Interprovincial migration in Canada

Interprovincial migration in Canada is the movement by people from one Canadian province or territory to another with the intention of settling, permanently or temporarily, in the new province or territory; it is more-or-less stable over time.[1] In fiscal year 2016–17, 286,932 Canadians migrated province, representing 0.82% of the population.[2]

The Interprovincial migration levels of each province can be constructed as a way to measure the success of each jurisdiction. The main measurement used is net interprovincial migration, which is simply the difference between residents moving out of a province (out-migration) and the number of residents from other provinces moving into that province (in-migration). Since 1971, the provinces which received the most net cumulative interprovincial migrants (adjusted for population) were Alberta and British Columbia, while the provinces which had the largest net loss of interprovincial migrants (adjusted for population) were Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, and the Atlantic provinces.[3]

History

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Canadians who left their home province to settle elsewhere usually went to the United States rather than to other Canadian provinces. In fact, from the early years of confederation to the 1930s, Quebec and the maritimes provinces experienced a period of mass-emigration to the United States. From 1860 to 1920, half a million people left the maritimes,[4] and between 1840 and 1930, about 900,000 French Canadians left Quebec in order to immigrate to the United States, mainly in New England.[5][6]

However, some French Canadians and Maritimers were also drawn to Ontario in the 19th century and early 20th century, when the development of mining and forestry resources in the northeastern and eastern regions of the province attracted a large workforce. This migration significantly increased the proportion of francophones in Ontario.[7] The Francophone population of Ontario continues to be concentrated mainly in the northeastern and eastern parts of the province, close to the border with Quebec, although smaller pockets of Francophone settlement exist throughout the province.

After Manitoba joined Confederation in 1870, the new provincial government was controlled by Anglo Canadians. The agreement for the establishment of the Province had included guarantees that the Métis would receive grants of land and that their existing unofficial landholdings would be recognized. These guarantees were largely ignored. New anglophone migrants coming from Ontario were instead given most of the land. Facing this discrimination, the Métis moved in large numbers to what would become Saskatchewan and Alberta.[8]

Starting in 1871, the Canadian government entered multiple treaties with indigenous nations to gain their consent to take their lands “for immigration and settlement” in the area of the former Rupert’s Land (although many of the treaty terms made to get this consent were subsequently violated by Canada).[9] The Dominion government then passed the Dominion Lands Act in 1872 to encourage the settlement of the Canadian Prairies, and to help prevent the area from being claimed by the United States.[10] The act gave a claimant 160 acres (or 65 hectares) for free, the only cost to the farmer being a $10 administration fee. Any male farmer who was at least 21 years of age and agreed to cultivate at least 40 acres (16 ha) of the land and build a permanent dwelling on it (within three years) qualified.[11] The population of the Canadian prairies grew rapidly in the last decade of the 19th century, and the population of Saskatchewan quintupled from 91,000 in 1901 to 492,000 to 1911.[12] However, the vast majority of these people were immigrants from Europe.[11] Interprovincial migration in Canada was at its highest in the first 20 years of the 20th century, and started to decrease in the 1920s.[13]

Out-emigration from Quebec dramatically spiked in 1977, one year after the Parti Québécois won the 1976 Quebec general elections. It spiked again in 1996, one year after the 1995 Quebec referendum. This second spike was, however, 37.5% the size of the 1977 spike.[3]

Influences

A number of factors have been identified by academic research in influencing interprovincial migration.

Demographic factors

The odds of a Canadian moving from one province to another is inversely related to the home province’s population size: the larger the province, the less likely a resident is to move away. Interprovincial migration is negatively related to marriage, and the presence of children for both men and women. Younger people also tend to be more mobile than their older counterparts. Men are more likely to move than women, although men’s rates of interprovincial migration are declining slightly while women’s are holding steadier or rising slightly.[1]

Interprovincial migration is also more common among residents of smaller cities, towns, and especially rural areas than for residents of larger cities. The largest Canadian population centers (Toronto, Vancouver, Montréal and Calgary) also tend to attract the largest amount of interprovincial migrants, and there is a lot of flow between these cities.[14]

Economic factors

The economic situation of each province is an important indicator of internal migration within Canada. It is more likely for people to move out of a province with higher unemployment rate. Interprovincial migration is also positively related to the individuals’ receipt of unemployment insurance, having no market income, and the receipt of social assistance (especially for men).[1] Canadian provinces also tend to lose more people than they gain when their province is in recession. Alberta, for example, experienced a net loss of people to interprovincial migration from September 2015 to December 2017.[15]

