A new Gallup analysis revealed this month in the 2018 World Happiness Report ranks Canada as the 4th of the most welcoming countries for immigrants in the whole world. Canada has scored 8.14 out of 9 points according to what Gallup calls a Migrant Acceptance Index.
Altogether 140 countries were surveyed, and Canada has been outnumbered only by Iceland, New Zealand, and Rwanda. This index aims to establish the country’s friendliness by identifying how accepting the country’s population is towards immigrants.
In this research, 2000 Canadians have been surveyed aged 15 and older during between August 10 and November 29. The respondents were asked if the following three happenings are good or bad things: an immigrant living in their country, an immigrant becoming their neighbor, and an immigrant marrying into their homes.
Canada’s rank is very high. For example, United States only ranked ninth with a score of 7.86. Tougher immigration policies introduced by Donald Trump led to a significant spike in the number of people entering Canada from the United States.
In contrast to the US President, the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau has spoken favorably of immigration and has taken steps to increase it. Gallup researchers Neli Esipova, Julie Ray and Anita Pugliese said that Canadians are still among the most accepting of migrants in the world.
The findings of the report confirm the data obtained by a study of Environics Institute which also confirmed that the majority of Canadians have positive attitude to immigration, many themselves being immigrants or descendants of immigrant families.
Interestingly, the study found that younger people, those with the most education and those living in urban areas were more accepting towards immigrants. Levels of acceptance were also higher among the employed population who are satisfied with their income and standard of living.
Canada – the country of immigrants
Canada is among very few developed countries nowadays that encourage immigration through a merit-based system (unlike US, for example). One in every five Canadians is foreign-born, which makes for 21.9% of Canada’s total population. Surprisingly, though, this is not the highest proportion in Canadian history. The highest one (22.3%) was recorded in 1921 census.
Another interesting piece of statistics is that 6 out of 10 immigrants are economic immigrants. Almost half (48%) of all immigrants were admitted through the skilled workers program and more than a quarter (27.3%) through provincial and territorial nominee programs.
Three out of ten immigrants were admitted through family class category, joining their relatives in Canada. One of every ten immigrants is a refugee. The three top destinations for immigrants are Toronto (46.1% of total population are immigrants), Vancouver (40.8%), and Montreal (23.4%). Of recent immigrants, 56% settle in these three cities.
Canada’s stance on immigration is perfectly described by Justin Trudeau’s famous tweet, “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada.”