BC Population Change, 2nd Quarter, 2011
by William Warren Munroe, October 2011

Net Interprovincial Migration estimated to be negative for the second quarter in a row.

Statistics Canada has released the 2nd Quarter, 2011, preliminary estimates of the components of population change for the provincial and territories.

Between April 1, 2011 and June 30, 2011, Statistics Canada's estimates of net interprovincial migration (in minus out) for BC was negative at -745 people.

For the second quarter in a row, the interprovincial net migration for BC was negative, with more people moving out, than into, the province from other parts of Canada.

Figure #1: Net Interprovincial Migration, BC, Quarterly, July 2001 to July 2011

Interprovincial migration is an excellent indicator of economic activity in Canada. There is arguably no better way to tell if the economy is in a boom time or a bust time.

In 2003, when I was the Population Analyst for BC Stats, I forecast that interprovincial migration would peak in 2007 / 2008 followed by declines finally becoming negative in 2011. My 30 year population projections incorporate forty years of migration data.

This approach to understanding variations in economic activity provides insight into natural / long cycles as well as variables that can impact migrations and economic activity. When will interprovincial migration and the economy likely recover?

The chart above shows quarterly net interprovincial migration to be rather spikey. It can rise and drop sharply from one quarter to the next. Usually during the summer quarter, July to September, more people move.

During the "boom" portion of the economic cycle, BC's net migration rises, particularly during the summer; however, last summer, in 2010, while the number of in-migrants from other parts of Canada was estimated at 16,600, the number of out-migrants rose to ~16,010. Instead of the summer seeing an increase in net interprovincial migration over the second quarter at ~2,000, net migration dropped to around 600 in the third quarter.

What will the estimates show for this summer's migration when they come out in December?


Quarterly population estimates and factors of growth, provincial perspective - British Columbia

Table 3-11, Quarterly estimates of demographic components, provincial perspective - British Columbia http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/91-002-x/2011001/t344-eng.htm

Quarterly Demographic Estimates - http://www.statcan.gc.ca/bsolc/olc-cel/olc-cel?catno=91-002-X&chropg=1&lang=eng

See the Data quality, concepts and methodology: Explanatory notes for the tables at http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/91-002-x/2011002/technote-notetech3-eng.htm

Back to Top

Website content, code, and design by W.W. Munroe. Copyright 2011.