DOC

Demographics discussion paper for City of Hamilton Immigration

By Don Hughes,2014-10-20 22:46
8 views 0
Demographics discussion paper for City of Hamilton Immigration

    A Demographic Profile of Immigrants in Hamilton

    April 2010

    Compiled by Sarah V. Wayland, PhD

    Wayland Consulting

Foreword and Acknowledgments

From its origins, Hamilton‟s growth has depended on immigration. The economic,

    social, and cultural contributions of immigrants have been invaluable to this city. In turn, Hamilton provided a safe and affordable community for newcomers to bring and grow their families, and to integrate into Canadian society.

    Today, Hamilton finds itself at a crossroads in many respects. It is no longer attracting the immigrants it needs to grow its population and economy, and indeed it is losing many native citizens to other parts of the province and country. While neighbouring municipalities in southern Ontario continue to grow through immigration, Hamilton is attracting less than its “fair share” of newcomers, and especially of skilled immigrants.

Hamilton‟s immigrant or foreign-born population is an aging one, with almost 40%

    having arrived in Canada prior to 1971. Reflecting migration patterns of the time, this population is predominantly European in origin, coming especially from the British Isles, Italy and Portugal.

    Yet Hamilton continues to receive more than 3,000 immigrants each year, plus another 3,000 temporary migrants who arrive as foreign students or temporary foreign workers (mostly agricultural workers). Recent immigrants (including refugees) are among the most vulnerable in our population, and it is to their needs that we must especially attend. For the most part, they have high levels of education and competence in English or French. Yet they are struggling. Data presented in this report indicates that many newcomers need assistance improving their language skills and finding employment that suits their many skills and abilities.

    Recent immigrants to Hamilton (arriving since 2000) are likely to live in poverty: 42% experience low income after tax, compared to 14% of the city‟s total population. Most alarming, fully half of the children of recent immigrants are living below the poverty line. In a related finding, immigrant women are particularly vulnerable. They earn considerably less income than men and are at risk of social isolation due to language and other barriers related to being the primary caregiver for children. Households led by immigrant women earn only 56 cents for every dollar earned by immigrant households with two parents. This level of hardship is unacceptable.

    Findings in this report also point to great opportunities. For example, recent immigrants are a younger population than Hamilton as a whole. Immigrant children and children born here to immigrant parents will participate in our own early childhood programs and educational system, not to mention be able to access various social, cultural and recreational programs. If properly resourced and inclusive in their design and implementation, they can help ensure the creation of a new generation of confident and active citizens. Many of them may

     1

    elect to stay in Hamilton, pursuing higher education at one of our own colleges or universities and participating in our local labour market.

    This report is meant to serve as a background paper to inform the development of an immigration strategy for Hamilton. Any strategy that impacts newcomer settlement and integration must be part of a bigger picture of revitalizing Hamilton. As such, it must be undertaken in partnership with other organizations working towards a common vision.

    I hope that this demographic profile of immigrants in Hamilton provides the solid foundation we need to move forward on improving the situation for immigrants and refugees in Hamilton, and for allowing them to contribute to our wonderful city. We all deserve better.

    I am very grateful for the comments of various reviewers, and especially for the guidance and patience of Tim Rees from the City of Hamilton. Gerald Bierling was instrumental to the data collection and presentation. Some of the figures and text in this report are reprinted from the Diversity Scan that he and I

    completed for the Hamilton Community Foundation in 2008. They are reprinted with permission.

Sarah V. Wayland, PhD

     2

Executive Summary

    This report presents data on immigrants in Hamilton, including recent immigrants as well as the more established foreign-born population. Its objective is to increase our understanding of Hamilton‟s immigration populations, including how the characteristics of immigrants have changed over time as well as how Hamilton measures up when compared to other cities in Ontario as well as to the province as a whole.

