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Problematic Post-landing Migration of the Immigrants in Canada: From 1980-82 through 1992-95

Publication Abstract

Liaw, Kao-Lee, and Lei Xu. 2005. "Problematic Post-landing Migration of the Immigrants in Canada: From 1980-82 through 1992-95." Journal of Population Studies (Taiwan), 31, 105-152.

Based on the tabulations of the IMDB (a data system created by Statistics Canada by linking the landing records and income tax records of immigrants), this paper studies the post-landing interprovincial migration of the immigrants in Canada during all 3-year periods from 1980-83 to 1992-95. Our main findings are as follows.

Newly landed immigrants in Canada were much more prone to making long-distance migration soon after landing than were Canadian-born individuals and immigrants who had resided in Canada for five or more years. Their post-landing migration led to a further concentration of the immigrant population in Ontario and British Columbia, which already had more than their “fair” shares of immigrants at the time of landing. This further concentration of the relocating immigrants is considered to be problematic in the sense that it contributed to the weakening of the political powers of the economically weak provinces. With respect to immigration classes, the interprovincial net transfer was much stronger for those in the investor, entrepreneur, and refugee classes than for those in the family and assisted relatives classes. Unlike the very strong educational selectivity in the interprovincial migration of the Canadian-born that resulted in not only a net loss of migrants but also a decrease in the quality of human resources in the economically weak provinces, the educational selectivity in the interprovincial migration of the new immigrants within the first three years after landing turned out to be rather weak and somewhat irregular. Although this finding suggests that the post-landing migration of the immigrants was less detrimental to the quality of the human resources of the economically weak provinces than was the interprovincial migration of the Canadian-born, we expect that as the immigrants stay longer in Canada, the educational selectivity in the internal migration of the immigrants would become more similar to that of the Canadian-born.

The deconcentration and widespread dispersal in the 1995-2000 interstate migration of the immigrants in the United States cannot serve as a harbinger for a general reversal in the interprovincial migration of immigrants in Canada, unless the persistently large gap in economic opportunities between Ontario and British Columbia on the one hand and the economically weak provinces on the other can be significantly reduced. With a strong economic base, Alberta is the only province that is likely to change from a net loser to a long-term net gainer of relocating immigrants.

Countries of focus: Canada, Taiwan, United States of America.

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