ARCHIVED – The Interprovincial Mobility of Immigrants in Canada


This document highlights some of the key findings of analysis carried out on the interprovincial mobility of immigrants and the retention of immigrants, based on data extracted from the Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB). The information presented focuses on the 2006 tax year.

About the data

The IMDB provides the opportunity to examine secondary migration patterns through a unique linkage between the information captured by both the immigration and taxation programs. This linkage allows the identification of immigrants through information provided on their confirmation of permanent residency document at landing and the tracking (on an annual basis) of the location of those immigrants through both the province and postal code information provided on their tax returns.

Immigrant tax filers contained in the IMDB are linked via their permanent resident visa to the taxation system. Immigrants who do not file tax returns (children for example), or for whom the linkage between the immigration and tax system failed, are absent from the database and are not accounted for in the number of movers and non-movers or in the calculation of migration rates presented in this profile. As a result, the actual number of movers and non-movers would be higher than that reported for tax filers. Whether this would alter the migration rates (i.e., the proportion of immigrants moving) is unclear.

The information on mobility presented in this document, represents the difference between an immigrant’s original stated place of destination at the time he or she was admitted as a permanent resident to Canada and his or her place of residence in the 2006 tax year (Province of nomination is also used for tax filers who landed under the provincial nominee program). It should be noted that only those immigrants who were landed in Canada, and are resident and filing taxes are included in any calculation of migration rates. That is to say that those immigrants who leave the country or do not file a tax return in the year of observation are not accounted for in any calculations.

Report content

This report is split into three sections (some additional tables are included in the appendix1).

  • The first section of this report provides general findings on the patterns of interprovincial mobility and retention of immigrants who landed in Canada from 1991 to 20062.
  • The second section of this report provides general findings on the patterns of interprovincial mobility and retention of immigrants who landed in Canada from 2000 to 2006, and includes analysis based on the category in which they were admitted into Canada.
  • The third section reports on key findings related to filers who landed in Canada (from 2000 to 2006) under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). 

In light of the significant number of immigrants who were admitted into Canada under the PNP3 since 20004 and the analysis of mobility by immigration category, it was essential to examine the mobility patterns of more recent cohorts of immigrants in the second section of this report.


1: Due to rounding, figures may not always add to total shown or discussed in the text.
2: Statistics are based on cohorts 1991 to 2006 inclusively. Data limitations prevent the inclusion of previous cohorts.
3: Note that PNP tax filers were analyzed via examining province of nomination, province of destination on landing and province of residence in 2006 tax year.
4: Including previous cohorts would bias mobility measures and limit the comparability between immigration categories.

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