New data sheds light on just how much money new immigrants are earning after arrival, and the earning gap between different types of immigrants.
Statistics Canada examined immigrant tax filings from 2012 and found the median reported annual income for immigrants was $31,000. Immigrants admitted to Canada under family reunification earned a median of $28,000, as did immigrants admitted as refugees.
Earnings were significantly higher for immigrants admitted to Canada for economic reasons, including skilled workers, entrepreneurs, investors, and caregivers. That class of immigrants earned a median income of $42,000. Immigrants admitted as the spouses and dependants of those who have gained entry to Canada through economic reasons, earned just $26,000.
In 2012, median after-tax income for a Canadian family of two or more was $71,100, according to StatsCan.
The Statistics Canada data also shows how immigrants’ earnings improve over time. In 2012, an immigrant who had landed in Canada just a year earlier earned a median employment income of just $20,000. Immigrants who had lived in Canada for five years earned $25,000, and those who had come to Canada 10 years earlier earned $31,000.
The study also reveals that immigrants tend to stay in the same province where they arrived. In 2012, more than 80 per cent of immigrants who had landed in the previous year remained in the same province except for Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador. After 15 years of living in Canada, that retention rate dropped to 70 per cent in every province with the exception of Ontario and British Columbia.