StatsCan: British Columbia saw the largest net gain in interprovincial migration

During the 12-month period ending June 30, 2021, more individuals migrated to Canada’s westernmost province, despite the most catastrophic societal and economic disruption since WWII.

According to new Statistics Canada data, British Columbia experienced the country’s greatest net gain in interprovincial migration over the period, gaining 34,277 persons as a result of more people moving in than out.

This is also the highest net gain in interprovincial migration into BC in 28 years, since approximately 38,000 people moved into the province in 1993/1994.

Due to the pandemic’s impact on migration patterns, the interprovincial migration net gain gap was minimal in the second half of 2020, but there was significant activity in the first half of 2021.

In the first quarter of 2021, 19,270 people moved in and 10,014 people moved out in BC, whereas 31,926 people moved in and 16,636 people moved out in the second quarter of 2021.

In the first quarter of 2019, 12,865 people moved in and 9,340 people moved out, in contrast to the patterns before the pandemic, and 21,24 people moved in and 15,113 people moved out in the second quarter of 2019.

In comparison to other provinces, BC’s economic and job growth recovery from the pandemic has fared very well, which is likely one of the main drivers for the population shift.

Alberta lost more people to other provinces than it gained in each of the four quarters of the same 12-month period ending in June 2021, with the largest discrepancy occurring in the second quarter of 2021, when 23,639 individuals moved in and 29,086 moved out.

Alberta lost more people to BC than any other province between 2020 and 2021, with 31,232 people going to BC, followed by 16,315 to Ontario.

Except for the third quarter of 2020, each quarter leading up to June 2021 shows a decrease in interprovincial migration in Ontario.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, 12,125 people moved in and 12,197 people moved out of Ontario, 17,205 people moved in and 23,092 people moved out in the first quarter of 2021, and 25,349 people moved in and 37,206 people moved out in the second quarter of 2021.

Between 2020 and 2021, BC and Quebec were the most popular outmigration destinations in Ontario, with 20,728 persons moving to the westernmost province and 16,469 to Quebec.

For three of the four quarters ending in June 2021, Quebec also lost more individuals to other provinces than it gained. The sole quarter in which there was a net gain was the second quarter of 2021, when 10,724 people moved in and 10,098 people went out.

From 2020 to 2021, Ontario was the most popular destination for outmigration from Quebec, with 16,370 people heading to the province, followed by 4,485 to British Columbia.

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