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Immigrants attachment to Canada Deepens With Age According to Study


Statistics Canada's recent Ethnic Diversity Survey (EDS) suggests that as Canadian immigrants and their children grow older, their attachment to Canada becomes stronger. 74.5 per cent of respondents aged 65 and over expressed a "very strong" sense of belonging to Canada, compared with only 40.6 per cent among those aged 15-17. The results show this sentiment growing stronger with age in each subgroup of second-generation Canadians (whites, blacks, South Asians and Chinese, and others).

The study also suggests that immigrants and their children are able to accept their identities as Canadians without denying their inherited ethnic identities. Jack Jedwab of the Association for Canadian Studies explains that "data from the Ethnic Diversity Survey reveal that people with a strong sense of belonging to an ethnic group also have a strong sense of belonging to Canada." The study "validates the idea that those who are secure in their identity have a stronger sense of belonging to Canada."

Given Canadian immigration history, these findings explain another recent survey which reported that 57 per cent of the children of white immigrants felt a strong bond to Canada compared to only 44 per cent of second-generation visible minorities. European-born immigrants dominated Canadian immigration in the decades following the Second World War, and their offspring are typically in their forties and fifties. Only since the 1970's has there been a much larger influx of immigrants from South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka), China, Hong Kong, and the Caribbean; the average age of their children is therefore much younger. The Ethnic Diversity Survey study implies that as these second-generation Canadians belonging to visible minorities age, they too will develop a deeper bond with Canada.



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