Refugees’ Economic Status is the Same as Everyone Else After 20 Years in Canada

In a public forum held at MOSAIC’s headquarters on Commercial Drive, UBC professor and researcher Daniel Hiebert shared new data regarding the short and long-term economic outcome of newcomers who entered Canada as refugees. The forum was held April 4th, on Refugee Rights Day.

Using Census information from 1980-2011, Professor Hiebert found that after 20 years of living in Canada, refugees experience the same income distribution on a household level, as well as the same home ownership levels, as other Canadians.

Professor Hiebert said that while there is quite a big initial investment into settling refugees because of the high usage of social services and housing assistance, after a 20-year period, the economic status of refugees is indistinguishable from that of other Canadians.

The conclusion he drew is that refugees, on average, become economically self-sufficient in Canada and, once this process occurs, are no more of a ‘burden’ on Canadian society than the rest of the population. Professor Hiebert talked about his findings to Gloria Mackerenko, on CBC’s On the Coast; click here to listen.