New immigrants to Canada are generally healthier than the Canadian-born population. However, few studies of the healthy immigrant effect have examined mental health outcomes, especially by immigrant admission category.
A new study by Statistics Canada and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada was released today in Health Reports. It is the first that uses newly linked immigrant landing data with health survey data to examine the mental health of immigrants by admission category and other immigration characteristics (e.g., source region and duration since landing) at the national level.
The results show that, among immigrants, self-reported mental health status varies based on region of origin and amount of time in Canada, even after controlling for socio-economic and demographic factors. Immigrants who arrived within 10 years of the survey, for example, were more likely to report high levels of self-reported mental health, while those who had been in Canada for 10 years or more reported lower levels of mental health, similar to their Canadian-born counterparts. These results support the healthy immigrant effect and its loss over time in the area of mental health.