Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


This dissertation provides an assessment of the socio-demographic characteristics and economic performance of Latin American immigrants in Canada using information from the 1981 and 1986 Canadian Censuses. Theoretically, this thesis uses models of economic attainment which emphasize not only individual characteristics of the immigrants in comparison to Canadian-born, but also structural aspects of the Canadian economy. The methods of analysis range from descriptive cross tabulations of socio-demographic characteristics to standardization and regression analyses of economic attainment.;Latin American immigrants have some characteristic profiles that are different from comparable ones for the Canadian-born population. Despite having favorable socio-economic characteristics, Latin Americans have average adjusted employment incomes below those observed for the Canadian-born. A high and growing prevalence of low income status among economic families and unattached individuals coming from Latin America is also observed. Important variations by economic sector of occupation, gender and country of birth are observed. The regression analyses indicate that net returns to income related characteristics are conditioned by the economic sector in which the immigrant is located. Immigrants from Argentina and Brazil experienced fewer problem adjusting than those from El Salvador and Guatemala, who were heavily employed in peripheral industries, had lower returns to the possession of a formal degree and earned the lowest employment income among Latin American immigrants. The high concentration of Latin Americans in peripheral industries and in low status occupations paralleled the adjustments and changes in the Canadian economy during the period 1970-1985.;Considering the future outlook of population growth in Canada and the important role of immigration within it, the findings of this dissertation illustrates the likely scenario for those immigrants who increasingly represent more and more of the flow of new immigrants to Canada.



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