Americans Moving to Canada at 30-Year High

The number of Americans admitted to Canada last year reached a 30-year high, with a 20 per cent increase over the previous year and nearly double the number that arrived in 2000.

The results of a survey, conducted by the Association for Canadian Studies, also revealed that the so-called “brain drain” of Canada appears to be narrowing.

The survey found that 10,942 Americans came to Canada in 2006, compared to just over 9,262 in 2005. In 2000, 5,828 came to the country.

While twice as many Canadians went to the States than Americans came to Canada, that ratio diminished between 2005 and 2006.


punditman says: It is impossible to tell from the article above, how many of this new wave of Americans moving to Canada are political refugees. However, it stands to reason that this is certainly a factor in the increased numbers–post 2004 election, when there was much talk in the media of this phenomenon picking up steam if Bush “won” again.

Looks like it is happening…

On the other hand, the reason Canadians still go to the United States is quite simple: economic. This is the so-called brain drain amongst professionals that has been going on for decades. They perceive they can make more money and pay less taxes, although the evidence is inconclusive. The fact is the US economy is simply bigger and people go where the opportunity is, or where head office tells them to go. What is not clear is how many of these folks on either side of equation eventually return home.

Here is an interesting factoid: Microsoft recently announced that it would be opening offices in Vancouver, largely due to the fact that Canadian visa laws are far less stringent than American ones. It is easier to employ foreign workers in Canada than it is in the United States.

This clear trend of more Americans emigrating to Canada echoes what happened in the 1960s. The total number of American citizens who moved to Canada during the Vietnam War era was about 125,000. If you divide that number by 10 years (of war), then you get about 12,500, so the 2006 number of almost 11,000 looks like it is approaching these old averages. Surprise, surprise!