Amidst the most significant societal and economic disruption since the Second World War, more people migrated to Canada’s westernmost province over the 12-month period ending on June 30, 2021.
Newly released estimates from Statistics Canada show British Columbia saw the country’s largest net gain in interprovincial migration over the period, with the province gaining 34,277 people from seeing more people moving in than moving out.
This also amounts to the largest net gain in interprovincial migration into BC in 28 years, since 1993/1994, when the province saw a jump of nearly 38,000 people.
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The interprovincial migration net gain gap was small throughout the latter half of 2020 due to the pandemic’s impact on migration patterns, but there was significant activity over the first half of 2021.
Statistics for BC show 19,270 people moved in and 10,014 moved out in the first quarter of 2021, while 31,926 moved in and 16,636 moved out in the second quarter of 2021.
In contrast to the patterns before the pandemic, 12,865 moved in and 9,340 moved out in the first quarter of 2019, and 21,24 moved in and 15,113 moved out in the second quarter of 2019.
BC’s economic and job growth recovery from the pandemic has faired relatively well, compared to other provinces, which is likely one of the leading factors for the shift in population.
Over the same 12-month period ending in June 2021, Alberta lost more people to other provinces than it gained in each of the four quarters, with the gap greatest for the second quarter of 2021 when 23,639 people moved in and 29,086 moved out.
Between 2020 and 2021, Alberta lost more people to BC than any other province, with 31,232 moving to BC, followed by 16,315 to Ontario.
Except for the third quarter of 2020, Ontario saw an overall loss in interprovincial migration in each quarter leading to June 2021.
Ontario saw 12,125 people move in and 12,197 move out in the fourth quarter of 2020, 17,205 move in and 23,092 move out in the first quarter of 2021, and 25,349 move in and 37,206 move out in the second quarter of 2021.
BC also led Ontario’s outmigration destination numbers, with 20,728 people moving out to the westernmost province and 16,469 to Quebec between 2020 and 2021.
Quebec also bled out more people to other provinces than it gained for three of the four quarters ending in June 2021. For the only quarter that saw a net gain, the second quarter of 2021, 10,724 people moved in and 10,098 moved out.
From 2020 to 2021, Ontario was the main destination of choice for outmigration from Quebec, with 16,370 leaving for Quebec, followed by 4,485 to BC.