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Comparing the weekly earnings of Canada’s visible minorities to white people

We just finished up three days of snowboarding and skiing in Tremblant, Quebec and we’re now in Montreal closing out the long weekend. I am arguably Toronto’s greatest fan and supporter, but I continue to admit that Montreal is the coolest city in Canada.

In other news, Theresa Qiu and Grant Schellenberg recently authored a Statistics Canada report looking at the weekly earnings of visible minorities and white people across the country. The study focuses on Canadian-born individuals aged 25 to 44 who were gainfully employed and making money in 2015.

The reason why they isolated the study to Canadian-born visible minorities is that they wanted to eliminate the noise around new immigrants who may be struggling with the language(s), the recognition of their foreign credentials, or some other variable.

In this case, every individual that factors into the study was born in Canada and, in theory, had access to similar sorts of opportunities. Of course, we know this isn’t always the case, but it’s an attempt an equal baseline.

The findings are pretty interesting.

Korean, Japanese, and South Asian men all tend to earn more than white males (which formed the baseline for the study). More than 60% of Chinese and Korean men also have a bachelor’s degree or higher, whereas only 24% of white males are in the same position.

This is an important data point because we know that economic outcomes tend be positively correlated with educational attainment. The benefits of education also tend to compound later in life and this study only focuses on people aged 25 to 44. So the spreads could widen.

One the factors that is surely influencing the above findings is that visible minorities are overwhelmingly urban. About 60% of visible minorities in Canada live in just three cities: Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. This compares to only 27% of white people.

Again, an important data point given that people in big cities tend to earn more than those in smaller communities.

For the full study, click here.

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