Ontario residents are leaving the province, but where are they heading? Statistics Canada (Stat Can) interprovincial migration data for Q2 2021 shows out West, mostly. Here’s where people fleeing Ontario have been heading during the pandemic.
Ontario Lost Over 37,000 People To Other Provinces In Just A Quarter
Ontario residents have been moving in unusually large numbers over the past year. Just over 37,200 people relocated to other provinces in Q2 2021, 61% higher than the previous quarter. Over the past year, over 89,200 people in total have relocated, up 13% from the previous year.
The rate of growth for people leaving Ontario has been higher than it’s population growth. The number of people leaving is still smaller than population growth, meaning the total hasn’t declined. This is still dragging total growth though.
So, where are they heading?
Ontario Interprovincial Migration Outflows By Province
The number of people that left the province of Ontario, and where they went.
Source: Stat Can; Better Dwelling.
BC Is The Number One Destination For Ontarians Relocating Within Canada
British Columbia (BC) is the number one destination for Ontarians relocating within Canada. The province received 9,700 people in Q2 2021, about 26% of the total that left. Over the past year BC received 21,900 people, about 25% of the share of the interprovincial outflows.
Worth a mention is BC has the largest net gain from interprovincial migration in the country. The province isn’t just gaining people, but it’s not losing them. This is going to be an important point for other provinces.
Alberta Is Drawing People From Ontario, Even Though It Lost People To Other Provinces
Alberta was the second biggest winner of people relocating from Ontario. The province received 7,600 people in Q2 2021, about 20% of the total share. Over the past year, Alberta received 18,600 people representing 21% of Ontario’s outflow.
Remember these are not the net change, but just the inflow the province took. Alberta managed to attract a significant share of Ontario’s outflows. It also managed to lose even more people to other provinces though, making it a net loser.
Ontario Interprovincial Migration Share of Outflow
The share each province received from Ontario’s interprovincial outflows.
Source: Stat Can; Better Dwelling.
Quebec Received 1 In 5 People Fleeing Ontario
Quebec managed to attract the third largest share of people fleeing Ontario. The province received 6,800 people in Q2 2021, about 18% of the share of migrants in the quarter. This pushed the number of people over the past year to 17,900 people, or 20% of the total.
An interesting note, the quarterly share is lower than the share over the past year. This implies a trend deceleration, as more people left for other provinces.
Nova Scotia Received 4,700 People From Ontario In A Quarter
Nova Scotia is the fourth largest destination for Ontarians relocating. The quarter saw 4,700 people arrive in Q2 2021, about 13% of the share of Ontario residents relocating. This helped to push the total over the past year to 10,600 people, or 12% of Ontario’s interprovincial outflow.
Nova Scotia is second only to BC when it comes to a net gain for interprovincial migration. The province is both gaining and retaining talent. It had the opposite problem until a few years ago.
People move for various reasons, but generally outflows are bad news. Some think the net change is more important, but that doesn’t tell us much about who’s moving. Interprovincial migrants might be moving from Ontario to Alberta because of the cost of living. But more people might be leaving Alberta due to a lack of employment opportunities. The shuffle happens for various reasons, but seeing an outflow grow is a warning sign.
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