A Tale of Three Cities: Housing and Immigrants in Canada

Barry Edmonston, University of Victoria
Sharon M. Lee, University of Victoria
Zheng Wu, University of Victoria

Immigrants in many countries concentrate in large cities, raising important questions about the role of location in understanding immigrants and housing. We address two questions. First, are immigrant households more likely to experience critical housing needs? Second, what is the role of location in immigrants’ housing needs? We analyze data from the 2001 Canadian Census. Descriptive results show that immigrants in Canada are concentrated in its three largest cities, Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, and more immigrant households experience critical housing needs. Multivariate analysis of housing affordability shows that much of the initial difference between immigrant and non-immigrant households is eliminated, and is explained by factors included in the logistic model, particularly location factors. The study suggests that for immigrants in Canada, critical housing is a distinctly urban issue, raising important questions for the role of location in housing policies in Canada and other countries with large urban concentrations of immigrants.

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Presented in Session 100: Housing in International Context