British Columbia

Net migration gains for B.C. as more Canadians moving to province

More Canadians are moving to British Columbia than residents leaving the province, according to Statistics Canada's latest figures.

The net flow of people moving to B.C. was just over 4,000 in July, August, September

The bright lights of Vancouver shields residents from seeing the Milky Way. (Michael Nugent/Flickr)

More Canadians are moving to British Columbia than residents leaving the province, according to Statistics Canada's latest figures. 

The migration data show that the net flow of people coming into the province reached just over 4,100 in July, August and September of 2014, the highest gains in seven years.

Ryan Berlin, director of the  Urban Futures Institute and an expert in housing markets, says the net migration figures show that many people who had moved to Alberta are now returning to B.C.

Most Canadians are moving to either Alberta or British Columbia, according to Berlin.

"There is the perception across Canada, either real or a perception, that there are economic opportunities in the west," he said. "These are net measures so a lot of people are still moving east but a lot more are moving west."

Migration from outside of Canada into B.C. in that same period last year saw the province gain an additional 8,000 new residents.

Berlin said the increase migration has an impact on the labour force and the housing market.

While demographics and age groups of those arriving in B.C. aren't known yet, Berlin said it's likely the people moving into the province are already employed, going to school or looking for jobs.

"Migration is something younger people undertake to go to school or to go where the grass is greener and there are more opportunities," he said. "We know old folks don't move a lot."

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