Prince Edward Island has worst immigration retention rate in Canada

A new study has found that Prince Edward Island has the worst immigration retention rates of any Canadian province.

Research carried out by the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC) reveals that fewer than one in five immigrants recently landed on PEI. are still on the Island after five years.

The study, which used tax records to track whether immigrants remain in the province, found that of the 1,738 immigrants who arrived to live on Prince Edward Island in 2011, only 278 were still there by the end of 2016.

Another Atlantic Province, New Brunswick, had the country’s second worst retention rate.

Patrick Brannon, director of major projects for APEC, believes that part of the problem in the past in retaining immigrants is the way the immigration programs were designed. Another factor, he says, could have been the makeup of the Prince Edward Island population 10 years ago. As the least ethnically diverse province in the country, this may have prompted some of the immigrants who did initially settle there to move to other provinces that had established communities of people with their ethnic background.

However, there are signs that more immigrants may be starting to stay in PEI for a little longer.

While only about one in five immigrants who landed in 2011 stayed for between three to five years, that number jumped to almost one in three for the 2012 group and close to 50 per cent for those landing in 2013, the most recent numbers available.

“More recently new programs have come along like the Atlantic Immigration Pilot and other programs that are looking to strengthen retention. We do anticipate that those retention numbers will improve,” said Brannon.

Article published 21st January 2019