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Health Reports: Mental health of Canadian immigrants

Released: 2020-08-19

New immigrants to Canada are generally healthier than the Canadian-born population. However, few studies of the healthy immigrant effect have examined mental health outcomes, especially by immigrant admission category.

A new study by Statistics Canada and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada was released today in Health Reports. It is the first that uses newly linked immigrant landing data with health survey data to examine the mental health of immigrants by admission category and other immigration characteristics (e.g., source region and duration since landing) at the national level.

The results show that, among immigrants, self-reported mental health status varies based on region of origin and amount of time in Canada, even after controlling for socio-economic and demographic factors. Immigrants who arrived within 10 years of the survey, for example, were more likely to report high levels of self-reported mental health, while those who had been in Canada for 10 years or more reported lower levels of mental health, similar to their Canadian-born counterparts. These results support the healthy immigrant effect and its loss over time in the area of mental health.

  Note to readers

This study uses a recently linked database of the Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB) to the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS). The IMDB combines the Immigrant Landing file with tax files in Canada, whereas the CCHS contains information on mental health, social and economic factors, and a sense of belonging for analysis in a multivariate context. This data linkage fills the gap of existing datasets, making it feasible to analyze immigrants' health and social outcomes by the admission category and detailed immigrants' characteristics at landing.

Products

The article "The mental health of immigrants and refugees: Canadian evidence from a nationally linked database" is now available in the August 2020 online issue of Health Reports, Vol. 31, no. 8 (Catalogue number82-003-X).

This issue of Health Reports also contains the article "Evaluating the psychometric properties of the parent-rated Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire in a nationally representative sample of Canadian children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years."

Contact information

To enquire about "The mental health of immigrants and refugees: Canadian evidence from a nationally linked database" contact Edward Ng (edward.ng@canada.ca), Health Analysis Division.

To enquire about "Evaluating the psychometric properties of the parent-rated Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire in a nationally representative sample of Canadian children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years" contact media relations at the Public Health Agency of Canada (613-957-2983).

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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