    The report is divided into eleven sections, listed below with key findings from each:

Population growth in Hamilton

    Hamilton‟s population growth rate slowed in the early 2000s but rose again in the

    second half of the past decade. Although Hamilton‟s actual growth rebounded

    from 2007 to 2009, it still falls short of the models for population growth that are relied upon by our city planners and other decision makers. Immigration numbers from overseas were somewhat offset by people moving out of the province and to other parts of Ontario.

Immigration flows to Hamilton

    Immigration flows to Hamilton have for the most part been rising over the past decade, peaking in 2005 but maintaining annual levels of above 3500 arrival per year since that time.

Hamilton is home to 4.1% of Ontario‟s total population, but Hamilton received

    2.6% of the new landings (official arrivals of permanent residents) to Ontario for the period 2003-2008. As such, Hamilton attracts under its “fair share” of

    immigrants to the province.

    Compared to other cities of its size such as Waterloo, London and Windsor, Hamilton received average or above average levels of immigration in 2006. Halton, which has a smaller population base, is not far behind Hamilton in terms of absolute numbers.

    Each year Hamilton receives about as many temporary migrants as permanent residents. These are mostly comprised of foreign students, with Hamilton receiving below par of its share of foreign workers, humanitarian cases, and refugee claimants.

Hamilton‟s immigrant population is for the most part not a recent one: almost

    40% of Hamilton‟s immigrant population settled prior to 1971. From the 1970s to

    the 1990s, the share of immigrants to Hamilton continually decreased in comparison to the province. Hamilton‟s share of provincial migration increased

    somewhat in the 2001-2005 period.

     3

Reflecting the fact that most immigrants have lived here for decades, Hamilton‟s

    immigrant population is remarkably aged compared to the overall population in this city. A large proportion of elderly immigrants are of European descent. In contrast, recent immigrants in Hamilton (arriving between 2001 and 2005) are on the whole younger than Hamilton‟s Canadian-born population.

Places of origin

    To a much greater extent than Ontario as a whole, immigrants living in Hamilton come from Europe. However, the proportion of immigrants from European countries has declined in recent years. Eighty percent of immigrants to Hamilton in 2006 came from somewhere other than Europe or the United States. Most of Hamilton‟s recent immigrants (arriving 2001-2005) were born in only three

    different countries: China, Pakistan, and India.

Immigration class

    For the period 2003 to 2008, 41% of immigrants to Hamilton were in the Economic Class, a proportion that is below par in comparison to Ontario and Canada. Hamilton‟s figure of 27% Family Class immigrants was more comparable to the province and country. The remaining 31% of arrivals were refugees and all other immigration classes and categories. Hamilton received about double the national proportion of refugees and other immigration classes.

Education levels

    For the period 2003-2008, close to half of arriving immigrants in the 18-64 age group had a university degree or a non-university diploma (including from a college). Immigrants to Hamilton had slightly lower levels of formal education compared to their cohorts elsewhere in Canada, but they had higher levels of education than Hamilton‟s total working age population (including immigrants and Canadian-born).

Where immigrants live in Hamilton

    Recent immigrants in Hamilton are concentrated in several geographic areas, especially in the downtown core, McMaster University, and one census tract in East Hamilton/Stoney Creek. In addition, there are pockets of high concentrations of recent immigrants in certain neighbourhods and apartment buildings outside the downtown core, and on Hamilton mountain in particular.

Income and Poverty

    Immigrants, especially recent immigrants, on the whole earn less than their Canadian-born counterparts and are more likely to live in poverty. The median income of immigrants aged 25-54 the prime working years is significantly

    lower than the median income of people born in Canada, especially if the person immigrated within the past five years. Differences in income between immigrants and the Canadian-born increase with skill level and education. The economic impact of discounting and not recognizing foreign credentials is not only real, but it is very significant.

     4

    In the Hamilton urban area, 24.5% of immigrant families had annual incomes less than $40,000, compared to 18.3% of non-immigrant families. Incidences of low income among immigrants tend to decrease with length of time in Canada. However, it appears to be taking longer for newcomers to reach parity with their Canadian-born counterparts.

