Trust: The Secret to Happiness? Exploring Social Capital and Subjective Well-Being among Immigrants

Brittney Wagner, Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY)

Using the 2002 Canadian Ethnic Diversity Survey, this paper examines the relationship between bridging and bonding social capital and immigrant well-being. It extends previous research on immigrant life satisfaction by using a large, diverse, nationally representative sample. Results show that social capital, most notably, trust in neighbors, is positively correlated with well-being among immigrants, above and beyond socio-demographic, human capital, and economic variables. The findings of this study have important implications for the understanding of the role that social capital plays in immigrant life satisfaction and point to the need for trust-building efforts between immigrants and non-immigrants.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Migration and Urbanization; Population, Development and the Environment