With its stunning scenery, salt air, and distinct west coast vibe, the appeal of British Columbia (BC) is undeniable.
Many fellow Canadians apparently agree.
A new report from Statistics Canada, released on September 29, shows that BC experienced the largest net gain in interprovincial migration in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2021.
The province’s net interprovincial migration – the difference between residents moving into and out of a region – was +34,277 in 2020/21. This marks the largest migration increase in BC in 28 years.
On the other (more affordable) coast, Nova Scotia also experienced a net high migration (+9,949).
Neighbouring New Brunswick also experienced a relatively high influx of new residents (+3,887) – some, who were perhaps swayed by the province’s compelling campaign to encourage Canadians to take advantage of the province’s low home prices. Meanwhile, Newfoundland and Labrador's interprovincial migration rate at +785.
While BC was a hot spot on the relocation front, the province’s neighbours in the Prairies didn’t fare so well, with Alberta (-11,831), Manitoba (-9,685), and Saskatchewan (-9,410) reporting more residents moving out than in (and this was before things really started to go south in Alberta in the pandemic department too).
The pandemic appears to have inspired a re-evaluation of lifestyle and living space, as Canadians packed their bags and set their sights on new provinces like they haven’t in years. According to StatsCan, Canadians are relocating to other provinces at a rate we haven’t seen since the 90s. Naturally, this is fuelled by a remote work culture that has become the norm.
According to StatsCan, Canada’s overall population is struggling to catch up to pre-pandemic numbers, which have been influenced by COVID-related deaths and restrictions on immigration. Not surprisingly, Canada’s population growth took a major nosedive in response to the relentless pandemic, with its pace of growth estimated to be +0.5 per cent. Marking the slowest growth rate since 1915/16 – during the grips of the First World War – this was less than half of its 2019/20 growth (+1.2%).
While BC may be an attractive option in the lifestyle front, calling the mountain-filled province home doesn’t come cheap -- especially when it comes to real estate. After all, it's no coincidence that Metro Vancouver is the eviction capital of Canada.
Not to put bad vibes out there. Here's to hoping all of the province's new residents are able to stay... and still save for a rainy day (or in BC's case, many rainy days).