June 13, 2016

Will there be an Exodus to Canada Post- U.S. Election?

Posted by Mario Bellissimo - Bellissimo Law Group PC

Every U.S. election cycle, Canadians read of the looming politically-motivated mass exodus to Canada. A March 2016 survey found that 28% of registered American voters would “likely” move to another country such as Canada if Donald Trump were elected President. This percentage roughly translates to 89 million Americans heading abroad.

In reality, the American response is far more subtle and only indirectly tied to election results. Despite the repeated sounding of the tocsin, over the last 60 years, annual American immigration to Canada has been relatively stable, keeping within 4,000 and 27,000 per year or less than 0.01% of Americans (total immigration to Canada ranged from 72,000 to 282,000).

And the relatively minor fluctuations over the last six decades appear to be tied to specific policies rather than the last 15 election results themselves. The peak in the early 1970s (seen in the graph below) is largely attributable to the influx of draft resisters and their family members during the Vietnam War. Similarly, the smaller spike in 2003-2008 (from about 5,000 to 10,000) likely reflects the growing concerns with U.S. action in the Middle East. Some also attribute this spike to the distinct differences between Canadian and U.S. treatment of gays, lesbians and same sex couples at that time.

So while Americans may not ‘vote with their feet’ en masse this fall, policies enacted by the successful candidate – as President and commander in chief – can certainly drive the emigration of those American directly impacted.


For more information on Permanent Migration to Canada, please click here.