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2006 Census: Educational Portrait of Canada, 2006 Census: Mobility

Highly educated Canadians were more mobile

About 3% of adults aged between 25 and 64, nearly 550,000 people, did not live in the same province or territory as they had five years earlier. Overall, these people had a higher level of education than the general population.

Canadians who had not completed high school accounted for 15% of the population aged between 25 and 64, and for only 11% of the population which moved to a different province or territory than the one they lived in five years earlier. In contrast, adults in this age group who had a university degree accounted for 23% of the population, and for 33% of the people who moved to another province or territory.

Census data on net interprovincial migration show that Alberta and British Columbia gained the most postsecondary graduates of all the provinces. (Net interprovincial migration flows are calculated by subtracting the number of people who left one province or territory for another from the number of people who moved to one province or territory from another.)

Table 12 Net number of persons aged between 25 and 64 who moved to a province or territory different than the one they lived in five years earlier by level of educational attainment, provinces and territories, 2006

Overall, Alberta had a net increase of 28,000 postsecondary graduates and British Columbia, a net increase of nearly 15,800. These figures excluded the people who moved outside the country and those who moved to a province or territory from another country. Nearly 7,500 of this net increase of postsecondary graduates who moved to Alberta came from Saskatchewan, followed close behind by 7,200 graduates from Ontario.

Ontario incurred a net outflow of 17,900 people aged between 25 and 64, of which 10,200 were postsecondary graduates. This was the biggest outflow of all provinces and territories and it was primarily due to trades and college graduates. In fact, nearly 5,600 college graduates and 3,900 trades graduates who lived in Ontario in 2001 lived in another province or territory in 2006. Over 8,400 of this net interprovincial out-migration of postsecondary graduates was to British Columbia, followed by 7,200 postsecondary graduates moving to Alberta. The outward migration was offset by a net increase from some provinces – notably, there was a net increase of 3,300 postsecondary graduates moving to Ontario from Quebec.

Saskatchewan had a net outflow of postsecondary graduates of 10,000, the largest among the provinces relative to its population size; more than one-half (5,400) of these out-migrants consisted of individuals with a university degree. Nearly 3,700 of this net out-migration of university graduates went to Alberta.

Quebec had a net outflow of 5,400 postsecondary graduates aged 25 to 64 between 2001 and 2006. More than 3,900 of these adults, 85%, were university graduates.

The census collected information on the location (in which province, territory or country) where Canadians earned their highest postsecondary credential. Overall, 26% of Canadian postsecondary graduates in Canada had earned their highest certificate, diploma or degree outside the province or territory in which they resided in 2006.

This rate was highest in the three territories, where there were fewer postsecondary institutions, and in British Columbia and Alberta, the two provinces that benefited most from interprovincial mobility.


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