A Retrospective Look: The Social and Economic Integration of the Vietnamese Refugee Youth and the Second Generation in Contemporary Canada
Researchers: Monica Boyd, Shawn Perron, and Lei Chai
Affiliation: University of Toronto
Keywords: Vietnamese refugees, Indochinese refugees, Boat People, refugee children, refugee youth, sponsored refugees, entry category, educational attainment, labour market, integration, earnings, occupations, quantitative research
Go to: Methodology, Findings
Objective: This project asked how well the Vietnamese population welcomed to Canada between 1979-1981, colloquially labeled “the Boat People,” are doing today with respect to educational attainment and labour market integration (measured in terms of occupation and earnings). It also examined the impacts of entry program, arrival age, and gender on the socioeconomic integration of refugees.
Justification: Canada’s reaction to the Vietnamese refugees is sometimes framed as an ideal blueprint for addressing the Syrian refugee crisis, yet there is very little information on the social and economic integration of the children of Vietnamese refugees or those who arrived in Canada as children (the second and 1.5 generations).
Practical goal: This study provides a better understanding of the social mobility of refugee children and second-generation children born to refugee parents from war-torn countries with interrupted schooling and mental health challenges. Specifically, this study looks at second generation children, refugee children who arrived at a young age, those who arrive as adolescents – this adolescent age group is often left out of studies of refugee children and will thus provide important nuances to the refugee experience. Furthermore, it will provide data on the socioeconomic integration of adult refugees by entry program.
Primary audience: academics, policy makers, and educators
This study used data from the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) and the 2016 Census of Population to compare Vietnamese refugees to those born in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, and in other North and Western European countries who had arrived in Canada during the same period (1979/80-1990). The 2016 Census is further used to look at refugees aged 25-54 admitted to Canada in one of the three major refugee admission categories (in-Canada, PSR, GAR) between 1986 and 2014.
This study asked the following questions:
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