Language

Language spoken is a strong predictor of interprovincial migration. Francophone Quebeckers are among the groups of people which are the least likely to move across provinces.[16] Francophones in New Brunswick are much less likely to move out of province than their anglophone counterparts.[13]

Francophone immigrants living outside Quebec is the group most prone to interprovincial migration, as 9.2% of them move to another province. Over half of Francophones outside Quebec (immigrant and Canada-born) who migrate across provinces choose Quebec as their destination.[16]

Literacy

Literacy used to be a significant indicator of interprovincial migration in Canada in the late 19th and early 20th century. Anglophone Canadians who could read were more likely to move than their illiterate counterparts. For francophone Quebeckers, however, this was the opposite, as literate unilingual francophones were more likely to stay in Quebec than illiterate unilingual francophones. Literacy had, however, no effet on the likelihood of migration of bilingual Quebeckers.[13]

Provincial level

Number of years between 1971 and 2017 that each province and territory had positive interprovincial immigration. Darker shades represent more years.

Alberta

Over the past five decades, Alberta has had the highest net increase from interprovincial migration of any province. However, it typically experiences population decline during economic downturns, as it did during the 1980s.[3] Oil is the main industry driving interprovincial migration to Alberta, as many Canadians move to Alberta to work on the oil fields. Interprovincial migration to Alberta rises and drops dependent of the price of oil. There was a dramatic reduction after the 2014 drop in oil prices.[17][15]

Interprovincial migration in Alberta
In-migrants Out-migrants Net migration
2007–08 84,437 69,120 15,317
2008–09 75,238 62,054 13,184
2009–10 57,958 61,229 −3,271
2010–11 63,975 55,532 8,443
2011–12 80,837 53,185 27,652
2012–13 84,602 46,004 38,598
2013–14 87,307 51,925 35,382
2014–15 81,540 59,946 21,594
2015–16 56,978 72,086 −15,108
2016–17 55,661 70,792 −15,131
2017–18 62,486 61,048 1,438

Source: Statistics Canada[2]

British Columbia

British Columbia has also traditionally been gaining from interprovincial migration. Over the last 50 years, British Columbia had 12 years of negative interprovincial immigration: the lowest in the country. The only time the province significantly lost population to this phenomenon was during the 1990s, when it had a negative interprovincial migration for 5 consecutive years.[3]

Interprovincial migration in British Columbia
In-migrants Out-migrants Net migration
2007–08 57,396 42,753 14,643
2008–09 51,061 41,066 9,995
2009–10 49,469 40,741 8,728
2010–11 47,854 44,433 3,421
2011–12 48,593 51,304 −2,711
2012–13 43,830 45,698 −1,868
2013–14 52,281 42,806 9,475
2014–15 61,026 40,647 20,379
2015–16 63,788 37,215 26,573
2016–17 59,583 43,420 16,163
2017–18 54,854 47,055 7,799

Source: Statistics Canada[2]

Manitoba

Manitoba is one of the provinces most affected by Interprovincial migration, having had a negative mobility ratio for 42 out of 46 years from 1971 to 2017. This is the second-worst record for years of negative interprovincial migration, followed only by Quebec.[3]

Interprovincial migration in Manitoba
In-migrants Out-migrants Net migration
2007–08 12,711 16,414 −3,703
2008–09 11,916 15,027 −3,111
2009–10 11,786 14,198 −2,412
2010–11 11,085 14,602 −3,517
2011–12 11,443 15,655 −4,212
2012–13 9,988 14,994 −5,006
2013–14 9,452 16,303 −6,851
2014–15 10,022 16,700 −6,678
2015–16 10,994 15,875 −4,881
2016–17 10,336 17,242 −6,906
2017–18 10,060 19,259 −9,199

Source: Statistics Canada[2]

New Brunswick

New Brunswick has typically experienced less emigration than its size and economic situation would suggest, probably because of the low rate of emigration of its francophone population.[1] However, New Brunswick is predicted to continue low or negative population growth in the long term due to interprovincial migration and a low birth rate.[18]

Interprovincial migration in New Brunswick
In-migrants Out-migrants Net migration
2007–08 11,677 12,585 −908
2008–09 11,268 11,505 −237
2009–10 10,883 10,312 571
2010–11 10,167 10,325 −158
2011–12 10,044 11,850 −1,806
2012–13 8,517 11,807 −3,290
2013–14 9,055 12,572 −3,517
2014–15 9,184 11,974 −2,790
2015–16 10,248 11,361 −1,113
2016–17 11,105 11,954 −849
2017–18 11,413 11,462 −49

Source: Statistics Canada[2]

