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Ontario Leads in Immigrant Retention – A Statistical Insight

Austin Campbell



Immigrant Retention

Ontario emerges as the leading province in retaining immigrants, according to a recent report by Statistics Canada. Analyzing data from the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) immigration, the report reveals Ontario’s impressive ability to retain immigrants who arrived in Canada between 2010 and 2019.

The study, titled “The Provincial Nominee Program: Retention in Province of Landing,” conducted by Statistics Canada’s Garnett Picot, Eden Crossman, and Feng Hou, explores the one-year and five-year retention rates of economic immigrants aged 20 to 54 at the time of landing.

Ontario stands out as the province with the highest immigration retention, outperforming Alberta and British Columbia while surpassing the retention rates of Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, and New Brunswick.

Ontario’s Immigrant Success: 156% Retention Rate After Five Years

Examining longer-term retention rates, the report highlights Ontario’s success in retaining provincial nominees in Canada even after five years, with relatively few nominees leaving the province. In fact, Ontario not only retains its immigrants but also attracts newcomers who initially landed in other provinces. The report reveals that by the end of the first full year following the landing year, Ontario had a net retention rate of 123%, growing to 156% by the end of the fifth year.

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In contrast, Prince Edward Island records the lowest one-year immigrant retention rate, with a significant decline to 40% after five years. The report displays the net retention rates of various provinces, revealing that Alberta and British Columbia exhibit rates of approximately 106% by the fifth year. In contrast, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan demonstrate retention rates ranging from 65% to 85% after five years. Newfoundland and Labrador document an initial net retention rate of 89%, diminishing to 62% after five years.

Stronger Immigration Retention Strategies Ahead

Highlighting the significance of immigration, provincial, territorial, and federal immigration ministers at the Forum of Ministers Responsible for Immigration (FMRI) expressed a commitment to developing strategies to enhance retention rates. Recognizing immigration as vital for addressing labor shortages, attracting investment, and supporting economic growth, the ministers emphasized the crucial role played by provinces and territories in aligning immigration with employers’ needs.

In short, the report underscores the success of Ontario’s immigration strategies and sets the stage for collaborative efforts to further improve immigrant retention across Canada.

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