I was surprised, but not all that much by this article, published today in the Vancouver Province:
Brain Drain a Thing of the Past as Americans Flood In
(To quote Norma Greenaway of the CanWest News Service:)
OTTAWA — The number of Americans admitted to Canada last year hit a 30-year high, fuelling a pattern that suggests the drain of Canadian brains south of the border may be a shrinking phenomenon.
The number of Americans accepted in Canada reached 10,942 in 2006, almost double the number admitted in 2000. By contrast, the number of Canadians admitted to the United States in 2006 dropped sharply from the previous year, falling to 23,913 from 29,930.
The data were gathered and analysed by the Montréal-based Association for Canadian Studies. Executive director Jack Jedwab says an analysis of the numbers shows Canada is enjoying an upswing as a preferred destination for Americans, many of whom are increasingly well educated.
Also, the trend is reflected in the reverse (i.e. Canadians moving to the US) as well, and leads to the following net numbers:
Jedwab cited figures that showed the U.S. accepted 4,447 more economic immigrants from Canada in 2006 than the U.S. accepted from Canada. That was down from 14,223 in 2005, a year the U.S. opened its doors wider to immigrants, and down from 6,916 in 2004.
I’m going to assume that first sentence should have read: the U.S. accepted 4,447 more economic immigrants from Canada in 2006 than Canada accepted from the U.S. (otherwise, it doesn’t make sense).
If this is the case, immigration could be following the same route as the dollar, leading to at least parity, and then perhaps the situation where there are more people moving to Canada from the U.S. than the other way around. Also, the people who are moving are typically the kind who would have moved the opposite direction in the past:
In 2006, 4,498 people were admitted as economic immigrants, which means they need to collect sufficient points to gain entry. This narrowly also outpaced the 4,468 immigrants brought in under family-reunification rules.
“Canada is undoubtedly narrowing the brain drain,” Jedwab said. “The most educated class of immigrants we’re getting right now is coming from the United States.”
We suspected this might be the case from anecdotal evidence, but now it looks like it’s borne out in the actual numbers. It will be interesting to see if the ‘surprise’ I sometimes get from Canadians when I tell them our story will fade.