Why do people immigrate to Nova Scotia— and why do they leave?

Shelby Thevenot
Updated: Aug, 21, 2023
  • Published: December 14, 2020

The main deciding factor on whether or not immigrants stay in Nova Scotia depends on the job opportunities that are available.

About 46 per cent of immigrants who had left the province between 2011 and 2018 reported that it was due to a lack of employment opportunities. This could be related to finding a job, or finding one that matches with their training or experience.

This, according to a recent survey of 2,815 immigrants who had either left Nova Scotia, or stayed in the province. The study was authored by Ather Akbari from Saint Mary's University, and prepared for Nova Scotia's immigration department.

About 74 per cent of immigrants who had arrived between 2011 and 2018 stayed in the province. Based on the intentions expressed in the survey, Akbari wrote that it is possible an additional 10 per cent of participants could also leave within the next five years, on top of the 26 per cent who had left during the study period.

Find out if you’re eligible for Canadian immigration

The top three reasons these respondents gave for leaving the province, or just thinking about it, were: to seek better job opportunities; better wages and lower taxes; and trying to find better healthcare. Some respondents also reported discrimination in the workplace.

Most of the immigrants who left were younger and more likely to be single. They had relatively the same education level as those who stayed. There was not a significant difference in gender between those who left Nova Scotia and those who stayed.

What are the factors in destination choice?

A combination of economic and non-economic factors influence an immigrant's decision to move to Nova Scotia. More than 40 per cent base their choice on job opportunities for themselves and their spouse, and the cost of living.

The remaining 60 per cent base their decision on social factors. These include quality of life, safe communities, good places to raise children, and communities without discrimination.

When participants were asked to rank these factors in order of importance, employment opportunities, quality of life, and safe communities came out on top. Access to local community services and language training were ranked the least important.

How can policy makers improve the situation?

Based on the findings in the study, the report recommended that the province should focus on economic immigrants who come with their families. Economic-class immigrants had the smallest retention rate compared to family class and refugee class.

The report acknowledged the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, which is intended to facilitate the foreign worker hiring process for employers in the four Atlantic provinces. Employer involvement is an "important step" for immigrant settlement integration through this pilot, the report says.

Finally, initiatives to encourage volunteering, as well as sports and recreation activities were also said to help in raising satisfaction with life in Nova Scotia.

Find out if you’re eligible for Canadian immigration

© 2020 CIC News All Rights Reserved

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at media@canadavisa.com
Related articles
Canada releases 2022 Annual Report on Express Entry
Children playing together in colourful natural park on autumn day
Ontario and Manitoba, four additional provinces, set to increase minimum wage rates in October 2023
Mom teaching daughters about money by counting coins and using a piggy bank
Canada to extend Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel
Canada is announcing updates to its Ukraine immigration measures.
IRCC and Canada’s provinces continue working together to welcome Ukrainians
Canada is continuing its work to welcome Ukrainian newcomers.
Top Stories
Canada’s government proposing new affordability measures
Parental education and income have positive effect on educational attainment of childhood immigrants
Newcomer access to credit in Canada improves over time, according to new study
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
More in Life in Canada
Canada’s government proposing new affordability measures
Canada is introducing legislation to improve affordability.
Parental education and income have positive effect on educational attainment of childhood immigrants
Graduation celebration with family
Newcomer access to credit in Canada improves over time, according to new study
newcomer credit article september 2023
Getting your prescription medication as a newcomer to Canada
pharmacist and client
Link copied to clipboard