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March 2015

The Changing Trends Of Canadian Immigration

Published: Friday 20 March 2015

Since the turn of the Millennium there has been a clear change in the destinations in which new immigrants to Canada wish to settle, a new study shows. While almost half of all new immigrants to Canada in 2000 planned to settle in Toronto, by 2012, that proportion had fallen to less than one in three. The noughties saw a rising share of new arrivals, instead, opting for other destinations, particularly locales on the Prairies. The Statistics Canada study, released earlier this week, suggested several possible reasons for the shift, including changes in the programmes through which immigrants entered Canada, changes in the source countries from which they arrived, as well as changes in relative regional economic performance. The study specifically examined changes in both intended and actual settlement destinations of new immigrants. Between 2000 and 2010, the share of new immigrants intending to settle in Toronto declined from 48 per cent to 33 per cent, while the share intending to settle in Montréal increased from 12.5 per cent to 16.6 per cent. In the West, the share intending to settle in Alberta increased from 6.3 per cent to 11.6 per cent, the share intending to settle in Manitoba increased from 2 per cent to 5.6 per cent and the share intending to settle in Saskatchewan increased from 0.8 per cent to 2.7 per cent. The share intending to settle in Vancouver declined from 14.6 per cent to 13.3 per cent. Shifts in the actual destinations of new immigrants were broadly similar to shifts in their intended destinations. The programmes through which new immigrants entered Canada changed during the 2000s and had implications for settlement patterns. In particular, the share entering through Provincial Nominee Programmes increased from less than 1 per cent in 2000 to 13 per cent in 2010, with this most evident in the western provinces. The source countries from which immigrants arrived also changed, with different groups varying in the extent to which they settled in locations such as Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver or other communities. Between 2000 and 2010, changes in the use of immigration programmes and in source countries accounted for approximately 40 per cent of the decline in the share of new immigrants settling in Toronto. In Montréal, changing immigration programmes reduced the share of new immigrants settling there, but this was offset by an increase associated with changing source countries. Changing immigration programmes, particularly Provincial Nominee Programmes, accounted for virtually all of the increase in the share of new immigrants settling in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and for much of the increase in smaller communities in Alberta. However, changing immigration programmes and source countries did not account for much of the increases in the shares of new immigrants settling in Calgary and Edmonton. Find out more about Canada, including property prices, lifestyle, interesting facts and more!