New Immigrants Seeking New Places: The Role of Policy Changes in the Regional Distribution of Entering Immigrants in Canada

Garnett Picot, Statistics Canada
Aneta Bonikowska, Statistics Canada
Feng Hou, Statistics Canada

Both Canada and the U.S. recently experienced a marked geographic de-concentration of entering immigrants. There has been virtually no research in Canada to determine why the de-concentration of entering immigrants occurred. The objective of this paper is to assess to what extent the changes in immigration selection programs contributed to the regional dispersion of entering immigrants. Using data derived from immigrant landing records and income tax files, this study shows that changes in the types of programs under which immigrants were selected played a critical role for the increases of immigrants in some non-traditional gateway destinations. Meanwhile, changing immigrant source region was an important factor in the move of immigrants away from Toronto and towards Montreal, but played very little role for any other destination. Other factors, such as possibly economic conditions, played a significant role in the changing distribution of immigrants among a number of destinations.

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Presented in Session 199: Immigrant Settlement: From Enclaves to New Destinations