Self-perceived Integration of Immigrants and their Children

Zheng Wu, Christoph M. Schimmele, Feng Hou


The purpose of this study is to examine whether there are intergenerational differences in the self-perceived integration of immigrants. The analysis disentangles this relationship from the effects of ethno-racial status and other individual-level characteristics. In addition, it examines the effects of neighborhood socio-demographic composition, such as living in an ethnic enclave. The study merges data from the 2001 Canadian Census and the post-censal Ethnic Diversity Survey. The study focuses on two dimensions of self-perceived integration, sense of belonging and feelings of discomfort living in the host society. The core finding is that the relationship between immigrant generation and integration is complex. This relationship is conditional on ethno-racial status and neighborhood of residence. The findings question “straight-line” theories of intergenerational progress and demonstrate the need to use a fine-grained approach for understanding the integration process.


Immigrants, social integration, intergenerational differences

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