The Growing Trend of Newcomers Choosing to Stay in Atlantic Canada

The latest data from Statistics Canada has revealed an interesting trend in the retention rates of newcomers to Canada. The report indicates a rise in immigrant retention rates in Atlantic Canada, comprising Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. In contrast, retention rates in the prairie provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba have shown a decline.

Key Findings

  • Retention Rates: The data, sourced from the 2022 Longitudinal Immigration Database, analyzed immigrants’ retention rates one year and five years after their arrival in Canada.
  • Regional Variances: Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta exhibited the highest retention rates after five years, with Ontario leading at 93.1%. On the other hand, Saskatchewan and Manitoba experienced a sharp decline in retention rates.
  • Impact of Programs: The launch of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIP) in 2019 significantly contributed to the increased retention of skilled workers in the Atlantic provinces.


  • Economic Impact: Retaining economic immigrants is crucial for addressing regional labor shortages. Most newcomers tend to settle in larger cities, challenging rural regions to maintain a robust labor force.
  • Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs): To counter this, most provinces and territories have PNPs in place to attract economic immigrants suited to local workforce needs.

Factors Influencing Retention

  • Community Connections: The report highlights the role of community connections in newcomers’ decisions to settle long-term in Canada. Permanent residents who immigrated through family-class sponsorship programs showed higher retention rates.
  • Program-specific Retention: While skilled immigrants through PNPs saw a lower five-year retention rate, those arriving through the Express Entry Canadian Experience Class (CEC) or caregiver pilot program displayed notably high retention rates.

The data underscores the significance of immigrant retention in addressing labor shortages and the crucial role of targeted immigration programs in shaping settlement patterns. It also emphasizes the need for continued efforts to incentivize newcomers to settle in regions beyond the well-established immigrant communities, thereby contributing to the overall economic and social development of Canada. The increasing retention of newcomers in Atlantic Canada and the contrasting trends in other provinces underscore the complex dynamics of immigrant settlement in Canada. As the country continues to shape its immigration policies, understanding these trends is vital for fostering inclusive and sustainable growth across all regions. For personalized advice and assistance with Canadian immigration, feel free to contact the Novus Immigration Services. Licensed as the Regulated Canadian Immigration Law and Consultant Firm by the Bar Council of British Columbia, Canada. Discover more about Canadian Experience Class, Express Entry, PNP, Permanent Residence, and the document checklist.

Team Novus Canada