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New report: Perspectives of Second-Generation Immigrants in Canada

March 7, 2024

Today the Environics Institute for Survey Research released its new research report Perspectives of Second-Generation Immigrants in Canada, carried out with support from Century Initiative and the Toronto Metropolitan University’s Diversity Institute and the Future Skills Centre.

This public opinion research project takes a new approach to examining the experiences of second-generation Canadians by asking their perspectives on life satisfaction, goals and priorities, and experiences in education, identity, and civic engagement. While outcomes for second-generation immigrants are often measured using indicators like employment rates and income, there is a knowledge gap in understanding how these individuals are faring on non-economic measures. By taking a closer look at how second-generation immigrants’ views on life in Canada compare to the views of their parents’ generation and of their non-immigrant peers, this research aims to create a holistic picture of their experiences. The findings reveal several new insights, including:

  • First- and second-generation immigrants and non-immigrants appear equally confident about achieving their career goals and eventually having enough money to live their desired life. However, second-generation and non-immigrants reported slightly lower overall life satisfaction, as well as a lesser focus on attaining higher education and financial security.
  • When asked about their senses of identity – particularly about the importance of ethnicity and religion – second-generation immigrants exhibited similar attachment to their family’s culture as first-generation immigrants did. However, on questions of economic priorities, second-generation immigrants more closely resembled their non-immigrant peers.
  • Examining second-generation immigrants’ perspectives reveals no clear evidence of barriers to immigrant integration in Canada. While children of immigrants report varying views on certain aspects of life in Canada, their outlooks are in many respects similar to those of their non-immigrant peers.

Century Initiative has produced a short snapshot of the research focusing on five key takeaways from the research, particularly as they relate to population growth and immigrant integration policy. It also highlights important future research opportunities on this topic. This snapshot will be released on March 8, 2024.