ARCHIVED – The Interprovincial Mobility of Immigrants in Canada

Immigrants landed from 1991 to 2006

This section examines the mobility and retention of immigrants who landed in Canada from 1991 to 2006, and filed a tax return for the 2006 tax year. The province to which immigrants were originally destined on landing and the province in which they filed their tax return in the 2006 tax year were used in deriving the migration and retention rates presented in this section. (Please refer to Table 1 for details on figures referenced in this section).

Highlights

About 3.7 million immigrants were admitted to Canada as permanent residents from 1991 to 2006, and approximately 2.1 million were captured in the IMDB for the 2006 tax year. Over this period, approximately 296,000 (14%) of these tax filers had moved from their original province of destination (Table 1).

Figure1 : Immigrants found in destination province vs. those found outside destination province (1991 to 2006 landing years)

Immigrants found in destination province vs. those found outside destination province (1991 to 2006 landing years)
Immigrants found in destination province vs. those found outside destination province (1991 to 2006 landing years).
Province Tax filers found in province of  original destination in 2006 tax year Tax filers found outside province of original destination in 2006 tax year
Atlantic 13,115 17,140
Quebec 275,825 74,675
Ontario 1,065,785 99,320
Manitoba 33,825 16,010
Saskatchewan 8,705 9,390
Alberta 122,220 28,610
British Columbia 315,725 51,080
Source: Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB).
  • As evident from the figure above, immigrants originally destined for the Atlantic provinces were more likely to move to other provinces, compared to those originally destined for Ontario.
  • Retention rates for Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec ranged from 91% to 79%, while the Atlantic provinces, Saskatchewan and Manitoba registered retention rates ranging from 68% to 43%.
    • 17,140 immigrants moved from the Atlantic provinces by the 2006 tax year, giving the Atlantic provinces a retention rate of 43%. A similar pattern was observed in Saskatchewan, with an out-migration of 9,390 tax filers and with in-migration of only 2,930 (retention rate 48%).  Approximately 16,000 tax filers moved out of Manitoba, with a little over 5,000 moving in (retention rate 68%).
  • Based on the population of immigrants who filed taxes in 2006, in a province other than the one to which they were originally destined, Alberta registered the highest proportional in-migration rate with 37% more immigrants moving in than were destined there. This was reflective of the mobility in the general population and this finding was echoed in a report by Statistics Canada which stated that in 2006, “Alberta posted a record high net interprovincial migration”5.
  • With a positive net change rate of 18% Alberta led the way as the highest proportion of immigrants originally destined for other provinces moved to Alberta.  British Columbia and Ontario also posted positive net change values of 8% and 1%, respectively.
  • On the other hand, the Atlantic provinces, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec experienced higher proportional outflow than inflow6 of interprovincial immigrant movers, posting negative net change values (-40%, -36%, -21% and -13%, respectively).
    • Of the immigrants who were originally destined for the Atlantic region, 57% had moved out by the 2006 tax year, and just 17% more than were originally destined there moved in.
    • 52% of immigrants originally destined for Saskatchewan had moved out by the 2006 tax year, compared with just 16% more than were originally destined for Saskatchewan moving in. Similarly, Manitoba and Quebec registered a higher proportion of immigrants moving out than moving in, with proportions of those moving out at 32% and 21% respectively.
Table 1: Immigrants landed from 1991 to 2006 (2006 tax year).
Province Destined at landing Out-
migration
Destined and resident in 2006 In-
migration
Resident in 2006 Retention
rate
(%)
Net
change
(%)
Atlantic 30,255 17,140 13,115 5,120 18,235 43.4 -39.7
Quebec 350,500 74,675 275,825 29,715 305,540 78.7 -12.8
Ontario 1,165,105 99,320 1,065,785 113,780 1,179,565 91.5 1.2
Manitoba 49,835 16,010 33,825 5,360 39,185 67.9 -21.4
Saskatchewan 18,095 9,390 8,705 2,930 11,635 48.1 -35.7
Alberta 150,830 28,610 122,220 56,125 178,345 81.0 18.2
British Columbia 366,805 51,080 315,725 80,045 395,770 86.1 7.9
Source: Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB).

Notes

5: Statistics Canada. 2006. “Canada's population”. The Daily, September 27, 2006. Ottawa.
6: Proportional inflow and outflow rates are derived relative to the population of immigrants originally destined for a given province.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: