MA Research Paper


Income & Net-Worth: A Comparative Analysis of Immigrant Inequality


Master of Arts


Migration and Ethnic Relations


Kim Shuey


This paper uses data from the 2012 Survey of Financial Security (SFS) and the Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB) to examine immigrant household income and net-worth inequality compared to native-born Canadians and determine whether there is heterogeneity in economic resources across immigrant groups. The results of OLS regression analysis for income show that all immigrant region of origin groups experience household income inequality, when compared to native-born Canadians. In contrast, regression analysis of household net-worth shows that only some groups experience wealth disadvantage, with East Asian and European immigrants experiencing no net-worth inequality when compared to native-born Canadians. Years since migration and structural factors such as education, employment and relationship status and remittance behaviour explain some of the inequality among immigrants for both household income and household net-worth. Proxies for entry class suggest that net of controls such as years since migration and number of earners, Family class and Independent class immigrants see a household income advantage, when compared to native-born Canadians. In contrast, Independent class and Refugee class immigrants are at a wealth disadvantage, with lower average levels of household net-worth compared to native-born Canadians.

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