Polygon Created with Sketch. Home | Research

The Perspectives of Second-Generation Immigrants in Canada

Outcomes for second-generation immigrants are typically measured in terms of educational attainment, employment rates and income. These indicators are important, but they tell us little about the experience that second-generation have balancing the values and expectations of their immigrant parents with those of Canadian society more generally. This report addresses this knowledge gap by exploring the outlook of second-generation immigrants in Canada, and how it compares both to those of first-generation immigrants, and to non-immigrants.

This study draws upon a unique survey of Canadians between the ages of 18 and 40 (those described as Generation Z or Millennials) conducted in the autumn of 2020. It finds that the experiences of second-generation immigrants cannot be easily generalized: this group of Canadians is neither consistently similar to, nor consistently different from, the other two groups.

Download Report

Taken together, this study’s findings are encouraging. They are suggestive of a process in which integration occurs first in aspects related to more material aspects of life, and then later in terms of more cultural aspects. But more importantly, the analysis does not find that second-generation immigrants are outliers in a negative sense; that is, while in some cases they have more pessimistic views than first-generation immigrants, they do not tend to have more pessimistic views than non-immigrants – views that, were they present, would point to the existence of major barriers to integration into Canadian society.

Second-generation immigrants certainly have worries, with many expressing concerns about their current financial situation, or about the performance of governments. But these concerns are shared by younger Canadians of all backgrounds, and do not divide the country according to how long their families have lived here.

This report is based on data from the 2020 study of Canada’s Millennial and Gen Z generations, conducted by the Environics Institute for Survey Research in partnership with Apathy is Boring.

The study was conduct to better understand their perspectives, priorities and actions in terms of:

  • Confidence in the country’s democracy and institutions
  • Perspectives on global issues
  • Strategies for addressing key issues facing Canada
  • Personal engagement with issues, politics and local community

More from FSC

Young woman woodworking by drill-machine

Skills Matching and Opportunities in Wood Manufacturing

The Wood Manufacturing Council (WMC), with support from the Conference Board of Canada (CBoC), launched…
Business woman working at home online using laptop and smartphone. Middle-aged confident female using video call, conference, looking at webcam, business owner, teacher, accountant working remotely

From data to decision: AI training and professional certification

The project was a short, online certified program in artificial intelligence (AI) for professionals and…
Two men packaging containers in a restaurant kitchen.

On the Frontlines of Crisis Training Program

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an increased demand for food production and distribution services…
View all Research