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April 2004
Vol. 5, no. 4

Perspectives on Labour and Income

Low income among immigrants and visible minorities
Boris Palameta

  • Recent immigrants were two to three times more likely than those born in Canada to experience low income, regardless of sex, level of education, family type, or province of residence. Furthermore, recent immigrants who experienced low income for at least one year were more likely than other Canadians to experience it repeatedly (three or more years).
  • Canadian-born visible minorities were no more likely than other Canadians to experience low income. However, visible minority immigrants were more likely than other immigrants to experience low income, even among immigrants who had been in Canada for over 17 years. Furthermore, visible minorities (even the Canadian-born) who experienced low income for at least one year were more likely to experience it repeatedly.
  • In general, seniors were less likely to experience low income than any other age group. However, immigrant seniors who came to Canada in their 50s or late 40s were roughly five times more likely than their Canadian-born counterparts to experience low income.

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Boris Palameta is with the Income Statistics Division. He can be reached at (613) 951-2124 or

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