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


Very recent immigrants—a snapshot

  • Very recent immigrants, those who landed on or after January 1, 1996 and were living in Winnipeg on May 15, 2001, are quite different in some respects from the groups that preceded them. Many have university degrees, far more proportionately than are found among other immigrant cohorts or among persons born in Canada. More than nine in ten speak English. Thanks to these qualities and a strong labour market, they reported more jobs and higher incomes in the 2001 Census than immigrants who landed in the first half of the 1990s reported in the 1996 Census.

Immigrants and recent immigrants (Part A)

  • In 2001, there were 39,700 recent immigrants in Winnipeg, 1.6% of all recent immigrants living in Canada. These recent immigrants, who landed after 1985, accounted for a little more than one-third of immigrants in Winnipeg and 6% of the population of the city. In this document, the term “recent immigrants” refers to immigrants who became permanent residents or “landed” after 1985 and who were living in the country on May 15, 2001, when Canada’s Census of Population was held. Very recent immigrants are immigrants who landed after 1995.
  • Eighty-four percent of Winnipeg’s immigrants who landed between 1986 and 1995 had become Canadian citizens by May 2001.

Who are the recent immigrants (Part B)

  • Recent immigrants to Winnipeg come from all over the world. One in four of very recent immigrants was born in the Philippines, a share only slightly smaller than of those who landed during the 1986-1995 period. India and China account for 8% and 7%, respectively, of very recent immigrants. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Yugoslavia and Ukraine have also become more important sources of immigrants to Winnipeg recently.
  • Statistics published by Citizenship and Immigration Canada show that among very recent immigrants, one-half entered as economic immigrants, and three in ten entered through the family class.
  • Among very recent immigrants, 11% are Muslims. Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs together account for 11% of very recent immigrants. The share of Protestants is only 16% of very recent immigrants, compared to 39% of the Canadian-born population.
  • Between four and five recent immigrants are 25 to 44 years of age, compared to three in ten Canadian-born persons in Winnipeg.
  • More than nine in ten persons who immigrated between 1996 and 2001 reported being able to conduct a conversation in English or French. For more than six in ten very recent immigrants the language most often spoken at home is a language other than English or French.
  • The level of education of very recent immigrants in Winnipeg is quite high compared to that of the Canadian-born, with three in ten very recent immigrant men and women holding a university degree.

Families and households (Part C)

  • Recent immigrants are more likely than the Canadian-born to live with relatives, and they are more than twice as likely to live in an extended family. Only 13% of recent immigrants of 65 years of age and over live alone, compared to more than one-third of their Canadian-born counterparts.
  • Recent immigrant families are much more likely than Canadian-born families to have children at home, in particular when the oldest family member is 45 years of age or older. There are fewer lone-parent families among recent immigrant families than among Canadian-born families.
  • Households in which a least one adult is a recent immigrant account for 7% of households in Winnipeg. One in three of these recent immigrant households have at least one member who immigrated after 1995.
  • Households of recent immigrants are much more likely than Canadian-born households to consist of extended families or more than one family. They also tend to be larger, with 46% having four or more persons in the household, compared to 21% of Canadian-born households with four or more persons.

Participation in the economy (Part D)

  • Immigrants who landed after 1995 have a lower rate of participation in the labour force, a generally higher unemployment rate, and jobs requiring a lower level of skill than the Canadian-born and earlier immigrants. Those who immigrated during the 1986-1995 period have achieved parity with the Canadian-born in labour force participation and unemployment rates.
  • The disparities between very recent immigrants and the Canadian-born are smaller for men than for women. In fact, immigrant men who landed during the 1996-2001 period had the same rate of unemployment as the Canadian-born.
  • Lack of knowledge of English is a major barrier to labour force participation. However, it accounts for only a small part of the disparity in labour force participation of very recent immigrants, as lack of knowledge of English is rare.
  • Labour force participation was generally higher and unemployment lower in 2001 than in 1996. Unemployment was considerably lower among recent and very recent immigrants in 2001 than five years before.
  • In comparison to the Canadian-born, recent immigrants were much more likely to be employed in processing occupations and less likely to be employed in administrative occupations and management and social occupations. All immigrant cohorts, both men and women, were somewhat more often employed in the health and science occupations than the Canadian-born.
  • Recent immigrants were more likely than the Canadian-born to work in the manufacturing sector. Construction and transportation industries and the public sector accounted for smaller shares of the jobs of recent immigrants than of the Canadian-born.
  • The jobs of recent immigrants require a relatively low level of skill.

Income (Part E)

  • On average among persons reporting income for the year 2000, the income of very recent immigrants is about two-thirds of that of the Canadian-born, while the income of those who immigrated during the 1986-1995 period is close to three-quarters the income of the Canadian-born. The proportion of recent immigrants who have employment income is higher than the proportion of the Canadian-born with such income.
  • The average income of very recent immigrant men was 60% higher and the average income of very recent immigrant women was 40% higher than for the comparable cohorts in 1995. Other immigrant cohorts and the Canadian-born had increases in the order of 20%
  • Transfer payments from government are 7% of the income of recent immigrant households in the 25 to 64 age group and 4% to 5% of the income of Canadian-born households in the same age group.
  • One-quarter of very recent immigrants is in a low-income situation, compared to 15% of the Canadian-born.

Housing (Part F)

  • In Winnipeg, one in five recent immigrant households lives in crowded conditions—that is, there is one person or more per room—compared to 4% of Canadian-born households. Among households consisting exclusively of very recent immigrants, the incidence of crowding is 31%.
  • One in five recent immigrant households spends more than 30% of its income on shelter, the same share as for Canadian-born households.
  • The state of repair of dwellings is slightly better for recent immigrants than for the Canadian-born.
  • Close to two-thirds of recent immigrant households, except for households consisting only of very recent immigrants, own their home, the same share as among Canadian-born households.
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