Immigrant integration and “welcome-ability” of Canadian cities: a multilevel analysis of the 2006 Canadian census data

Fernando Rajulton, University of Western Ontario
Zenaida R. Ravanera, University of Western Ontario

This study aims at examining the capacity of Canadian cities to welcome and integrate immigrants and the influence of this capacity on the economic well-being of newcomers. We make use of a macro-micro framework and multilevel analysis on data gathered through the 2006 Canadian Census through a two-stage process. In the first stage, we derive a “welcome-ability’ index for the Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) in Canada using aggregate variables such as percentage of employed immigrants, percentage of immigrants with low income, and population ethnic diversity, which serve as indicators of economic opportunities (or lack thereof) and opportunities for social integration in the cities. With several similar indicators available from the Census, we do an exploratory factor analysis to identify latent constructs in the economic and social domains, and a confirmatory factor analysis (or structural equation modeling - SEM) to examine the existence of and relationships among the theoretically established latent constructs. In the second stage, we use the derived index of welcome-ability as one of the explanatory variables in a multilevel regression analysis of newcomers’ economic integration indicated by their labour force participation and levels of income. We confine the regression analysis to immigrants aged 30-64 who arrived in Canada in the last 5 years before the census, and include individual-level characteristics such as gender, education and visible minority status.

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Presented in Poster Session 2