On the basis of the 2001 Ethnic Diversity Survey, this study examines relationship between generation of Canadian residence and social integration. Two subjective (self-reported) measures of integration are used: sense of belonging to Canada and feelings of discomfort living in the host society. The study finds that the relationship between immigrant generation and social integration depends upon demographic and neighbourhood characteristics, as well as upon the city of settlement. The study also illustrates that while sense of belonging does not change across immigrant generations, it is higher for South Asians, lower among Chinese and French Canadians, and similar to the British-origin Canadians for other racial minorities. The study finds that visible minority immigrants are more likely to report feelings of discomfort than the Canadian-born or Whites in Canada. However, the feeling of discomfort decreases as immigrant generation status increases, and, over time, most immigrants are able to adapt and consider Canada their home.

Bibliographic Notes

This brief was prepared by Bharati Sethi, Doctoral Candidate, Faculty of Social Work, Wilfred Laurier University.