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Study: Immigrant Businesses in Knowledge-based Industries

Released: 2017-03-17

Private incorporated businesses owned by immigrants were more likely to be located in knowledge-based industries than businesses owned by people born in Canada. Immigrant-owned businesses were also more likely to be located in industries such as retail trade and food services.

The new study "Immigrant Businesses in Knowledge-based Industries" uses the new Canadian Employer–Employee Dynamics Database to compare the industry classification of businesses owned by immigrants and Canadian-born individuals. To date, little is known about the extent and types of immigrant-owned businesses in Canada.

In 2010, 13.2% of private incorporated businesses owned by immigrants were in knowledge-based industries, such as telecommunications, computer systems design, science- or technology-based manufacturing, and engineering services. This compares with 11.1% of businesses owned by people born in Canada. Businesses owed by immigrants aged 18 to 69 who entered Canada since 1980 are the focus of this study.

Looking more closely, 6.2% of immigrant-owned private incorporated businesses were in computer systems design and related services, compared with 2.8% of businesses owned by Canadian-born individuals.

Many immigrant-owned private incorporated businesses were also in more traditional sectors of the economy, with 11.2% in retail trade and 10.1% in food services and drinking places. By comparison, 9.6% of private incorporated businesses owned by people born in Canada were in retail trade and 4.3% were in food services and drinking places.

The industry classification of immigrant-owned private incorporated businesses varied considerably across immigrant classes. Almost 23% of private incorporated businesses owned by principal applicants from the economic class were in knowledge-based industries, with about one-half of these in computer systems design and related services.

In contrast, about 8% of private incorporated businesses owned by refugees and immigrants from the family class were in knowledge-based industries, while about one-third were in retail trade, food services and drinking places, or truck transportation.

Among private incorporated businesses owned by principal applicants from the business class, 5.0% were in knowledge-based industries, while 9.9% were in food services and drinking places. Almost 30% were in either retail trade or wholesale trade.

Overall, while principal applicants from the economic class represented 20% of all immigrants, they accounted for one-half of immigrant-owned businesses in the knowledge-based economy. In addition, when grouped with their dependents, these immigrants accounted for over 70% of immigrant-owned businesses in the knowledge-based economy.

The information in this study will be updated as new data becomes available.

Products

The research article "Immigrant Businesses in Knowledge-based Industries," which is part of Economic Insights (Catalogue number11-626-X), is now available.

Contact information

For more information contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca).

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Yuri Ostrovsky (613-614-5911; yuri.ostrovsky@canada.ca), Social Analysis and Modelling Division.

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