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Posted on December 20 2022

Atlantic Canada records a high rate of immigrant retention – StatCan reports

By  Editor
Updated November 03 2023

Highlights: Most immigrants want to stay for a long term in Atlantic Canada

  • IRCC found that provinces of Atlantic Canada stood top on the immigrant retention rates through the years
  • The AIP (Atlantic Immigration Program) has been a roaring success and it still performs at its best
  • Among Atlantic Canada provinces, the highest rise in immigrant retention rate was seen in Nova Scotia

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Among Canadian provinces, those in the Atlantic Canada region have maintained a high rate of immigrants who want to stay back for the long term. In other words, Atlantic Canada provinces have consistently had high immigrant retention rates. This came to light after IRCC revealed the results of a study it conducted recently.

Also read: Nova Scotia immigration sets a new record in 2022, StatCan reports

The success of AIP (Atlantic Immigration Program)

Ever since the Atlantic Immigration Program was launched to attract skilled immigrants to provinces in Atlantic Canada, it has proven to be a big success. The pilot program even become a permanent immigration program in January 2022!

Within the first three years of rolling out the AIP, the rate of retention of immigrants in the Atlantic Canada provinces increased substantially. It even contrasted the trends in other provinces where there was a fall in the immigrant retention rate!

Among the Atlantic Canada provinces, Nova Scotia recorded the highest increase in retention rates. The immigrant admission data for the period 2014-2019, says that the immigrant retention rate of Nova Scotia was 62.8 percent. In December 2021, it was 71 percent.

The following is the immigrant retention data for Atlantic Canada provinces for the period 2014-2019:


Immigrant retention rate (in percentage)
Nova Scotia


Prince Edward Island

Newfoundland & Labrador


New Brunswick


Also read: 12 NOC codes of Tech and Health occupations to be prioritized in New Brunswick

Why AIP is important?

To understand the importance of AIP to Atlantic Canada, you have to glance at the population statistics of that region. A considerable part of the population of the Atlantic Canada provinces is aged above 85. Here’s the blow-up of this information:


% of the population aged above 85
Newfoundland & Labrador


Prince Edward Island

Nova Scotia


New Brunswick


Over 30 percent of the population of Newfoundland & Labrador belongs to the baby boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964). This shrunk the number of young and able workers and put the economy under immense pressure.

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The AIP was a saving grace for the Atlantic Canada region as the program attracted many skilled workers from abroad. To achieve this, many measures were taken including making it easier and faster for immigrants to integrate into the Atlantic Canada provinces. All this led to increased retention rates of immigrants.

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