Census 2001 Highlights: Factsheet 3: Ontario Nets Strong Gains from Interprovincial Migration

Strong Migration to Ontario from the Rest of Canada

  • The 2001 Census reported strong net interprovincial migration of 51,905 to Ontario from other provinces between 1996 and 2001. This was attributable to Ontario's strong economic growth.

  • Ontario recorded the second strongest net interprovincial migration gain of all provinces and territories between 1996 and 2001. Only Alberta gained more people (119,420), on a net basis.

  • Ontario's net gain between 1996 and 2001 more than offset a net loss of over 47,000 during the previous five-year period.

  • Ontario recorded net population gains in exchanges with all but two provinces. It had a net loss of about 11,800 with Alberta, and a net loss of about 5,900 with British Columbia between 1996 and 2001.

  • The majority of Ontario's net gain came from Quebec.

  • The migration between Ontario and the rest of Canada was comprised mainly of people of prime working age (those between 15 and 44).

  • 155,315 interprovincial migrants to Ontario were people in this age group. They represented 64% of all interprovincial migrants to Ontario. This compares to 118,165 in the same age group or 62% of all people who moved from Ontario to other parts of Canada.

Toronto CMA Recorded the Largest Net Interprovincial Migration Loss of Any Canadian CMA

  • 7 out of the 11 Ontario CMAs gained more people than they lost in migratory exchanges with the rest of the country between 1996 and 2001.

  • Between the 1996 and 2001 Census, the Toronto CMA lost 44,500 more people than it gained in its exchanges with other parts of Canada, the largest net loss of any CMA in Canada. About 258,300 people moved from Toronto compared to the nearly 213,800 who moved in. Greater Sudbury and Thunder Bay CMAs also experienced sizeable net interprovincial migration losses.

  • The Ottawa-Gatineau CMA (Quebec part included) recorded the highest net gain among Ontario CMAs. This was followed by the Oshawa and Hamilton CMAs with net gains of 17,420 and 16,635, respectively.

Bar chart showing net migrants between the provinces for the periods 1991 to 1996 and 1996 to 2001.

Internal Migrants, Ontario CMAs, 1996-2001
CMA* In Migrants Out
Ottawa-Gatineau 109,890 83,475 26,416
Kingston 23,415 23,105 310
Oshawa 46,895 29,475 17,420
Toronto 213,745 258,285 -44,540
Hamilton 67,135 50,500 16,635
St.Catharines - Niagara 26,970 23,850 3,120
Kitchener 46,895 39,265 7,630
London 45,340 45,505 -165
Windsor 24,500 18,375 6,125
Greater Sudbury 12,790 20,110 -7,320
Thunder Bay 8,675 13,555 -4,880
Total, Ontario CMAs 626,250 605,500 20,750
Note: Ottawa-Gatineau includes the Quebec part.
* CMA = Census Metropolitan Area
Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Canada, 2001
February 5, 2003

Office of Economic Policy
Labour and Demographic Analysis Branch

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