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Study Finds 15% of Immigrants Leave Canada Within 20 Years, Strong Correlation with Education and Birth Country

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Study Finds 15% Of Immigrants Leave Canada Within 20 Years, Strong Correlation With Education And Birth Country

Statistics Canada has released a new study revealing that over 15% of immigrants choose to leave Canada within 20 years of their admission as permanent residents. The study, which examined the emigration patterns of immigrants from 1982 to 2017, also found that 5.1% of immigrants emigrate within the first five years of their admission.

The study suggests that emigration might be due to the challenges immigrants face in integrating into the Canadian labor market or society, rather than simply being a planned decision. Recent immigrants were found to be more likely to emigrate compared to those from older cohorts. It was also observed that emigration is more common between three and seven years after admission, possibly because it takes time for immigrants to establish themselves in Canada.

The study indicates that certain characteristics are strongly correlated with emigration, including having children, admission category, and country of birth. Immigrants born in Taiwan, the United States, France, Hong Kong, or Lebanon, as well as those admitted in the investor and entrepreneur categories, were found to have a higher likelihood of emigrating. In contrast, immigrants from the Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, or Jamaica were less likely to leave Canada. The study suggests that the attractiveness of their home countries or having a larger migration strategy might be factors contributing to these patterns.

Further analysis revealed that immigrants with higher levels of education are more likely to emigrate than those with lower levels of education. Specifically, immigrants admitted under the investor and entrepreneur categories showed higher emigration rates, while those in the caregiver and refugee categories were less likely to emigrate.

The study also found that immigrants who never had children were much more likely to leave Canada than those who did. Additionally, older immigrants had the highest probability of emigrating, with over a quarter of those admitted at age 65 or older leaving within 20 years.

The study emphasizes that emigrants have different characteristics compared to those who choose to stay in Canada. The departure of highly skilled immigrants, who generally have higher levels of education than the Canadian-born population, can have a negative impact on the country’s economic growth.

Don Drummond, an adjunct professor at the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University, sees the study as evidence of Canada’s high retention rates among immigrants. However, he points out the need for better economic integration strategies, such as recognizing foreign credentials more efficiently. Drummond also highlights the housing shortage in Canada, especially in metropolitan areas, which adds to the challenge of accommodating large numbers of immigrants.

The study utilized data from the Longitudinal Immigration Database and various tax files to analyze the socioeconomic status of immigrants after their admission to Canada. Emigration was assessed indirectly due to the lack of a national database specifically measuring the number of people leaving Canada.

This study sheds light on the emigration patterns of immigrants in Canada and provides valuable insights into the factors influencing their decisions to stay or leave the country.

Rachel Adams

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