    Fully half of children age 0 to 5 whose parents are recent immigrants in Hamilton live below the poverty line, compared to 21% of children in Hamilton‟s overall population. For persons aged 65 and over, 16% of recent immigrants live below the poverty line compared to 9% of seniors in Hamilton‟s overall population. In

    total, 42% of recent immigrants to Hamilton experience low income after tax, compared to 14% of the city‟s total population. On average, female lone parent

    immigrant households earn only 56 cents for every dollar earned by immigrant households with two parents.

Linguistic knowledge and linguistic groups

    English is by far the most common language among both Canadian-born and immigrant populations. Just over one percent of residents of Hamilton identified having French as a mother tongue in the 2006 Census. Among recent immigrants to the City of Hamilton (arriving between 2001 and 2005), 92% of them have knowledge of English or French but fewer than one-third speak English or French most often in the home.

Citizenship

    The vast majority of immigrants living in Hamilton have Canadian citizenship: 80% of immigrants have Canadian citizenship, including 10% who also have citizenship in one or more other countries. Compared to other immigrant-receiving countries, Canada has very high rates of citizenship acquisition.

Racialized groups (“Visible minorities”)

    Members of racialized communities are growing as a proportion of Hamilton‟s

    population: more than 13% of Hamiltonians identified themselves as a visible minority in the 2006 Census, representing an increase of 20% in this population from 2001. The visible minority proportion of the city‟s population is significantly

    lower than the provincial average, but the gap is narrowing. Hamilton is home to a great diversity of racialized communities, with no one group comprising even a quarter of the racialized population.

    Visible minorities are likely to be immigrants. In Hamilton, only 6.1% of the non-immigrant population is made up of visible minorities, compared to 33.5% of the city‟s immigrant population. Members of racialized groups are on the whole a young population.

    In general, visible minority status does make a difference in terms of employment. Unemployment rates are generally higher for visible minority immigrants than for immigrants who are not visible minorities.

     5

Ethnic origin

    The top ethnic origins reported in Hamilton were British Isles, Canadian, Italian, German, and French. Excluding the “Canadian” category, four times as many

    Hamiltonians claimed to have origin in the British Isles as any other ethnic origin.

     6

    Table of Contents

    Foreword and Acknowledgments ................................................................... 1 Executive Summary ....................................................................................... 3 Introduction .................................................................................................... 8 1.0 Hamilton‟s overall population growth rates .......................................... 9

    2.0 Immigration flows to Hamilton ........................................................... 13 3.0 Places of origin.................................................................................. 21 4.0 Immigration class .............................................................................. 25 5.0 Education levels ................................................................................ 28 6.0 Where immigrants live in Hamilton .................................................... 30 7.0 Income and Poverty .......................................................................... 32 8.0 Linguistic knowledge and linguistic groups ....................................... 40 9.0 Citizenship ........................................................................................ 46 10.0 Racialized groups (“Visible minorities”) ............................................. 47

    11.0 Ethnic Origins .................................................................................... 54 Glossary ....................................................................................................... 55

     7

Introduction

This report describes immigrants living in Hamilton including recent immigrants

    as well as the more established foreign-born population with respect to such

    factors as age, ethnicity and region of origin, immigration class, education levels, 1language knowledge, employment, income, and racialization.

    It is often noted that, proportionally, Hamilton has the third largest immigrant population in the country. The purpose of this paper is to provide a more nuanced understanding of facts such as this one, an understanding that includes

    how the characteristics of immigrants have changed over time as well as how Hamilton compares to other cities in Ontario as well as to the province as a whole. For example, though thousands of immigrants arrive in Hamilton each year, our immigrant population is for the most part not a recent one: about two-thirds of Hamilton‟s immigrants settled here twenty years ago or more. Also, one reason

    that Hamilton‟s foreign-born proportion has remained so high is that our overall population in this city is not growing. Facts such as these provide information upon which informed decisions can be made, decisions that could be integral to ensuring that Hamilton attracts and retains the immigrants it needs to grow its population as well as its economy.

