New Statistics Canada study suggests decline in citizenship rate tied to income

OTTAWA—New research from Statistics Canada shows fewer immigrants in Canada have become citizens in recent years, especially those with lower incomes.

The study released Wednesday reveals that between 1996 and 2016 the tendency of recent immigrants to become citizens declined in all income groups.

But for those who had been in Canada between five and nine years and whose incomes were less than $ 10,000, it fell 23.5 percentage points.

Citizenship rates declined the most between 2011 and 2016, a period when the Conservative government of the day was making major changes to the citizenship process, including a massive hike in fees.

The research does not suggest reasons for the decline and the agency says pinning it on any one policy change is impossible.

In the recent federal election, the Liberals promised that if elected they would eliminate the $ 630 citizenship fee, arguing citizenship is a government service, not something people should pay for.

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