Study finds established immigrant families to be wealthier than the Canada-born

Established Canadian immigrants were found to be wealthier than their Canada-born counterparts in 2016 in a study released by Statistics Canada. According to the report, the longer an immigrant family has been in Canada, the wealthier they are.

The study observed that the immigrant families who had been in Canada for more than 20 years and had their major earners in the age group of 45 go 64, had a worth $1.06 million on an average in 2016. Compared to this, the average worth of their Canadian-born counterparts was almost $980,000.

The immigrant families who had had been in Canada between 10 and 19 years and major earners aged between 35 to 54 had worth approaching $575,695 in 2016. Compared to this, the worth of Canadian-born families was $658,607. However, this gap seems to be closing as the average wealth of 10-19 years immigrants has increased by 134 per cent since 1999. But at the same time, the wealth of Canadian-born families witnessed a rise of only 87 per cent.

The average wealth of families who had been in Canada for less than 10 years with major earners in the age group of 25-44 was $271,935 in 2016. Compared to this, the wealth of their Canadian-born equivalents was $347,577. But in the case of these newly arrived immigrants, average family wealth has grown by 146 per cent since 1999, compared to the 70 per cent growth rate of Canadian-born families.

Statistics Canada released the study titled ‘The Wealth of Immigrant Families in Canada' in April 16, 2019. The study is based on the data collected in Surveys of Financial Security conducted in 1999, 2005, 2012 and 2016. “While many studies have documented the financial characteristics of immigrants in Canada in terms of low income and labour market outcomes, the wealth of immigrant families has received relatively little attention. The study finds that the wealth of both immigrant families and Canadian-born families grew substantially from 1999 to 2016,” says the study report.

Another interesting observation of the study is that the average family wealth of new immigrants is growing faster compared to established immigrants. While the average wealth for families in Canada who had been in Canada for less than 10 years with the major earner aged 25 to 44 increased by 146 per cent between 1999 and 2016, the wealth of those families who had been in Canada for more than 20 years increased by only 70 per cent. While earning was significantly more in the case of established immigrant families, the growth rate of their wealth was less than half of the percentage for new immigrants.

A significant contributor to the growth of wealth in immigrant families between 1999 and 2016 was housing equity. In the case of established immigrant families, this factor accounted for 69 per cent of the wealth increase during the said period. Another significant contributing factor was the pension value, with registered pension plan assets accounting for 17 per cent of wealth increases.

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