April 24, 2006
Media Release

Community Snapshots: Recent Immigrants Living in York Region

Demographics

 Between 1991 and 2001, the recent immigrant population grew by 132 per cent compared to 31 per cent for the non-immigrant population.
 
 About two-thirds of recent immigrants are of working age, which is generally considered to be 15 to 54 years of age, and are in a position to contribute to the economy.  Many are also of child-bearing age and bring their families or start families here.  Coupled with the fact that immigrants are the fastest growing segment of the population, this is an indication of the influence they will have on the future of York Region.
 
 Recent immigrants are more likely to be married or to have been married than the non-immigrant population.
 
 Recent immigrants are eager to commit to Canada. Three out of five recent immigrants are Canadian citizens.
 
 Most recent immigrants are visible minorities. Chinese immigrants are the most commonly represented visible minority group.
 
 Recent immigrants are twice as likely to live with relatives as part of an extended family than the total population. This could have implications for the way York Region plans communities and provides and publicizes available services and programs.
 
Education
 Recent immigrants have a higher rate of enrolment in school courses that can be used as credits towards a certificate, diploma or degree, than non-immigrants.
 
 York Region has the second highest percentage (32 per cent) of recent immigrants with a university certificate, diploma or degree.  Halton Region has the highest at 33 per cent.
 
Employment and Income
 York Region ranks third among GTA municipalities in terms of recent immigrants' median employment income.
 
 Despite their generally higher education levels, recent immigrants in York Region have the second lowest average median total income among GTA municipalities, second only to Toronto.
 
 In York Region, the average median total income for recent immigrants is $14,449 compared to $30,212 for the non-immigrant population, despite their generally higher levels of education.
 
 The data indicates that immigrants, although highly educated and skilled, are generally economically and socially vulnerable during the first years after their arrival.
 
Language
 Most immigrants (89 per cent) speak either English or French.  However, over 10,000 (11 per cent) of recent immigrants in York Region have no knowledge of either official language. This is the highest rate among GTA municipalities.
 
 In York Region, approximately 3,300 recent immigrant children and youth (19 years and under), have no knowledge of either official language.
 
 Cantonese is the single most common non-official language spoken at home and at work by recent immigrants in York Region.
 
Housing
 In York Region, 87 per cent of recent immigrant households (1991-2001) are homeowners and 12 per cent are renters. In comparison, 90 per cent of the total population households are homeowners and 10 per cent are renters.
 
 Recent immigrants, probably due to lower income levels, are more likely to spend a greater proportion of their household income on all types of housing.
 
Transit
 Recent immigrants use public transit at a rate that is almost double the rate of use of the total population.
 
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Media Contact: Tim Paleczny, Corporate Communications, York Region
 (905) 830-4444 Ext. 1238, (416) 297-9696 or Toll free 1-877-464-9675
 After hours pager: (905) 830-3302
 Email: tim.paleczny@york.ca

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