The CIMI is an evidence-based tool used to inform policy, service and program delivery as it relates to immigration and integration in Canada. It does not offer causal evidence of the effectiveness of any particular government policy but can provide valuable guidance in the development of policies and programs.
The CIMI compares immigrants to the Canadian-born population in two ways:
- by looking at various outcomes related to economic, social, civic and democratic participation, and health integration, while adjusting for socio-demographic differences* that allow for more equal comparisons across geographies; and
- through the use of descriptive/unadjusted data (without controlling for socio-demographics) to demonstrate differences between immigrants and non-immigrants per indicator, offering snapshots of integration trends at specific points in time.
* The consistent use of control variables across CIMI models ensures an “apples to apples” comparison of immigrant outcomes across geographies. CIMI socio-demographic control variables include sex, age, knowledge of official languages, education, visible minority status, and occupation. Self-perceived physical and mental health are exceptional controls added to the health dimension model due to their relevance and added value when measuring an individual’s evaluation of their own health.
The CIMI provides rankings based on the gap in integration outcomes between immigrants and the Canadian-born. The smaller the gap between these two groups, the better the region ranks relative to the rest of Canada, and the closer they are to achieving parity. Each rank comes from a score assigned to a region, determined by a regression model. This model ensures that immigrants and the Canadian-born share similar characteristics like age, sex, language, education, occupation, full-time work, and visible minority status.
All rankings should be interpreted with caution. Differences in scores can be minimal in some instances. See the resources page for spreadsheets with all the detailed indicator scores per dimension.
Immigrant integration is a dynamic and multidimensional process. Thus the CIMI is modeled around four integration dimensions (economic, social, civic and democratic participation, and health), allowing for multiple ways to measure successful integration. Indicators offer specific measures within each of these dimensions. For example, employment rate is one indicator used to measure economic integration.
CIMI indicators are carefully selected on the basis of whether they are deemed a reliable measure of immigrant integration. This is determined by a combination of the following factors: concepts around immigrant integration; methodological considerations, including access to reliable data for the regression model across regions; and recommendations from the CIMI Expert Advisory Committee (EAC).
Dozens of indicators were assessed for their feasibility within the CIMI, but have been excluded for various reasons. For example, after considerable reflection, the EAC ultimately determined that home ownership was not a meaningful measure of integration across Canada. It was concluded that successful integration does not depend on whether an immigrant owned or rented their place of residence.
For more details on any indicators of particular interest to you, please feel free to send us your comments.
The overall CIMI rankings are provided in addition to indicator ranks and dimension ranks to assess the overall performance of a Canadian region.
The overall CIMI ranks are based on the dimension scores with the following weights: economic at 40%; social at 30%; civic and democratic participation at 20%; and health at 10%. This CIMI standard weighting was approved by the project’s Expert Advisory Committee. See the methodology overview for more details.
When visiting the rank page, you may change these weights to meet your individual objectives, which will, in turn, alter the overall CIMI rankings.
The CIMI examines the 10 Canadian provinces and 35 selected cities/Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs). The Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon and various cities were excluded from this analysis due to insufficient sample sizes for immigrants. See the methodology overview for more details.
If you do not see your territory or city/ Census Metropolitan Area (CMAs) represented, it is for one of two reasons:
- your region has a low immigrant population count; or
- it does not meet the minimum population criteria to be considered a Census Metropolitan Area (CMA).
Why are there only 20 cities/Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) on the rank page, but more on other pages?
Since the CIMI is a data-driven index, all data sets (Canadian Census, General Social Survey and Canadian Community Health Survey) must have reliable counts of immigrants in each city/CMA. A minimum baseline of 15 immigrants per geography (for the unweighted sample) has been established for a city/CMA to be included in the CIMI. There are thus 35 cities/CMAs in the economic dimension, 20 cities/CMAs in both the social and civic and democratic participation dimension, and 24 cities/CMAs under the health dimension.
The rank page only presents rankings for the 20 cities/CMAs that have ranks for all four dimensions across all time periods when the data is available.
The CIMI is based on national survey responses to Statistics Canada Public Use Micro Data Files and Master data files including the Census, General Social Survey (GSS) and Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS). It covers various geographies over selected time periods (1991-1995, 1996-2000, 2001-2005, 2006-2010, 2011-2015, 2016-2020). See table below:
|CIMI Time Periods||Economic||Social||Civic & Democratic Participation||Health|
|2016 to 2020||Census 2016||—||—||CCHS 2018|
|2011 to 2015||Census 2011||GSS 2013||GSS 2013||CCHS 2014|
|2006 to 2010||Census 2006||GSS 2008||GSS 2008||CCHS 2010|
|2001 to 2005||Census 2001||GSS 2003||GSS 2003||CCHS 2005|
|1996 to 2000||Census 1996||—||—||CCHS 2000/01|
|1991 to 1995||Census 1991||—||—||—|
The CIMI study population is the sub-population determined by a combination of samples from the Canadian Census, General Social Survey, and Canadian Community Health Survey. The sub-population varies depending on the indicator. However, the sub-population for most of the indicators includes those whom are aged 18 to 64 and are Canadian-born or immigrants (non-permanent residents are not included). See the methodology overview for an outline of all CIMI sub-populations.
