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News > Urban Futures News for Friday, June 19, 2015

Urban Futures News for Friday, June 19, 2015

posted on 3:09 PM, June 19, 2015

Mobility & Migration: BC recovers while Alberta defies oil expectations

Published on Jun 18, 2015

The most recent release of population data from Statistics Canada’s Quarterly Demographic Statistics publication shows that BC continues to recover from a long stretch of net interprovincial out-migration.

For the fifth consecutive quarter, more people came to BC from other provinces than moved in the other direction, with the province gaining 3,806 people through interprovincial mobility in Q1 2015.

On the international front, 2,315 net new residents came to BC from other countries in Q1 2015. While this compares favourably to the 3,145-person net loss in Q4 2014 (which was driven by a significant outflow of non-permanent residents), the most recent level of net international migration is still well below BC's historical average, which is in the range of 7,000 to 8,000 net international migrants during Q1 of each year.

Another highlight of the migration data was the 6,732 net new interprovincial migrants who called Alberta home in early 2015. It seems that Alberta, to this point, has defied expectations of a collapse in employment and migration levels despite persistently low oil prices. Alberta also grew through net international migration (even though they lost 5,896 non-permanent residents, on a net basis, between January and March), welcoming the second-largest number of immigrants (8,187) in a Q1 in the province's history. The latest information from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey supports these mobility data, as Alberta's employment in May 2015 was only marginally below the previous month's level (-0.3%); furthermore, it was actually above the level seen both at the end of 2014 (+0.3%) and in May 2014 (+1.7%).

It is interesting to note that while BC was the source of a significant number of Alberta’s interprovincial migrants in Q1 2015 (5,880, behind only the 7,495 from Ontario), BC did manage to attract almost 7,000 interprovincial migrants from Alberta. (Can you blame them for moving? Wink.) 

Take a look at our latest interactive map that contains a whole lot more population data from Q1 2015 and earlier.