Educational Attainment among Asian Canadians

Zheng Wu, University of Victoria
Christoph M. Schimmele, University of Victoria

Using 1996 Census data, our study investigates the model minority hypothesis (the notion that Asians are a "successful" minority group in North America) by examining how educational attainment differs between Asian and white Canadians. A major criticism of the model minority hypothesis is that it treats Asians as a homogeneous group, when this population is diverse in numerous respects. Hence, our study disaggregates the Asian population by ethnic group and immigrant status. We also examine educational attainment differences within our selected ethnic groupings. Our results confirm that some Asian ethnic groupings are indeed comparatively successful in terms of educational attainment. However, the model minority hypothesis mischaracterizes the Asian community, for educational attainment varies significantly across and within Asian ethnic groupings. We conclude that factors such as ethnicity, immigrant status, and social class modify educational attainment levels within the Asian Canadian population.

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Presented in Session 121: Demography of Asian Americans and Asian Canadians