Thursday, December 22, 2011

If the Facts Don't Fit Your Narrative...

Just ignore the facts.  The Globe and Mail ran a story yesterday on its front page about how the West and in particular Saskatchewan is drawing more and more immigrants away from Ontario.  The story is one of many in a media narrative that mighty Ontario is in decline.  The impetus for this particular piece was, at least in theory, release of third quarter immigration stats from StatsCan.  What amazed me about the story was how few actual numbers accompanied the dribble about Saskatoon being a boom town, so I decided to get the numbers.  First, the national picture:

International Net Migration (2011):

Q1: 49,372
Q2: 79,020
Q3: 78,457

It is useful to note at this point that these numbers are down significantly from recent years.  We haven't been below 80k in the second or third quarter since 2007.  Now for the "dreary" picture out of Ontario (which accounts for just under 39% of Canada's population):

International Net Migration (2011):

Q1: 22,229 (45%)
Q2: 31,792 (40%)
Q3: 33,733 (43%)

As you can see, Ontario actually increased in both real terms AND in terms of national share the number of international immigrants coming in from Q2 to Q3, but I'm sure you would've realized that by reading the article.  Apparently, the other prudent "new" stat is that Ontarians are leaving for greener pastures.   This would have been true... if it weren't for those pesky statisticians

Interprovincial Net Migration (Ontario, 2011):

Q1: -690
Q2: -1880
Q3: 543

The third quarter of 2011 actually saw Ontario have a positive interprovincial migration number for the first time in years.  While Saskatchewan did have a big month in terms of migration, the loser in this situation was actually Quebec which saw its immigration decline from 19,657 in Q2 to 11,893 in Q3.  None of this of course fits the "centre of power is moving from Toronto to Calgary" narrative so it can be safely ignored. 

1 comment:

WesternGrit said...

Don't worry... Once they get rid of Stats Can, it will all make more sense (tongue in cheek)...

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