Does It Pay to Migrate? The Canadian Evidence

Y. Edward Shin, Bali Ram


An analysis of the 1991 and 1996 Census data indicated that on average people
who moved out of economically less affluent provinces showed higher incomes than those who were left behind. However, persons who moved out of wealthier provinces did not do as well as those who stayed. In fact, their incomes were lower than non-migrants. According to the 1996 Census, for example, the age-education adjusted income of migrants from Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia was about 10 to 13% lower than non-migrants in those provinces, whereas the corresponding income was about 7 to 13% higher for migrants from Atlantic Provinces. Similarly, people who moved into economically less resourceful provinces had higher incomes than non-migrants, while inmigrants into affluent provinces did worse than those who stayed in those provinces.

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