Newfoundland and Labrador

Since it started being recorded in 1971, Newfoundland and Labrador is the province that has lost the biggest share of its population to interprovincial migration, which was especially high in the 1990s. Out-migration from the province was curtailed in 2008 and net migration stayed positive through 2014, when it again dropped due to bleak finances and rising unemployment (caused by falling oil prices).[3] With the announcement of the 2016 provincial budget, St. John’s Telegram columnist Russell Wangersky published the column “Get out if you can”, which urged young Newfoundlanders to leave the province to avoid future hardships.[19]

Interprovincial migration in Newfoundland and Labrador
In-migrants Out-migrants Net migration
2007–08 9,759 10,287 −528
2008–09 10,262 8,385 1,877
2009–10 8,998 7,440 1,558
2010–11 7,785 7,755 30
2011–12 8,173 7,628 545
2012–13 7,283 6,788 495
2013–14 6,994 6,760 234
2014–15 7,012 6,851 161
2015–16 6,600 6,368 232
2016–17 5,755 7,709 −1,954
2017–18 5,672 9,328 −3,656

Source: Statistics Canada[2]

Nova Scotia

From 1971 to 2012, Nova Scotia had a persistent negative trend in net interprovincial migration. Combined with a declining birth rate, this poses a significant demographic challenge for the province, as its population is projected to decline from 948,000 people in 2011 to 926,000 people in 2038. The destination for Nova Scotia migrants was most often Ontario, until the turn of the 21st century when Alberta became a more popular destination; New Brunswick ranks as a distant third.[20]

Interprovincial migration in Nova Scotia
In-migrants Out-migrants Net migration
2007–08 15,990 17,784 −1,794
2008–09 15,467 16,218 −751
2009–10 15,172 14,560 612
2010–11 14,553 14,594 −41
2011–12 14,410 17,276 −2,866
2012–13 12,630 16,147 −3,517
2013–14 13,402 15,973 −2,571
2014–15 13,854 16,165 −2,311
2015–16 15,107 14,353 754
2016–17 15,616 14,971 645
2017–18 16,613 13,954 2,659

Source: Statistics Canada[2]

Ontario

Ontario’s interprovincial migrations have shifted over they years. It was negative in the 1970s, positive in the 1980s, but then negative again in the 1990s. It returned to positive figures around the time of the turn of the millennium, was consistently in the negatives from 2003 to 2015, then returned to the positives through 2018. Over the period from 1971 to 2015, Ontario was the province which experience the second-lowest levels of interprovincial in-migration and out-migration, second only to Quebec.[3]

Interprovincial migration in Ontario
In-migrants Out-migrants Net migration
2007–08 61,718 76,468 −14,750
2008–09 57,458 73,059 −15,601
2009–10 59,741 64,403 −4,662
2010–11 58,317 62,324 −4,007
2011–12 60,459 71,070 −10,611
2012–13 54,678 68,579 −13,901
2013–14 57,415 71,979 −14,564
2014–15 62,874 71,569 −8,695
2015–16 71,790 62,713 9,077
2016–17 83,913 58,224 25,689
2017–18 79,927 62,041 17,886

Source: Statistics Canada[2]

Prince Edward Island

Since 1971, Prince Edward Island mostly had years of positive interprovincial migration. However, in the 2010s, it turned to the negative. This interprovincial migration exceeded all immigration to the province in 2015.[21]

Interprovincial migration in Prince Edward Island
In-migrants Out-migrants Net migration
2007–08 2,821 3,112 −291
2008–09 2,522 3,058 −536
2009–10 2,709 2,649 60
2010–11 2,494 2,704 −210
2011–12 2,620 3,238 −618
2012–13 2,294 3,195 −901
2013–14 2,198 3,139 −941
2014–15 2,367 3,049 −682
2015–16 2,874 2,844 30
2016–17 3,268 3,704 −436
2017–18 3,495 3,941 −446

Source: Statistics Canada[2]

Quebec

Since it began being recorded in 1971 until 2018, each year Quebec has had negative interprovincial migration, and among the provinces it has experienced the largest net loss of people due to the effect.[3] Between 1981 and 2017, Quebec lost 229,700 people below the age of 45 to interprovincial migration.[22] Per capita, Quebec has lost significantly fewer people than other provinces. This is due to the large population of the province and the very low migration rate of francophone Quebeckers.[1] However, Quebec receives much fewer than average in-migrants from other provinces.[3]

In Quebec, allophones are more likely to migrate out of the province than average: between 1996 and 2001, over 19,170 migrated to other provinces; 18,810 of whom migrated to Ontario.[23]

