Govt-sponsored Syrian refugees younger, less educated than privately sponsored

OTTAWA — A snapshot of the first large group of Syrian refugees arriving in Canada finds those the government sponsored are less educated, less likely to speak English or French and had more trouble finding a job.

Statistics Canada today has a census-based analysis of the first 25,000 Syrian refugees who arrived between January 2015 and May 2016.

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Slightly more than half of those refugees were sponsored by the federal government directly, with the rest being sponsored by private organizations such as community groups, churches and individual Canadians.

Among the adults between 20 and 59 years old, the analysis says less than one-third of government-sponsored refugees had completed high school, and less than one in five spoke either English or French.

For privately sponsored refugees, two-thirds of adults knew at least one official language, nearly three-quarters had a high school diploma and one-quarter had a university degree.

Syrians sponsored privately found work faster, with more than half who arrived in 2015 working by the time the census was taken in the spring of 2016.

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