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Income Polarization in Toronto - The Three Cities study

Memph

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No idea how accurate or comparable those listed sources in the article are (in many cases the knowledge of English could be only having learned it a few years in school the way many Anglos in Canada learn a little French, or overestimates based on self-rated perceptions), but according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_English-speaking_population, China has only 5% who know English and India 12%, while Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nigeria and Hong Kong are in the 40s and 50s % range of English speakers and Philipines in the 90s % (it was occupied and ruled by the US at one point after all).

West Indians who have been English-speaking for generations are native English speakers (with a local variant of English often being a creole but nonetheless no less a native tongue) while some of those other colonies might only have either English learning in school as a second language or cursory knowledge of it. But of course immigrants are not representative of the populace of the home country but often more educated.

So I would think you'd be right that Scarborough's higher Chinese population probably accounts for much of the trend. For some reason I'd had thought Hong Kongers made up most of the Chinese in Scarborough (maybe that's an outdated view based on what it was like in the 90s).

Also I notice that Asian Torontonians' socio-economic demographics differ compared to the stereotype south of the border. In the US, you hear about this thing where Asian Americans are assumed to be wealthy and get called a "model minority" but I don't think that's as much of a thing here. In US cities, you would not often have the "Asian" part of town be a poor area.
The poor areas of US cities are also much poorer though, and Latinos and Blacks are poorer than minorities in Canada (and more numerous) so maybe Asians partly just look good by comparison in the US.

And the US doesn't have many areas that are predominantly Asian outside of NYC, LA and the Bay Area.

Examples of Asian parts of US cities that are at least somewhat poor would be Elmhurst and Flushing in Queens; Sunset Park, and to a lesser extent areas south of there in Brooklyn; Journal Square in Jersey City; Chinatown in Manhattan; southern Sacramento - sort of, it is the poorest part of town and the most Asian, but Asians aren't dominant, but still about 30-40% and more numerous than anywhere else in Sacramento; Koreatown in LA; SW Seattle. The Asian enclaves in suburban LA, suburban NJ and Sugar Land, TX are more middle class to upper middle class. The Bay Area seems to have a mix but probably skewing more middle to upper middle class.

And while Toronto does have low income Asian enclaves, other Asian enclaves like northern Markham and adjacent parts of Richmond Hill, and parts of Mississauga, are much more middle income.

BTW I'm surprised there's such a big difference between India and Sri Lanka/Pakistan. I also didn't expect Filipinos to speak English in such large number since they do after all have their own languages just like India.
 

Memph

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So I would think you'd be right that Scarborough's higher Chinese population probably accounts for much of the trend. For some reason I'd had thought Hong Kongers made up most of the Chinese in Scarborough (maybe that's an outdated view based on what it was like in the 90s).
Don Valley North (NE corner of North York) also has a large Chinese population which is about 3-4 mainlanders to each Hong Konger.

However, the ratios are different in northern Markham and Richmond Hill, in those areas it's about 1 mainlander to each Hong Konger, so it seems like the wealthier, more established Hong Kong immigrants have largely moved on to newer and more upscale suburbs to the north.
 

wild goose chase

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The poor areas of US cities are also much poorer though, and Latinos and Blacks are poorer than minorities in Canada (and more numerous) so maybe Asians partly just look good by comparison in the US.

And the US doesn't have many areas that are predominantly Asian outside of NYC, LA and the Bay Area.

Examples of Asian parts of US cities that are at least somewhat poor would be Elmhurst and Flushing in Queens; Sunset Park, and to a lesser extent areas south of there in Brooklyn; Journal Square in Jersey City; Chinatown in Manhattan; southern Sacramento - sort of, it is the poorest part of town and the most Asian, but Asians aren't dominant, but still about 30-40% and more numerous than anywhere else in Sacramento; Koreatown in LA; SW Seattle. The Asian enclaves in suburban LA, suburban NJ and Sugar Land, TX are more middle class to upper middle class. The Bay Area seems to have a mix but probably skewing more middle to upper middle class.

And while Toronto does have low income Asian enclaves, other Asian enclaves like northern Markham and adjacent parts of Richmond Hill, and parts of Mississauga, are much more middle income.

BTW I'm surprised there's such a big difference between India and Sri Lanka/Pakistan. I also didn't expect Filipinos to speak English in such large number since they do after all have their own languages just like India.
Don't know about city-level stats, but it does seem like Asian Americans are proportionally wealthier than Asian Canadians. Asian Americans are actually wealthier than European Americans https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Asian_Americans#Income. This is not the case in Canada it seems where the visible minorities besides Japanese have incomes slightly below the average of those of non-visible minorities http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/dp-pd/dt-td/Rp-eng.cfm?LANG=E&APATH=3&DETAIL=0&DIM=0&FL=A&FREE=0&GC=0&GID=0&GK=0&GRP=0&PID=106746&PRID=0&PTYPE=105277&S=0&SHOWALL=0&SUB=0&Temporal=2013&THEME=98&VID=0&VNAMEE=&VNAMEF. Canadian visible minorities' incomes seem much closer to each other. How close Black, Latin American, South Asian, East Asian Canadian incomes are to each other are a stark contrast to the big income gaps in the US.