Interprovincial Migration Between Quebec and Other Provinces and Territories by Mother Tongue[24]
Mother Tongue / Year 1971–1976 1976–1981 1981–1986 1986–1991 1991–1996 1996–2001 2001–2006 2006–2011 Total
French −4,100 −18,000 −12,900 5,200 1,200 −8,900 5,000 −2,610 −35,110
English −52,200 −106,300 −41,600 −22,200 −24,500 −29,200 −8,000 −5,930 −289,630
Other −5,700 −17,400 −8,700 −8,600 −14,100 −19,100 −8,700 −12,711 −95,011

 

Interprovincial migration in Quebec
In-migrants Out-migrants Net migration
2007–08 20,102 31,784 −11,682
2008–09 20,307 27,726 −7,419
2009–10 21,048 24,306 −3,258
2010–11 19,884 24,647 −4,763
2011–12 20,179 27,094 −6,915
2012–13 16,879 27,310 −10,431
2013–14 16,536 30,848 −14,312
2014–15 16,611 32,753 −16,142
2015–16 19,259 30,377 −11,118
2016–17 22,007 32,766 −10,759
2017–18 22,559 29,320 −6,761

Source: Statistics Canada[2]

Saskatchewan

Interprovincial migration has long been a demographic challenge for Saskatchewan, and it was often said that “Saskatchewan’s most valuable export [was] its young people”.[25] The trend reversed in 2006 as the nascent oil fracking industry started growing in the province, but returned to negative net migration starting in 2013. Most people migrating from Saskatchewan move west to Alberta or British Columbia.[26]

Interprovincial migration in Saskatchewan
In-migrants Out-migrants Net migration
2007–08 20,197 16,026 4,171
2008–09 18,127 15,144 2,983
2009–10 17,237 15,084 2,153
2010–11 16,602 16,057 545
2011–12 19,386 17,508 1,878
2012–13 16,982 16,590 392
2013–14 16,371 18,210 −1,839
2014–15 15,346 19,874 −4,528
2015–16 15,260 19,532 −4,272
2016–17 15,065 20,680 −5,615
2017–18 13,556 22,639 −9,083

Source: Statistics Canada[2]

References

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  2. ^ Jump up to:ab c d e f g h i j k Statistics Canada, table 051-0012: Interprovincial migrants, by age group and sex, Canada, provinces and territories, annual.
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  10. ^Lambrecht, Kirk N (1991). The Administration of Dominion Lands, 1870-1930.
  11. ^ Jump up to:ab“Dominion Lands Act | The Canadian Encyclopedia”. www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  12. ^The history of Saskatchewan’s population Archived 2006-05-19 at the Wayback Machine from Statistics Canada
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  14. ^Amirault, David; de Munnik, Daniel; Miller, Sarah (Spring 2013). “Explaining Canada’s regional Migration Patterns” (PDF). www.bankofcanada.ca. Bank of Canada Review. Retrieved 2018-12-28.
  15. ^ Jump up to:abDecember 21, Jonny Wakefield Updated; 2017 (2017-12-21). “Alberta no longer a loser on interprovincial migration | Edmonton Journal”. Retrieved 2018-12-26.
  16. ^ Jump up to:abImmigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (2017-02-06). “Interprovincial migration of French-speaking immigrants outside Quebec”. aem. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  17. ^“The death of the Alberta dream – Macleans.ca”. www.macleans.ca. Retrieved 2018-12-28.
  18. ^“The Implications of New Brunswick’s Population Forecasts” (PDF). www.nbjobs.ca. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  19. ^Bailey, Sue (19 April 2016). “Exodus? Newfoundland and Labrador’s bleak finances fuel angst for the future”. CBC News. The Canadian Press. Retrieved 2018-12-28.
  20. ^Rashti, Amir Ahmadi; Koops, Adrian; Covey, Spencer (Spring 2015). “The Effects of Capital on Interprovincial Migration: A Nova Scotia Focused Assessment”. Dalhousie Journal of Interdisciplinary Management. 11: 28.
  21. ^Aug 16, Kevin Yarr · CBC News · Posted; August 16, 2016 11:00 AM AT | Last Updated; 2016. “Immigration not keeping pace with people leaving P.E.I. | CBC News”. CBC. Retrieved 2018-12-28.
  22. ^Serebrin, Jacob; July 26, Montreal Gazette Updated; 2018 (2018-07-26). “Quebec losing young people to interprovincial migration, report shows | Montreal Gazette”. Retrieved 2018-12-28.
  23. ^“Net population gains or losses from interprovincial migration by language group, provinces and territories, 1991-1996 and 1996-2001”. Archived from the original on 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
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  25. ^Elliot, Doug (2005). Interprovincial Migration – in the Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Center, University of Regina. pp. 483–484.
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