Return and Onward Migration Among Working Age Men

One-third of working age male immigrants leave Canada within 20 years of their arrival, according to a study by Statistics Canada.  And 60 per cent of those who leave do so within the first year.

Return and Onward Migration Among Working Age Men” examined men who immigrated to Canada between 1981 and 1996 and who were aged 25 to 45 at the time of arrival.

Those admitted to the country under the business and skilled worker classes were most likely to leave, found the study. About four in 10 of the newcomers who arrived in either of these classes left within 10 years of their arrival, compared to three in 10 of those who came through family reunification and two in 10 of those who came to Canada as refugees.

Country of origin was also a factor, with newcomers from the United States and those from Hong Kong being the most likely to leave Canada, with about half of them leaving within 10 years of arrival. Newcomers from Europe or the Caribbean, in contrast, were about half as likely to leave.

The business cycle also had a strong impact on their decision to leave Canada. For example, immigrants who arrived during the 1990 recession were about 50 per cent more likely to leave than those who arrived during the more favourable labour market conditions of 1986.

Most out-migration appears longer term, but there is a temporary component, as some immigrants seem to arrive, leave, and then return again to Canada. About one in ten leavers return to Canada within 10 years of first arriving.

Read the full report: Return and Onward Migration Among Working Age Men