Regarding the English language stats of India vs. the other South Asian countries, assuming that the stats for those countries are comparable rather than having some over or under-rate their English ability, I wonder if its an effect of smaller population (though Pakistan is still huge in absolute terms) in those countries making a higher share of the population being in contact with British administration?
 
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Memph

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Don't know about city-level stats, but it does seem like Asian Americans are proportionally wealthier than Asian Canadians. Asian Americans are actually wealthier than European Americans https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Asian_Americans#Income. This is not the case in Canada it seems where the visible minorities besides Japanese have incomes slightly below the average of those of non-visible minorities http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/dp-pd/dt-td/Rp-eng.cfm?LANG=E&APATH=3&DETAIL=0&DIM=0&FL=A&FREE=0&GC=0&GID=0&GK=0&GRP=0&PID=106746&PRID=0&PTYPE=105277&S=0&SHOWALL=0&SUB=0&Temporal=2013&THEME=98&VID=0&VNAMEE=&VNAMEF. Canadian visible minorities' incomes seem much closer to each other. How close Black, Latin American, South Asian, East Asian Canadian incomes are to each other are a stark contrast to the big income gaps in the US.

Regarding the English language stats of India vs. the other South Asian countries, assuming that the stats for those countries are comparable rather than having some over or under-rate their English ability, I wonder if its an effect of smaller population (though Pakistan is still huge in absolute terms) in those countries making a higher share of the population being in contact with British administration?
Re minority incomes: interesting, it's actually quite different from what I expected. Chinese are actually lower income in Canada than many other minority groups, median per capita incomes are lower than for South Asians, Filipinos, Latin Americans, blacks, First Nations ancestry, Metis ancestry, Inuit Ancestry, southeast Asians and Japanese. West Asians, Koreans and Arabs have lower per capita incomes. I did not expect Koreans would have the lowest incomes of any minority group.

I suspect the prevalence of English in former colonies probably had at least partly to do with how fractured they were prior to colonization.

If the former country did not have a common language prior to colonization and was fractured with a bunch of different nations/language/cultural groups, it would make sense if English takes over as the common language. But Pakistan and India both have Urdu/Hindi as an alternative to English for a common language, so that doesn't explain it.
 

wild goose chase

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And the US doesn't have many areas that are predominantly Asian outside of NYC, LA and the Bay Area.
Another thing that Toronto has that many US cities don't is parts of the city that have both Black and South Asians. In Brampton, NW Toronto, eastern Scarborough, you find these communities (and there is often even a shared culture based on the West Indies, where you can have people of Black and South Asian descent).

However, in the US, you'd be hard-pressed to find communities like that. In Chicago, for instance, South Asian and African American communities are pretty much at opposite ends of the city.
 

wild goose chase

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Re minority incomes: interesting, it's actually quite different from what I expected. Chinese are actually lower income in Canada than many other minority groups, median per capita incomes are lower than for South Asians, Filipinos, Latin Americans, blacks, First Nations ancestry, Metis ancestry, Inuit Ancestry, southeast Asians and Japanese. West Asians, Koreans and Arabs have lower per capita incomes. I did not expect Koreans would have the lowest incomes of any minority group.

I suspect the prevalence of English in former colonies probably had at least partly to do with how fractured they were prior to colonization.

If the former country did not have a common language prior to colonization and was fractured with a bunch of different nations/language/cultural groups, it would make sense if English takes over as the common language. But Pakistan and India both have Urdu/Hindi as an alternative to English for a common language, so that doesn't explain it.
That definitely breaks some stereotypes and I was surprised to see the numbers for the first time too. In the US, the "Asian model minority" stereotype, which existed as early as the 60s is sometimes said to have driven a wedge between African Americans and Asian Americans as a coalition of minorities. But I still see discussion about the model minority image in Canada (like that time years back when it was discussed in Maclean's, discussion of that "Tiger Parent" thing), so I wonder what accounts for those stats not matching perception or depictions in mass media?

Even an image that applies to one part of the country (Chinese being wealthy in Vancouver) does not appear to hold nationwide (though if the claim is about foreign Chinese who are non-residents being wealthy and not local Chinese Canadians it might explain it).
 
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Memph

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That definitely breaks some stereotypes and I was surprised to see the numbers for the first time too. In the US, the "Asian model minority" stereotype, which existed as early as the 60s is sometimes said to have driven a wedge between African Americans and Asian Americans as a coalition of minorities. But I still see discussion about the model minority image in Canada (like that time years back when it was discussed in Maclean's, discussion of that "Tiger Parent" thing), so I wonder what accounts for those stats not matching perception or depictions in mass media?

