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Immigrants in the hinterlands

  • by André Bernard


  • The distribution of the immigrant population in the urban and rural areas differs vastly from the rest of the population. While approximately 34% of Canadians 20 years of age or older live in one of the three largest urban centres (Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver), nearly 75% of immigrants live there. On the other hand, while a little more than one in five Canadians lives in a small city or rural area with a population under 15,000, barely one in forty immigrants lives there.

  • For most Canadians, living in a large metropolitan area is usually synonymous with having a higher income. This trend is the opposite for immigrants. Immigrants' incomes are lowest (median of $16,800) in very large urban areas and their incomes are highest ($19,500) in small urban areas, a difference of 16%.

  • Immigrants living in smaller urban centres or rural areas achieve economic integration faster than immigrants living in very large urban areas. The initial income gap between immigrants and the rest of the population is 37% for those living in very large urban areas. This gap decreases gradually and rather slowly. This gap falls under the 10% mark as of the twelfth year. On the other hand, in small urban areas, the initial gap is only 14%, and as of the fourth year, the gap is reversed, with the income of immigrants becoming 2% greater.

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