Canadians Hold Mixed Views on the Benefits of Immigration

Two-in-five Canadians aged 35-to-54 would reduce the number of legal immigrants who are allowed to relocate in Canada.

Vancouver, BC [February 5, 2019] – A plurality of Canadians regard immigration in a positive light, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, almost half of Canadians (46%) think immigration is having a mostly positive effect in Canada, including more than half of Quebecers (52%) and Atlantic Canadians (51%).

Conversely, 36% of Canadians believe immigration is having a mostly negative effect in the country, including 42% of Albertans.

“The way in which Canadians currently feel about immigration is related to age,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “While sizeable proportions of residents aged 18-to-34 (55%) and 55 and over (46%) hold positive views, the proportion drops among those aged 35-to-54 (39%).”

While one-in-five Canadians (20%) would increase the number of legal immigrants who are allowed to relocate in Canada, 35% would keep the same levels and 36% call for a decrease.

Canadians aged 35-to-54 are the most likely to urge for a reduction in the number of legal immigrants to Canada (40%) and the least likely to believe an increase is warranted (15%).

A majority of Canadians (55%) believe the hard work and talent of immigrants makes Canada better, while two-in-five (39%) disagree—including 46% of British Columbians.

Half of Canadians (50%) believe immigrants should only be allowed in Canada if they adopt Canadian values—a proportion that rises significantly among Albertans (61%) and residents aged 55 and over (62%).


Results are based on an online study conducted from January 14 to January 17, 2019, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.