Engaging Metro Vancouver's Newcomers

Vancouver Foundation’s 2017 Connect & Engage report shows that Metro Vancouver is full of friendly people and vibrant neighbourhoods. But not everybody shares that sense of belonging. Among the people who sometimes get left out are newcomers: immigrants who have been here for less than ten years.

Meet Vancouver’s newcomers

While almost a third of Metro Vancouver residents were born in another country, the vast majority of Vancouver’s immigrant community have been here ten years or longer. Those who have been here for less than ten years – about 6% of the population we surveyed – face particular challenges with connecting and engaging in the community. In part, that’s because they’re younger and young people experience higher rates of isolation and disconnection.

New and on their own

The vast majority of immigrants have a strong sense of belonging in Canada. But Metro Vancouver’s newcomers don’t experience the same sense of welcome or belonging in their immediate community as their fellow immigrants or the local population at large.

Next door but not connected

Metro Vancouver newcomers volunteer as much as other residents, but they don’t enjoy the same kinds of connections with their immediate community. They’re less likely to know their neighbours’ names or to talk with them regularly.

Welcoming our newest community members

Newcomers may not be as connected to the community, but they want to be! 8 out of 10 newcomers say they want to know their neighbours better, which is even higher than the 7 out of 10 rating for Metro residents overall. A stronger sense of belonging comes with being more embedded in the community, whether that means full-time work, home ownership, or just strong neighbourly connections.


This report is based on data from Vancouver Foundation’s 2017 Connect & Engage report. All data comes from a survey that was administered by Mustel Group and completed online in either English or Chinese by 3,785 Metro Vancouver residents between June 15th and July 7th, 2017. Of these, 228 have lived in the country for less than 10 years: they are the newcomer study population. The final sample was weighted to match Statistics Canada census data on the basis of gender, age, and region of residence.

For more, see vancouverfoundation.ca/connectandengage

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