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BC Net Interprovincial Migration Trending Higher

By Ken Peacock

In the second quarter of2015 BC saw a net inflow of nearly 4,000 people moving here from other Canada jurisdictions.  While this figure is down from the 5000+ net inflow in Q2 of 2014, it is up significantly from the 2012-2013 era. 

Adjusting the data for regular seasonal patterns to allow for a better assessment of recent trends shows a slight uptrend (figure below) in the net inflow of interprovincial migrants to BC.  Considering that our economy is now one of the strongest in the country, a rising inflow of interprovincial migrants is not surprising.  However, with Alberta likely in a recession, it is odd that BC has not seen an even bigger increase in interprovincial migration.  

Looking just at the flow between Alberta and BC does show a shift in migratory patterns over the past nine months.   There are now more people moving from Alberta to BC than going in the other direction, reversal of the picture in previous years.  The net inflow of around 1,000 from Alberta in the second quarter of this year is below the 2,000+ net inflow seen in during BC’s 2007 and early 2008 construction boom era.  Ontario is the other key source of interprovincial migrants.  In the second quarter of 2015, BC posted a net gain of around 1,300 people from Ontario.  

The Business Council will continue to closely monitor the data on interprovincial migration as it has an impact on our short- and medium-term economic forecasts for British Columbia.