Canadians Flee The Country In The Fourth Highest Volume In 73 Years

Canada may have record population growth but what happens if immigrants see the mass exodus of citizens? Statistics Canada (Stat Can) data shows Q3 2023 emigration, or reverse immigration, surged to an unusually high level. Canadians fled the country for a new home in such a large number, a 3 month outflow has only been larger 3 times in the past century. Yikes. 

Canada Sees 4th Largest Outflow of Residents In The Past 73 Years

Canada is losing more and more residents to foreign countries. The latest data shows emigration rose 3% higher to 32,026 people in Q3 2023. That number is astronomical, and hard to appreciate just on its own. Over the past 73 years of data only three years have seen larger quarters—2016, 1967, and 1965. 

Canadian Emigration Has Been Accelerating

The quarterly outflow of Canadians emigrants—those leaving the country to immigrate elsewhere. 

Source: Statistics Canada; Better Dwelling.

The above chart also really highlights this is a recent trend. Starting with the record high exodus in Q3 2016, higher emigration is normalized. Quarterly outflows are roughly 50% higher from that point forward. It’s a recent trend, but important to note this isn’t exclusive to post-pandemic Canada. 

Canadians Are Fleeing At An Unusually Rapid Rate

Canada is set to have a banger of a year when it comes to resident outflows. There were 74,017 emigrants year to date (YTD), already hitting 79% of the total last year. The final quarter of 2023 can come in lower than the previous two years and still print one of the biggest years ever for outflows.  

Canada’s outflows have largely been ignored since record population growth obfuscates it. Most policymakers would point to the net increase as reason to ignore the issue. However, this dismisses an important point that is beginning to surface—if the people most familiar with a country don’t see opportunity, how long can it attract immigrants? 

In short, Canada is being run like a dodgy, fly-by-night credit card company. Its operators don’t really care about losing clients, as long as the inflow of new ones outpaces the old ones. At a certain point though, a reputation develops and turns into a warning for new clients. Canada may have reached that point, with study permit applications declining sharply, indicating future population growth won’t be so robust. 

When a dodgy financial company hits this point, it’s time to shut down and start again. Unfortunately, that’s not really an option for a country. The OECD’s dreary outlook for the country’s per capita output trailing virtually all other advanced economies, is starting to look like the optimistic scenario. 



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  • Mark Bayly 4 months ago

    People with money leaving People with no money coming in Canada is going for the complete bankruptcy option

  • Scott 4 months ago

    If only you were Mayor…

  • Olanrewaju Adedipe 4 months ago

    I am not sure of the reason for a surge in the number of emigrants but one possible cause could be the high cost of living especially in the housing sector, high interest rate and limited opportunities. The authorities need to look at it and find a solution to it.

  • Ron Bruce 4 months ago

    With the outflow of Canadian residents to other Countries, does this mean we’re losing the talent pool simultaneously?

    • Bill 4 months ago

      No. It’s a non-story. I mean the “brain drain/gain” ebbs and flows and I don’t where it is at the moment but our out-migration is way down, on a long and medium-term downward trend. The story doesn’t make any sense (they keep deleting my comments pointing this out). You could say there is an increase over the pandemic period but these ups and downs are not outside the normal variation. The fact is that our out-migration rate is less than half now than it was at the start of the period they’re reporting in the article. The only info you need other than what’s in the article is to know our population at the beginning of the period (1950s) was around 12 million. According to the chart above (stabilized) about 15,000 people were leaving per quarter back then. Now our population is over 330% more but our absolute out-migration is only up 70%. The rate (relative to our population) is down.

    • Julia 4 months ago

      This is so true. Canada has absolutely nothing to offer right now and it costs a fortune to leave in this country. What a waste of energy, time and money. So glad I left !

    • Bryan Ethier 4 months ago

      Most likely.

  • Ron Mueller 4 months ago

    I really don’t blame Canadians for leaving this country with the government that they have elected. JT has whored this country with the help of JS. I love Canada and HATE the government.

  • Jeffry 4 months ago

    The solution is very simple. The government of Canada should drop all visa requirements and let foreigners come in easy. This will surely invigorate the population of Canada.

  • Michael Zacharewicz 4 months ago

    Yes, all thanks to our great overlords. Unbelievable recklessness, negligence if I’ve ever seen it.

  • Emily 4 months ago

    This is not surprising to me, Canada taxes everything and everyone about triple the amount other countries do, and any money making idea is either stomped on by astronomical fees and/or prohibitive legislation. “You’ll own nothing and be happy” Like effing hell I will. Planning my exodus whilst writing this comment. Go ahead, ruin this country more and see what type of people are left here.

  • Nighttrain23 4 months ago

    Is there any data breakdown on demographics?
    With the surge of Boomers retiring I would guess a high number of this outflow are retirees bailing for warmer climes.
    Good for them really, but would mitigate some of the hyperbole above.

  • Camster 4 months ago

    I’m certain many more would like to leave due to harsh winters and COL but other countries immigration regulations prohibit doing so

  • Bill 4 months ago

    The interesting question is what are the financial assets of the people leaving? Are they fleeing Canada’s high taxes on capital?

  • Rodney Kerr 4 months ago

    The biggest outflows have been when the Trudeau’s have been in power. Does that tell you something.

  • Bill 4 months ago

    Where are they going?

  • Leonel 4 months ago

    Those coming in the country are for the most highly skilled but financially struggling where they are. Canada sell the dream of peaceful life which were are all aspiring to.
    Those leaving have other priorities in their life.

  • Richard 4 months ago

    Its horrible living here in Canada. Wish my son would hurry up and finish high school then were out too. We had rental units and multiple businesses. Its just not possible or reasonable to do business in Canada. The people are extremely apathetic. Its sad no one says hello anymore. Its mostly the ignorance of the people around you th

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