Report 4 Summary

Coming and Going: Intra-provincial, Inter-provincial and International Migration to and from Metropolitan Vancouver, May 2016

Are Millennials being forced from Metropolitan Vancouver by its recent high housing prices? Some might be, but in aggregate they are not. The number of Millennials is increasing as a result of migration, not declining, for reasons that have most likely have little to do with housing.

More people aged 25 to 34 moved to the region last year than left it, with a net increase of 904 people if changes in non-permanent and temporarily abroad residents are included, and by 7,544 if only permanent residents are considered.

Inter-provincially, more 25 to 34 year olds are coming to the region from other provinces than are leaving for them (356 net increase in 2014/15), and we can anticipate this increasing again in the 2015/16 data given the relative economic conditions in Alberta and data at the provincial level for the second half of 2015.

Intra-provincially, the metropolitan area experienced a net loss to the rest of the province of 846 people in the 25 to 34 age group in 2014/15, not a significant number compared to the 373,746 population of the age group living in the region, but nonetheless a loss. The data do not provide an explanation of why this loss occurred, but it reflects a situation that has prevailed for 15 years, and is correlated with relatively high earlier net-in migration of 15 to 24 years olds, leading, perhaps, to a commensurate out-migration in subsequent years.

Every year since 2003/04 the region has lost population in this age group (and in every other age group except the 15 to 24 age group) to the rest of the province (with a disproportionate share attributable to net-out migration to communities in Abbotsford and Mission). Overall, the region has experienced a modestly increasing net loss to the rest of the province every year in the past two decades. This is largely the result of declining in-migration from the rest of the province, with out-migration to it remaining relatively constant.

Internationally, the 25 to 34 age group is growing, modestly adding 904 people if the increase in the number of people temporarily away and the loss of non-permanent residents in this age group is considered. If only the permanent resident population is considered, then net international migration added 7,544 permanent residents to the population in this age group.

Accounting for the 166 deaths of people in this age group, the 25 to 34 age grew by 738 people in 2014/15, a .2 percent increase; if only the permanent population is considered, the age group increased by 7,378 people.

Overall, in this region in the recent past, there has been an increase, not a loss, of people in every age groups, something we may anticipate continuing with the growth of net-in inter-provincial migration to the region as Alberta faces a few years of economic challenges.  And while much is made of the role of migration on the region’s population, attention justified perhaps by the fact that immigration, the largest inflow added 26,886 people to the region in 2014/15, we should not loose sight of the fact that the second largest inflow was births, which added 23,435 people to the region’s population.

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