86% Of Immigrants Go To Three Provinces

86% of immigrants go to three provinces

CanWest News Service
December 4, 2007

By and large, immigrants choose the provinces of Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia as their new homes, according to a report on immigration made public by Statistics Canada yesterday.

Using data from the 2006 census, the statistics agency said those three provinces received close to 86 per cent of immigrants who arrived since 2001.

In fact, Ontario and British Columbia were home to a higher share of foreign-born and recent immigrants than their share of the Canadian-born population, the recent census showed.

In 2006, 38.5 per cent of the total population of Canada lived in Ontario but the province was home to more than one-half of the foreign-born population and one-half of the country's recent immigrants.

Quebec had close to one-quarter of the country's total population and was home to 13.8 per cent of the foreign-born population and 17.5 per cent of recent immigrants.

After Ontario, Quebec was the province that reported the highest share of new immigrants in 2006 who had arrived in the previous five years.

Ontario was still the province of choice for most new immigrants, however, with 52 per cent of the 1.1 million newcomers settling in that province. This was down slightly from the previous cohort of recent arrivals (between 1996 and 2001) when 55.9 per cent of newcomers to Canada settled in Ontario.

Despite the slight dip in recent immigrants, those born outside Canada still represented a good chunk of Ontario's population – 28.3 per cent, the highest proportion of all 10 provinces and the highest in Ontario's history.

British Columbia has the second-highest proportion of foreign-born residents, according to the data. In terms of new immigrants who came to Canada between 2001 and 2006, about 16 per cent chose British Columbia.

A growing share of recent immigrants settled in Alberta and Manitoba in the past five years. The proportion who settled in Alberta rose from 6.9 per cent in 2001 to 9.3 per cent in 2006. After Ontario and British Columbia, Alberta had the next highest proportion of foreign-born among the provinces.

The proportion of newcomers who made Manitoba their home increased from 1.8 per cent in 2001 to 2.8 per cent five years later.