Study: Estimating immigrants’ presence in Canada [and emigration using tax filing data]

Useful analysis, with best estimates I have seen to date pending full implementation of the exit-entry program:

By the tenth year after landing, about 15% to 20% of adult immigrants who landed between 2000 and 2004 were estimated to have emigrated from Canada, depending on the definition and data sources used to estimate emigration. Emigration refers to leaving Canada to settle in another country.

A Statistics Canada technical report “Estimating immigrants’ presence in Canada within the context of increasingly fluid international migration patterns” seeks to refine the estimation of emigration among immigrants by assessing methodological choices concerning the scope of the data and definitions of emigration using tax-based administrative data. This study was conducted in collaboration with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

The analysis showed that if emigration is defined proximately as absence from the T1 Personal Master File for two consecutive years, the estimated emigration rate by the tenth year after landing would reach 20% among immigrants who landed between 2000 and 2004 and were aged 25 to 64 on arrival.

The estimated emigration rate was reduced to 15% when emigration was defined as absence for four consecutive years from 14 available tax- or benefits-based data sources.

Even with the 14 available data sources, it is still possible for immigrants who are present in tax files in a given year to not actually reside in Canada, or for those who are absent from tax files to still reside in Canada. The federal government has established an entry–exit program to collect exit and entry data at the land border with the United States and exit data from airlines on all travellers leaving Canada by air. Once available for research purposes, these exit data will further improve the estimation of individuals’ Canadian residence status.

Products

The study “Estimating Immigrants’ Presence in Canada within the Context of Increasingly Fluid International Migration Patterns,” part of the Analytical Studies: Methods and Reference Series (Catalogue number11-633-X), is now available

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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