Immigrant Retention Trends

Understanding Immigrant Retention Trends Across Canadian Provinces

Immigrating to Canada is a life-changing decision for many individuals seeking better opportunities and quality of life. However, beyond the initial excitement of moving to a new country, it’s essential to understand the long-term trends in immigrant retention rates across different provinces. These insights provide valuable information for policymakers, service providers, and newcomers themselves.

1. Provincial Variation in Immigrant Retention Rates

The latest data from Statistics Canada’s 2022 Longitudinal Immigration Database offers insights into immigrant retention rates across Canadian provinces. Notably, the Atlantic provinces, including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador, have seen an increase in retention rates. In contrast, the prairie provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba experienced declines.

Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta lead the way with the highest five-year retention rates for newcomers who arrived in 2016, surpassing 84%. Ontario stands out with an impressive retention rate of 93.1%. However, Saskatchewan and Manitoba witnessed significant drops in retention rates for immigrants landing between 2012 and 2016.

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2. Importance of Immigrant Retention

Immigration plays a crucial role in Canada’s population growth, especially as the native population ages and fertility rates decline. Understanding immigrant retention rates helps policymakers develop strategies to attract and retain newcomers, ensuring they contribute effectively to Canada’s economy and society.

3. Analyzing Data from the Longitudinal Immigration Database

The Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB) provides valuable insights into immigrant retention rates one year and five years after admission. This data allows for a comprehensive analysis of settlement patterns and trends among immigrant cohorts.

4. Trends in Immigrant Retention Rates by Province and Admission Category

Among immigrants admitted between 2012 and 2016, those intending to reside in Ontario, British Columbia, or Alberta were more likely to stay in those provinces five years after admission. Quebec also boasted a high five-year retention rate, reflecting its attractiveness to newcomers.

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However, the prairie provinces and territories experienced declines in five-year retention rates, indicating challenges in retaining immigrants in those regions. New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island saw improvements in their retention rates, while Newfoundland and Labrador witnessed a notable increase in one-year retention rates.

5. Retention Rates by Admission Category

Family-sponsored immigrants and refugees consistently had the highest five-year retention rates, highlighting the importance of family ties and support networks. Economic immigrants, particularly those admitted through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and skilled worker programs, faced challenges in long-term retention.

6. Short-Term Retention Trends

Examining one-year retention rates provides insights into short-term settlement patterns. While Alberta and Manitoba showed stability in one-year retention rates, Saskatchewan experienced a decline. In the Atlantic provinces, one-year retention rates for skilled immigrants have shown an upward trend, especially with the introduction of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) in 2017.

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Analyzing immigrant retention trends is crucial for understanding settlement patterns, addressing regional disparities, and enhancing integration efforts. By leveraging data from the Longitudinal Immigration Database, policymakers can develop targeted strategies to support immigrant communities and ensure their successful integration into Canadian society. 

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