Even an image that applies to one part of the country (Chinese being wealthy in Vancouver) does not appear to hold nationwide (though if the claim is about foreign Chinese who are non-residents being wealthy and not local Chinese Canadians it might explain it).
The trend in Vancouver isn't any different than nationwide though, the Chinese there have lower incomes too. So any stereotype of Chinese money is either based off Chinese people with a lot of overseas income and little income within Canada, or the Chinese have a more uneven income distribution. If it was the later, it should show up as a large difference between median and average income. That gap is indeed larger for Vancouver Chinese (and Korean and Japanese) population than for the population as a whole, but not by a huge margin... the gap for West Asians and Arabs is more significant though. So I suspect it's a combination of bigger discrepancies in income, overseas money, and possibly also differences in household types (more grandparents without income?).
 

wild goose chase

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The trend in Vancouver isn't any different than nationwide though, the Chinese there have lower incomes too. So any stereotype of Chinese money is either based off Chinese people with a lot of overseas income and little income within Canada, or the Chinese have a more uneven income distribution. If it was the later, it should show up as a large difference between median and average income. That gap is indeed larger for Vancouver Chinese (and Korean and Japanese) population than for the population as a whole, but not by a huge margin... the gap for West Asians and Arabs is more significant though. So I suspect it's a combination of bigger discrepancies in income, overseas money, and possibly also differences in household types (more grandparents without income?).
I didn't really think about overseas income, but bringing it back to the topic of this thread -- if some immigrants (or non-immigrants for that matter) in Toronto have it not reported, how much does it change what we know or can infer about the three cities study?

Could it mean that some residents of the city are not as poor as suggested with the numbers taken at face value?
 

Memph

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Another thing that Toronto has that many US cities don't is parts of the city that have both Black and South Asians. In Brampton, NW Toronto, eastern Scarborough, you find these communities (and there is often even a shared culture based on the West Indies, where you can have people of Black and South Asian descent).

However, in the US, you'd be hard-pressed to find communities like that. In Chicago, for instance, South Asian and African American communities are pretty much at opposite ends of the city.
US census maps show that the low income minority areas are highly segregated, but areas with lots of minorities that are of more moderate income, or in better locations are more diverse. But maybe that's a more transient trend related to ethnic succession, with the mixing of South Asians and blacks in Toronto it does seem like a more permanent trend.

Although who knows, in 1996, Toronto had almost as many blacks as South Asians and Chinese and almost 3x as many as Filipinos, making up 20.5% of visible minorities and 6.5% of the overall population.

Now they make up 7.2% of the overall population, but only 15.3% of visible minorities, and less than half as numerous as South Asians, which means maintaining a mix of South Asians and blacks in areas with lots of South Asians will be difficult. Maybe some areas will maintain large black populations while South Asians establish new enclaves without as many blacks alongside them (ex Erin Mills, East Brampton, Crescent Town).
 

Memph

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I didn't really think about overseas income, but bringing it back to the topic of this thread -- if some immigrants (or non-immigrants for that matter) in Toronto have it not reported, how much does it change what we know or can infer about the three cities study?

Could it mean that some residents of the city are not as poor as suggested with the numbers taken at face value?
I agree that it is a possible concern, which is why I tried to include as many stats as possible. For example, the working poor map only looks at people that are earning at least $3000 a year, so if it was just a wealthy Chinese man who sent his wife, parents and children to live in Canada and then sent them money, bought them a house, etc, they wouldn't count as working poor if they are not working. North Scarborough and adjacent parts of Markham have high rates of working poor, higher than anywhere else in Toronto. Levels of crowding are also pretty high, which you would not expect if they had a lot of foreign money to buy real estate with.
 

wild goose chase

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Black and South Asian communities living side by side is one way Toronto is more like British cities like London than US cities.

A popular BBC comedy TV show in the early to mid 90s (often compared to its similar contemporary American show In Living Color) featured a Black and (South) Asian cast.
 
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King of Kensington

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In most US cities, the South Asian population is dominated by affluent Indian American Hindus. The exception is NYC with its large working class Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indo-Caribbean populations.
 
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wild goose chase

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I know that on the West coast of the US as in Canada, there were Sikh immigrants as early as the 19th century, but while in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, it lead to the growth of larger communities later on post-1960s, I don't think any US cities have Sikhs or Punjabis dominating the South Asian community to the extent Canadian cities have. I've heard about the California communities but even so, I get the impression BC still maintained that character much more (for one, the province has Sikhism as the largest non-Christian religion, a demographic I think is unmatched in the West). I have no idea if BC's Sikh community later influenced or set the stage for the Western GTA Sikh community, since the GTA still has more Sikhs proportionally than you'd expect relative to South Asian American communities.

Also, African Americans have obviously a different history than most Black Torontonians who tend to be first and second generation Canadians, so to make a more similar comparison, would you expect say, African immigrants or first/second generation African Americans to live closer to first/second generation Asian American communities, since both likely immigrated under the same time and situations? For instance, though Chicago's African American population and South Asian one are at opposite sides of the city geographically, you do see somewhat new African immigrants (Ethiopians, Somalians etc.) in the North part of Chicago nearer the South Asian community.
 
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