Comparing disability amongst immigrants and native-born in Canada Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Given high levels of immigration into Canada and the associated requirement to understand the health needs of new arrivals, an extensive literature has developed over the past decade that has explored immigrant health issues, including the 'healthy immigrant effect'. Surprisingly, however, issues of disability within the immigrant population have received much less attention. Using data from Statistics Canada, 2006a, 2006b Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS), this paper examines disability and its covariates amongst immigrants relative to non-immigrants in Canada. Compared with their native-born counterparts, recent immigrant arrivals (within the past 10 years) were less likely to report disability and less likely to report a severe disability than the native-born. However, differences in the rates and covariates of disabilities between males and female immigrants were observed, which are partially explained by socioeconomic and sociodemographic effects. The conclusion explores potential reasons why differentials in disability rates are observed, and points to future research directions.

publication date

  • November 2015