Since the data were released a couple of months ago, there has been much chatter about the dip in international migration flows to British Columbia. Indeed, the most recent data show that in Q2 2015, net international migration added only 4,102 people to the province--56% below the Q2 average of 9,299 over the previous five years.
So, why the dip? It's not an increase in emigration, which has generally remained stable over the past decade (seasonal variations notwithstanding). This means the answer lies in permanent resident immigration flows or changes in the number of non-permanent residents (NPRs) in BC--or both.
In Q2 2015, 9,053 immigrants came to BC, which was down by 14% from the Q2 average of 10,545 immigrants that came to the province over the previous five years. While not entirely a case of "it's not you, it's me"--Q2 immigration to Canada as a whole was only down 5% versus the Q2 average over the preceding half-decade--BC did see a bigger dip in its most recent immigration flow in relation to the rest of Canada. Whether this is part of a longer-term trend or simply a blip on the radar remains to be seen.
The big driver to reduced net international migration to BC has been the continued net loss of NPRs: compared to an average net intake of 1,242 NPRs in Q2 between 2010 and 2014, Q2 2015 saw a net loss of 2,282 from BC. Furthermore, this was the third consecutive quarter with a net loss--the first time that has happened since the end of 1997 and into early-1998. Certainly, some proportion of these outflows can be attributed to changes in federal legislation that now serves to essentially limit NPRs' time in Canada.
Our latest viz (above) shows quarterly trends in these three components of international migration (emigration, immigration, and NPRs) to BC over the past decade. Have a look to see if any other trends or tidbits jump out at you.