Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 1659–1680 | Cite as

Life Satisfaction Among Recent Immigrants in Canada: Comparisons to Source-Country and Host-Country Populations

  • Kristyn FrankEmail author
  • Feng Hou
  • Grant Schellenberg
Research Paper


Research examining how changes in life circumstances affect subjective well-being has been dominated by set-point theory. New evidence challenges the assumptions of this theory, indicating that major life events can result in lasting changes to individuals’ life satisfaction. This study examines whether changes in national-level conditions following migration affect the life satisfaction of immigrant groups from different source countries by comparing the average life satisfaction levels of immigrant groups to that of non-emigrants in their source countries. Life satisfaction differences between immigrant groups and the native-born population in Canada are also examined. Results show that migration to a country with improved national-level conditions increases immigrants’ life satisfaction. Most immigrant groups had higher life satisfaction than their source-country counterparts and life satisfaction scores were similar to those of the native-born population. These findings persist when the sample includes immigrants who have resided in Canada for up to 20 years.


Canada Immigrants Life satisfaction Set-point theory Subjective well-being 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social Analysis and Modelling DivisionStatistics CanadaOttawaCanada

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