Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 104, Issue 7, pp e482–e486 | Cite as

Does Living in a Neighbourhood With Others of the Same Ethnic Background Contribute to Health of Canada’s Immigrant Children?

  • M. Anne GeorgeEmail author
  • Cherylynn Bassani
Quantitative Research



To understand how neighbourhood characteristics affect the health of immigrant children in Canadian cities. We question whether the health of children is influenced by immigrants living in enclaves of people with similar ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.


Two datasets were used: the New Canadian Children and Youth Study (NCCYS) and Statistics Canada census data. The NCCYS comprises children from Hong Kong, the Philippines and Mainland China living in Canada’s largest cities. Logistic regression was used to examine the influence of neighbourhood ethnic concentrations and mean income on health.


Girls were more likely to be reported to have excellent health compared to boys, as were children living in neighbourhoods with lower mean parental education. Children from Hong Kong were less likely to have excellent health compared to the reference group. For the Mainland Chinese group only, there was an inverse relationship between reported health status and the concentration of people from the same ethnic background in the neighbourhood.


The health of children from different ethnic backgrounds is influenced by different social and economic factors. In practice and in research, “immigrants” and even broadly defined cultural groupings, such as “Asian immigrants”, should be considered as heterogeneous.

Key words

Immigrant children child health neighbourhood immigration 



Comprendre l’effet des caractéristiques du quartier sur la santé des enfants immigrants dans les villes canadiennes. Nous nous demandons si la santé des enfants immigrants est influencée par le fait qu’ils vivent dans des enclaves de gens aux antécédents ethniques et socioéconomiques semblables.


Nous avons utilisé deux jeux de données: celles de la Nouvelle Étude canadienne sur les enfants et les jeunes (NECEJ) et celles du Recensement de Statistique Canada. La NECEJ comprend des enfants de Hong Kong, des Philippines et de la Chine continentale vivant dans les plus grandes villes du Canada. Nous avons procédé par régression logistique pour examiner les influences de la composition ethnique du quartier et du revenu moyen sur la santé.


Les filles étaient plus susceptibles d’être déclarées en excellente santé que les garçons, tout comme les enfants vivant dans des quartiers avec un niveau moyen de scolarité parentale inférieur. Les enfants ayant émigré de Hong Kong étaient moins susceptibles d’être en excellente santé que le groupe témoin. Dans le groupe de la Chine continentale seulement, nous avons observé une relation inverse entre l’état de santé déclaré et la concentration de gens de la même ethnie dans le quartier.


La santé des enfants de différents antécédents ethniques est influencée par divers facteurs sociaux et économiques. Dans la pratique comme dans la recherche, les ªimmigrants« et même les groupes culturels au sens large, comme les ªimmigrants asiatiques«, devraient être considérés comme des groupes hétérogènes.

Mots clés

enfants immigrants santé de l’enfant quartier immigration 


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada
  2. 2.Child & Family Research InstituteVancouverCanada
  3. 3.School of Population & Public HealthUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  4. 4.University of Northern British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada
  5. 5.Sociology DepartmentKwantlen Polytechnic UniversitySurreyCanada

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