Multivariate regression analyses are used to model CIMI indicators for each of the four dimensions of immigrant integration (economic, social, civic and democratic participation, and health). This approach allows for equal comparisons between immigrants and the Canadian-born population.
In addition, descriptive/unadjusted data analyses are also used to show the raw difference or gap across all CIMI indicators for immigrants and the Canadian-born population. This descriptive data aims to: complement the multivariate inferential techniques; provide the ability to examine both snapshots and patterns/trends in immigrant integration outcomes over time; and assist in further situating and interpreting ranking outcomes.
All data has been standardized using various weighting and computation techniques in order to ensure reliable outcomes. Various diagnostics were also conducted to ensure data quality. See the methodology overview for more details.
Certain rankings may be missing due to any of the following three reasons:
- data is unavailable (i.e., the survey question does not exist for that particular data cycle);
- the data does not have a high enough immigrant count to support provincial or city-level analyses (below n=15, the minimum baseline of immigrants per geography); or
- the data is of poor quality and/or statistical reliability.
Some geographies have been combined together for certain indicators and time periods because of how the data is reported by the source. This usually occurs due to small population sizes in some regions or for other statistical purposes (e.g., unreliable data in smaller geographies). This is the case in certain time periods for the Atlantic provinces, Sherbrooke-Trois-Rivières, Greater Sudbury-Thunder Bay, Regina-Saskatoon, Kelowna-Abbotsford, Moncton-Saint John, Brantford-Guelph-Barrie, as well as Kingston-Peterborough.
CIMI values may be slightly different from other sources like Statistics Canada because:
- the CIMI only applies to adults aged 18 to 64 who are Canadian-born or permanent residents (non-permanent residents are excluded); and/or
- the CIMI values are either from Statistic Canada’s Public Use Micro Data Files (PUMF) or Master data files depending on availability – there are minor discrepancies between these two data sources.
See the resources page for spreadsheets with notes about the filters and data sources per dimension. Be sure to refer to them carefully when comparing CIMI values with other sources.
Where can I access data on the additional themes that have been incorporated into the new edition of the CIMI?
While the primary level of analysis in the CIMI compares immigrant outcomes to that of the Canadian-born population, you will also find rankings that explore immigrant time of arrival, comparing recent immigrants (those here for 5 years or less) to established immigrants (those here for more than 5 years). You can find this on the resources page, where there is a set of provincial ranks (within all four dimensions) and city/Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) ranks (within the economic dimension).
Intersectionality within the CIMI is also explored through descriptive/unadjusted data around identity markers such as sex, visible minority status, immigrant admission category, as well as immigrant time of arrival across all 22 integration indicators for each time period. This data is accessible from either:
Despite the added value of looking at gender, the CIMI dependent on the availability of Statistic Canada’s datasets, which until date, has only collected information on sex. However, as expected, the 2021 Census questionnaire will collect information on both sex at birth and gender.
Within the social dimension, why do the values for the “number of close friends” indicator change between survey years?
The value seen in 2003 is the average of the following categories of close friends: (i) none; (ii) 1-2; (iii) 3-5; (iv) 6-10; (v) 11-20; and (vi) more than 20. But in 2008 and 2013, Statistics Canada modified the question and so the value displayed is the average of the actual number of close friends. Hence, precaution should be taken when comparing the results across years for this indicator.
Within the social dimension, why do the province of Quebec and its cities/Census Metropolitan Areas (CMA) not have any rankings for the “sense of belonging to Canada” indicator?
The province of Quebec and its cities/CMAs are excluded from this indicator because of the uniqueness of this region within the Canadian context. The historical and political conditions of Quebec has resulted in a lower sense of belonging to Canada amongst its Canadian-born French population. In light of this exceptional situation that knows no equivalent elsewhere in the country, the gap between Quebec’s immigrants and the Canadian-born population around sense of belonging to Canada thereby raises conceptual and empirical issues.
Within the health dimension for 2018, why are there no provincial or city/Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) level ranks for the “self-perceived unmet healthcare needs” indicator?
In 2018, this indicator was only administered in the provinces and cities/CMAs for Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta. Therefore, to ensure equal comparison across geographies, this indicator is excluded from the 2018 health rankings. Note that descriptive/unadjusted data for these provinces and cities/CMAs is still presented if it satisfies all data requirements (data quality, immigrant sample, etc.).
The simulation page is a new feature in this edition of the CIMI. It allows users to view their predicted wages relative to their immigrant or Canadian-born counterpart (whichever applies) once they input their socio-demographic information.
The simulation model is based on linear regressions from the most recent Census (2016). The sample applied to this model includes: the adult population (aged 18 to 64), Canadian-born or immigrants (non-permanent residents are excluded), currently employed, working for wage, salary, tips or commission, and have wages from $1-$200,000. See the methodology overview for more details.