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Canada. Immigrants more likely to obtain university education than their Canadian-born counterparts

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Immigrants who arrived in Canada at age 12 or younger were more likely than their Canadian-born counterparts to obtain a university education by the time they were aged 25 to 34.

Furthermore, this difference increased successively from those who arrived in the 1960s to those who arrived in the 1980s.

Among male childhood immigrants who arrived in the 1980s, nearly 32% held a university degree by the age of 25 to 34, compared with just over 20% of the Canadian-born comparison group. Male childhood immigrants who arrived in the 1960s had a university completion rate about 6 percentage points higher than their Canadian-born peers.

The pattern was similar among women, although the share of women with a university degree increased faster than the share of men, for both childhood immigrants and the Canadian-born.

Childhood immigrants represented about 26% of immigrants who arrived in Canada in the 1960s, 24% in the 1970s and 21% in the 1980s.

The increasing gap in educational attainment between successive cohorts of childhood immigrants relative to similarly-aged Canadian-born was associated with the shift in the composition of source countries for immigrants. The composition has been shifting towards countries from which children of immigrant parents have traditionally had high education levels.

In terms of earnings, male childhood immigrants who arrived in the 1960s had weekly wages about 2% lower than the Canadian-born with similar socio-demographic characteristics. This gap disappeared for the 1970s and 1980s cohorts.

Female childhood immigrants who arrived in the 1960s and 1970s had similar earnings to the Canadian-born comparison group. However, the 1980s cohort had higher earnings than the Canadian-born comparison group.

© Statistics Canada -

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