Distribution, Inequality and Concentration of Income Among Older Immigrants in Canada, 1990 - ARCHIVED

Articles and reports: 11F0019M1999129


While there are many studies on differences in earnings between immigrants and the native-born or among immigrant groups, they ignore the distribution and concentration of income. These aspects are important for understanding the distribution of economic welfare and consumer behaviour among members and hence are policy relevant.

Using the 1991 Census data, the distribution and concentration of income have been examined among 15 broad birthplace groups for population aged 55 years and over. About 19% of males and 15% of females receive less than half the median income and obtain 5% and 3% of the aggregate income respectively. About 30% of males and 29% of females receive more than one and half times the median income and obtain 61% and59% of aggregate income respectively. About 51% of males and 56% of females who receive incomes between half and one and half times the median income are termed middle-class and their shares of aggregate income amount to 34 and 38% respectively.

Although, older immigrants aged 55 years and over, as a group, have roughly the same quartile distribution and concentration of income as their Canadian-born counterparts, the birthplace groups differ from each other. The groups coming from the developing regions, that is, the very groups that have lower average annual incomes, also have more inequitable distribution of income than the Canadian-born or their counterparts from the developed regions. Thus, the income distribution is more polarized in the populations from developing regions than in the populations from developed regions or in the Canadian-born population. On average, females receive 45% less income than males, and there is less polarization of income among them than among males regardless of the place of birth. A part of the explanation lies in the receipt of government transfers which tend to equalize rather than polarize incomes, and older women derive higher proportion of their income from government transfers than older men.

Issue Number: 1999129
Author(s): Basavarajappa, K.G.
FormatRelease dateMore information
PDFApril 21, 1999

Related information

Related products


Subjects and keywords



Date modified: