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Migration Flows

See where immigrants come to Canada from, which provinces they settle in, how trends have evolved over time for different migration types – foreign workers, students, permanent residents.


Canada is a country of immigrants. It has one of the highest rates of migration intensity of any country in the world (second only to Australia). In 2014 nearly half a million temporary residents and a quarter of a million permanent residents arrived in Canada,

In recent years migration patterns to Canada have changed rapidly. While permanent migration has remained remarkably steady, temporary migration has grown rapidly over the past decade. In particular temporary migration of foreign workers has doubled between 2000 and 2014.

Asian countries are the fastest growing senders of migrants to Canada, in particular from South Asia and South East Asia. Specifically, China, India, and the Philippines are the largest sources of origins for new immigrants to Canada and together provide approximately a third of all Canada’s incoming residents.

Globally, Canada’s international student programs are the largest driver for temporary migration to Canada accounting for approximately 200,000 temporary residents in 2014. Further, the increase in temporary migrants to Canada is almost exclusively due to substantially rising numbers of international students coming from the low and middle income countries. China provides the most striking example, with a six-fold increase in international students between 2000 and 2014.

Within Canada, Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec are the provinces receiving the most migrants, about 75% of all migrants to Canada. While differences in Temporary and Permanent migration to provinces and territories are largely insignificant for other provinces, large universities in Ontario, BC, and Quebec may make these provinces primary destinations for large numbers of incoming international students.

How to use this data

Hover over country circles on the map to see the amount of permanent and temporary residents originating from that country. Circles are sized to reflect the amount of migrants originating from the selected year (by default 2014). Additionally, country circles are divided according to the portion of permanent (red) and temporary (blue) residents originating from that country.

Use drop-down selectors to limit the data by ‘Country of Resident’, Migrant ‘Type,’ Migrant ‘Sub-Type,’ ‘Province/Territory of Settlement,’ origin ‘Region’, origin ‘Income Group,’  or change the ‘Year’ (2014 by default).

The right pane presents flows from countries according to province or territory of settlement. The  bottom left pane gives a time series view of migration originating from selected countries (all by default). Lastly, the bottom right panel gives the time-series breakdown by  migrant sub-type.

Clicking on a country on the map will present the time series line graph of migrants from that country, where they settled in the list pane, and the breakdown of migrant sub-types. Multiple countries can be selected at one time for comparison (no more than two at a time are recommended). Hold down Control + right click. Click again to deselect.


Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

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