    Data sources

    Information presented in this paper is based on census data as well as data from Citizenship and Immigration Canada on official landings (arrivals) and temporary migration. Wherever possible, data for the City of Hamilton is presented. When city-level data was not available, data from the Hamilton Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) was utilized which includes Burlington and Grimsby. When CMA as opposed to city data is used, this is noted explicitly.

    For the most part, our data omits those who are not permanent residents (previously known as “landed immigrants”). Most data does not include persons

    who have applied for and are awaiting their status, refugee claimants, and those who are in Canada without status. Examples of persons without status are foreign students, temporary workers, and failed refugee claimants who were expected to leave Canada but did not.

The Census is not a perfect tool, and it is estimated that about 2.8% of those who 2should have been enumerated for the Census were missed. Net census

    undercoverage varies across regions as well as age groups. Areas typically likely to experience undercounting are those with large numbers of rental apartment buildings. There is a shared concern that this produces under-reporting of the numbers of immigrants, visible minorities and lower income

     1Racialization refers to the process by which individuals and groups of people are differentiated or categorized according to skin colour and other characteristics. 2 Statistics Canada, Final estimates of 2006 Census coverage, The Daily, September 29, 2008.

     8

    3 According to this same source, “It may also be households in the 2006 Census.

    that people whose mother tongue is neither English nor French had a lower response rate in the 2006 Census, perhaps related to the mailing of the questionnaire in 2006, rather than a direct contact as was the practice in previous Censuses. As such, the figures presented here are the best we have available, but they may undercount the very populations that interest us. Terms and definitions

    Immigrants are persons who are, or have ever been, landed immigrants in Canada. A landed immigrant is a person who has been granted the right to live in Canada permanently by immigration authorities. Some immigrants have resided in Canada for a number of years, while others are more recent arrivals.

Legally, foreign-born population is synonymous with immigrant population. For

    the purposes of this profile, the term “foreign-born” describes immigrants who

    have been in Canada for more than two decades. They are for the most part well established here, even if some lack fluency in English or French, and the barriers they encounter in their lives differ from those of more recently arrived immigrants. Many of these immigrants have lived in Canada most of their lives and no longer think of themselves as immigrants.

    Recent immigrants refers to landed immigrants who came to Canada up to five

    years prior to a given census year. For the 2006 Census, recent immigrants are landed immigrants who arrived in Canada between January 1, 2001 and Census Day, May 16, 2006. Recent immigrants face the greatest settlement-related challenges, including finding employment, learning a new language, and establishing social networks.

    A more detailed glossary of terms is included at the end of this document. 1.0 Hamilton’s overall population growth rates

    Hamilton‟s population growth rate slowed in the early 2000s but rose again in the second half of the past decade. From 1996 to 2001, Hamilton‟s growth rate was

    4.8%. According to the 2006 census, Hamilton‟s population increased by only

    2.9% from 2001 to 2005, compared to a 6.6% population growth rate for Ontario as a whole. According to post-censal data released by Statistics Canada, growth rates in the City of Hamilton have increased since then, peaking at 5% from mid-2007 to mid-2008 and declining slightly to 4.4% the following year (Figure 1.1).

     3 Comment Compilation Census 2011 Consultation, Joint submission by members of: Quality of

    Life Reporting System (QOLRS), Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Community Social Data Strategy (CSDS), Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) Regional Information Systems Working Group (RISWG), Regional Planning Commissioners of Ontario (RPCO), March 31, 2009), p. 14. accessed January, 27, 2009 from

    http://www.csds-sacass.ca/research/Census_2011_Comments_Final_CSDS.pdf

     9

Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email
cust-service@docsford.com