Breaking Barriers | Immigrants Have the Highest Income Growth in Canada

Breaking Barriers | Immigrants Have the Highest Income Growth in Canada

Ninan Lawrence Published:
January 31, 2024

A report commissioned for the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer of Canada indicates that the incomes of recently arrived immigrants are experiencing a faster growth rate compared to resident Canadian citizens. From the year 2014 to 2018, their relative income increased from 55 percent to 78 percent of that of all Canadian tax filers, as highlighted by Philip Bagnoli, Chris Matier, and Xiaoyi Yan in the study titled "Income Dynamics of New Immigrants to Canada."

The overall income improvement among immigrants was widespread, with those from Asian countries such as India, the Philippines, and China, along with individuals with higher education securing higher-paying positions, showing particularly favorable outcomes. The report suggests that individuals in professional occupations, such as engineers, applied scientists, teachers, accountants, and physicians, played a significant role in narrowing the income gap within one year of landing in Canada.

Having robust family connections in Canada before immigrating and the opportunity to work as temporary foreign workers or international students before obtaining permanent residency appeared to contribute significantly to the income advancement of immigrants in Canada during that period. The report highlights the importance of the Canadian work experience for immigrants, emphasizing that an increasing number of immigrants engage in temporary work in Canada before transitioning to permanent status. The median total Canadian income for immigrants in the year preceding their arrival has seen a consistent rise since 2007, climbing from approximately 49 percent of all residents in 2006 to around 89 percent in 2013.

Newcomers who established themselves in Ontario and British Columbia, regions characterized by substantial immigrant communities, appeared to achieve the most favorable outcomes. The success of immigrants in Canada is closely tied to the significance of family connections and community networks. The report suggests that the rise in income among immigrants occurred simultaneously with an increase in the number of immigrants with family ties in Canada, indicating the importance of pre-existing social networks for economic success.

Looking ahead to the 2024-2026 Immigration Levels Plan, Canada is planning to admit 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024, followed by another 500,000 in 2025, and maintaining this level in 2026 with an additional 500,000 newcomers.


Check if you qualify to migrate to Canada. Check out Owlspriority Immigration’s Canada Settlement Resources to learn about finding employment in Canada, making your initial days stress-free, etc.

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