Individual and Contextual Effects on the Educational Attainment of the First, Second, and Third Generations in Canada

Rennie Lee, University of California, Los Angeles

Whether immigrants and their children achieve high or low levels of educational attainment depends on a combination of factors. Educational attainment is largely determined by individual characteristics and the contextual environment that children grow up in. This paper asks, what is the effect of individual, coethnic community, and national origin group characteristics on the educational attainment of the first, second, and third generations in Canada? I use nonpublic data from Statistics Canada’s 2002 Ethnic Diversity Study (EDS), 1990 and 2001 Canadian Census, and publicly available data from UNESCO and the World Bank. Ordinal logistic regression analyses suggest that the first, second, and third generations in Canada undergo different educational processes. The first generation benefits from connections to the coethnic community, above and beyond the family. For the second and third generations, connections to the coethnic community is less influential and educational attainment is shaped by the socioeconomic characteristics of parents.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Economy, Labor Force, Education and Inequality