Sixty-five per cent of Canadian immigrants have a college or post-secondary degree, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center. (J.P. Moczulski/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

U.S. study gives Canada top points for attracting highly skilled immigrants

Canada scored high in many categories in a recently released survey of 12 countries comparing attitudes towards attracting highly skilled immigrants.

Canada is in the first place when it comes to the education levels of its immigrant population. Nearly two-thirds of Canadian immigrants (65 per cent) have a college degree compared to only third in the U.S. (36 per cent), according to according to the new Pew Research Center report released this week.

As of 2015, highly skilled immigrants in Canada numbered 4.4 million, second only to the U.S. which had 14.7 million highly skilled immigrants but with an overall population that is ten times larger than that of Canada.

Canada is in the third place when it comes to attitudes towards encouraging the immigration of highly skilled people. Eight-in-ten Canadian adults (84 per cent) support encouraging highly skilled immigration to Canada, compared to 88 per cent in Sweden, 85 per cent in the UK and 78 per cent in the U.S.

Study co-author and senior researcher Phillip Connor said Canada’s success in attracting highly skilled immigrants can be traced back to the introduction of a largely points-based immigration system with the 1967 Immigration Act.

“For example in the 1970s the United States and Canada had about the same level of its immigrant population that was highly educated,” Connor said in a phone interview with Radio Canada International. “But come 2010 we see that being very different, about 63 per cent in 2010 are highly educated in Canada versus 47 per cent in the United States.”

(click to listen to the full interview with Phillip Connor)

Categories: Immigration & Refugees
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