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Income and mobility of immigrants, 2013

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Released: 2015-12-07

The median employment income of immigrant taxfilers who landed in Canada since 1980 was estimated at $32,000 in 2013. For those who landed one year earlier, it was $21,000, an increase of $1,000 compared with 2012 ($20,000).

Employment income of immigrant taxfilers varies by the category under which they were admitted

The immigrant taxfilers who landed in Canada since 1980 as principal applicants under the Canadian experience class and skilled workers categories earned more in 2013 than other immigrants. Their median employment income was estimated at $49,000 and $48,000 respectively, while it was $29,000 for those admitted under the family and refugee classes.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Median employment income of immigrant taxfilers by immigrant admission category, 2013
Median employment income of immigrant taxfilers by immigrant admission category, 2013

Employment income of immigrant taxfilers increases over time since landing in Canada

The median employment income of immigrant taxfilers who landed in 2003 was estimated at $15,800 in 2004 (one year after landing). For the same cohort, it increased to $26,000 in 2008 and rose to $32,000 in 2013.

The median employment income of refugees who landed in 2003 also increased over the same period. While it was $13,800 in 2004, it increased to $18,600 in 2008 and rose to $23,000 in 2013.

The retention of immigrant taxfilers is lower in the Atlantic provinces than in other provinces

In 2013, 91% of immigrant taxfilers who had landed one year earlier filed taxes in their province of landing. The proportions were the highest in Alberta (96%) and Ontario (94%). The Atlantic provinces had lower retention: 79% in Nova Scotia, 70% in New Brunswick, 68% in Newfoundland and Labrador and 43% in Prince Edward Island.

  Note to readers

The Longitudinal Immigration Database provides information on immigrant economic outcomes. It was created to respond to the need for detailed and reliable data on the outcome and impact of immigration policy levers. It allows the analysis of different categories of immigrants over a period long enough to assess the impact of immigrant characteristics upon landing, such as education and knowledge of French or English, and on their settlement outcome.

The database combines an administrative Landing File with the T1 Family File through exact matching record linkage techniques. The overall linkage rate is approximately 87%. The population includes immigrants who landed between 1980 and 2013 and who filed taxes at least once between 1982 and 2013.

Immigrant taxfilers are immigrants who filed taxes in a given year.

The province of landing is the province of intended destination or intended landing.

This release analyzes income on the basis of medians of employment income (for the population with employment income). The median is the level of income at which half of the immigrant taxfilers have higher income and half have lower. Mean income and other income types (self-employment income, investment income, Employment Insurance benefits and social welfare benefits) are provided in CANSIM. All income estimates are expressed in 2013 constant dollars to factor in inflation and enable comparisons across time in real terms.

Data at the provincial level will be released in January 2016.


For a more detailed description of immigrant admission categories, consult the Help centre page of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300;

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Athanase Barayandema (613-404-9212;, Social and Aboriginal Statistics Division.

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