2,780
  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 4% 23% 40% 23% 10% 100% $24,430
Immigrants 3% 20% 45% 21% 10% 100% $24,760
 Immigrated before 1986 2% 18% 47% 22% 11% 100% $26,180
 Immigrated 1986-1995 6% 26% 41% 20% 7% 100% $21,500
 Immigrated 1996-1999 14% 44% 29% 10% 4% 100% $13,120
Men
Canadian-born 4% 18% 28% 27% 24% 100% $34,180
Immigrants 1% 12% 35% 27% 25% 100% $37,400
 Immigrated before 1986 0% 10% 35% 28% 28% 100% $39,710
 Immigrated 1986-1995 5% 18% 35% 23% 18% 100% $31,220
 Immigrated 1996-1999 7% 32% 35% 18% 8% 100% $20,200
Total
Canadian-born 4% 20% 34% 25% 17% 100% $29,070
Immigrants 2% 17% 40% 23% 17% 100% $30,550
 Immigrated before 1986 1% 14% 41% 24% 19% 100% $32,410
 Immigrated 1986-1995 6% 23% 39% 21% 12% 100% $25,790
 Immigrated 1996-1999 10% 39% 32% 14% 6% 100% $16,390

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.

Distribution of household income becomes very similar with longer stay

In 2000, recent immigrant households had an average income of $57,900, a larger income than that of the Canadian-born but somewhat less than the income of earlier immigrant households. The income of households consisting only of very recent immigrants was 63% of the income of households of the Canadian-born.

Table E-6: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—household income levels (number and percentage distribution) and average household income, Victoria 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 19,210 22,600 19,980 13,800 19,580 95,170 $53,780
20% 24% 21% 15% 21% 100%
Earlier immigrants 5,220 7,080 6,500 4,960 8,160 31,920 $61,100
16% 22% 20% 16% 26% 100%
Recent immigrants 1,200 1,620 1,680 1,250 1,550 7,270 $57,940
19% 22% 22% 17% 20% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 780 1,110 1,290 990 1,260 5,390 $61,090
14% 21% 24% 18% 23% 100%
 1996-1999 immigrants
 with others
160 260 300 200 250 1,170 $58,590
16% 23% 24% 18% 18% 100%
 1996-1999 immigrants
  only
270 250 100 70 40 720 $33,150
45% 31% 12% 8% 6% 100%
All households 26,230 31,570 28,310 20,140 29,380 135,610 $55,530
19% 23% 21% 15% 22% 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 share of households with incomes of less than $20,000 is somewhat smaller for recent immigrants than for the Canadian-born. However, more than one-third of households consisting only of recent immigrants is in this lowest income range, and these households are larger, on average, than households of the Canadian-born.

Low income twice as common among very recent immigrants

Recent immigrants are more likely than earlier immigrants and the Canadian-born to live in families with incomes below the overall median or, if they do not live in families, to have income below the median for unattached individuals. They are also more likely to live in families with incomes 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.

The share of recent and very recent immigrants with income below the median or with low income has increased somewhat since 1995, while these shares remained unchanged for the Canadian-born and earlier immigrants.

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, Victoria 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.

Table E-7: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born — family or individual income below the median by age and gender, Victoria 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 11,040 9,830 28,940 10,860 60,660
Immigrants 370 850 8,220 6,240 15,650
 Immigrated before 1986 - 250 5,690 5,780 11,700
 Immigrated 1986-1995 200 390 1,750 400 2,720
 Immigrated 1996-1999 170 210 780 60 1,230
Men
Canadian-born 11,590 8,860 24,260 7,430 52,150
Immigrants 350 750 6,530 4,710 12,340
 Immigrated before 1986 - 170 4,450 4,420 9,050
 Immigrated 1986-1995 190 360 1,410 260 2,210
 Immigrated 1996-1999 160 230 680 40 1,080
Total
Canadian-born 22,630 18,680 53,200 18,290 112,810
Immigrants 710 1,590 14,750 10,950 27,990
 Immigrated before 1986 - 420 10,140 10,200 20,750
 Immigrated 1986-1995 380 750 3,160 660 4,930
 Immigrated 1996-1999 330 430 1,460 100 2,310
 
Women
Canadian-born 49% 55% 43% 56% 48%
Immigrants 56% 68% 46% 60% 52%
 Immigrated before 1986 - 74% 43% 60% 50%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 55% 61% 50% 58% 53%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 58% 76% 70% 75% 70%
Men
Canadian-born 50% 49% 38% 54% 44%
Immigrants 55% 62% 42% 58% 48%
 Immigrated before 1986 - 53% 37% 59% 45%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 49% 55% 52% 52% 52%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 64% 88% 71% 70% 72%
Total
Canadian-born 49% 52% 41% 55% 46%
Immigrants 56% 65% 44% 59% 50%
 Immigrated before 1986 - 64% 40% 59% 48%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 52% 58% 51% 55% 52%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 61% 82% 70% 73% 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 people with income below the median varies with age. For the Canadian-born and earlier immigrants, the highest proportions are found among seniors. But this is not so for very recent immigrants.

In nearly all age and gender groups, the proportion of persons with income below the overall median is higher among recent immigrants than among the Canadian-born.

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, Victoria 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 3,860 4,750 10,450 1,810 20,860
Immigrants 140 530 2,840 1,390 4,880
 Immigrated before 1986 - 150 1,870 1,250 3,260
 Immigrated 1986-1995 80 230 610 110 1,010
 Immigrated 1996-1999 60 150 370 40 610
Men
Canadian-born 3,860 3,680 7,940 1,820 17,290
Immigrants 150 370 2,240 1,370 4,120
 Immigrated before 1986 - 60 1,570 1,270 2,900
 Immigrated 1986-1995 50 180 380 90 700
 Immigrated 1996-1999 100 140 290 10 520
Total
Canadian-born 7,720 8,430 18,380 3,630 38,150
Immigrants 280 900 5,080 2,760 9,000
 Immigrated before 1986 - 210 3,440 2,520 6,160
 Immigrated 1986-1995 130 410 990 200 1,710
 Immigrated 1996-1999 160 290 650 50 1,130
 
Women
Canadian-born 17% 26% 15% 9% 16%
Immigrants 21% 42% 16% 13% 16%
 Immigrated before 1986 - 44% 14% 13% 14%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 21% 36% 17% 15% 20%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 20% 54% 33% 44% 35%
Men
Canadian-born 17% 20% 13% 13% 15%
Immigrants 23% 31% 14% 17% 16%
 Immigrated before 1986 - 18% 13% 17% 15%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 13% 27% 14% 18% 17%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 38% 55% 30% 20% 34%
Total
Canadian-born 17% 23% 14% 11% 16%
Immigrants 22% 36% 15% 15% 16%
 Immigrated before 1986 - 32% 14% 15% 14%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 17% 32% 16% 16% 18%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 28% 54% 31% 35% 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.

One in three very recent immigrants has low income, but fewer than one in five immigrants who landed during the 1986-1995 period have low income. The incidence of low income varies by age and to a lesser extent by gender.

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