05 July 2006

Canada losing more that its gaining

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The CanWest News Service is reporting that more Canadians and Americans are moving to each other's country as a place to live, although the number of people relocating south of the border remains significantly higher than the number heading north

A new analysis of 2005 statistics, released as Americans celebrate their Independence Day holiday, says the year registered the busiest pace in almost two decades for migration between Canada and the United States.

It says the number of Canadians admitted to the United States last year reached almost 21,900, a 15-year high. The only other year in recent memory during which admissions to the States came close was in 2001, when the tally was 21,740. The 2005 total was up from 15,600 in 2004 and 11,350 in 2003.

The number of Americans admitted to Canada also hit a good clip in the first nine months of the year, reaching 7,300, almost as many as the number who settled here throughout all of 2004.

The final figure for 2005 is expected to surpass the recent record of 8,014 Americans who moved to Canada in 1993.

The analysis, prepared by Jack Jedwab, of the Association for Canadian Studies in Montreal, is based on figures from the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Mr. Jedwab said the figures show people are seeing opportunities on both sides of the border.

The majority of Canadians admitted to the United States -- 60% -- entered under the employment category, whereas the majority of Americans admitted to Canada -- 57% -- entered under the family class.

Mr. Jedwab said his analysis of Gallup polls conducted in 2005 shows residents on both sides of the border rated their quality of life as very good, despite Americans not being as upbeat about their economy as Canadians were about theirs.

"People are swapping because there is not a great cost to [their] quality of life," he says.

One poll said 57% of Americans and 58% of Canadians declared themselves "very satisfied" with life.

On the other hand, only 37% of Americans rated their economic conditions as excellent or good, compared with 61% of Canadians.

Mr. Jedwab said he was struck that more Canadians relocated to the States in 2005, given Canada's strong economic performance at the time. It shows that Americans and Canadians do not appear to fear losing out on quality of life if they choose to live in the other country, he said.

The analysis also shows Canadians entering the United States continue to prefer warmer states. California attracted the most in 2005 at 2,670, followed by Florida at 2,181 and Texas at 1,929.

New York was the biggest draw for cities, attracting 1,318 Canadians.

The Gallup poll results for the United States, based on telephone interviews with 2,264 adults in June, 2005, have a margin of error of five percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The Canadian results are based on interviews with 1,000 adults in August, 2005. The margin of error is three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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