Moving To Atlantic Canada Is Becoming More Popular & One Economist Broke Down Why

Net migration to the east coast in the first half of 2021 was higher than 2019 and 2020 combined!

Staff Writer
Moving To Atlantic Canada Is Becoming More Popular & One Economist Broke Down Why

A new RBC report says that COVID-19 has "supercharged" the migration of Canadians to Atlantic Canada and there are a few key reasons why.

According to a report from RBC economist Carrie Freestone on October 4, the "regional renaissance" has seen a record number of Canadians move to the eastern provinces, likely spurred by lower COVID-19 numbers and way better house prices.

"In the first and second quarters [of 2021], net interprovincial migration to the region was higher than in 2019 and 2020 combined," Freestone wrote. "The surge in the second quarter alone was the largest since 1961, when data collection began."

The only other province to see such a large influx of people was British Columbia, the most moved-to province in the first half of 2021.

There's a clear trend in the age of people moving too, Freestone said. Youth between 18 and 24 years old accounted for 44% of interprovincial migration to Nova Scotia and another 17% was children and teens — "signalling families are moving east as well," Freestone wrote.

House prices are likely a big factor in moving, according to the report, and Halifax is a clear favourite when it comes to destinations.

"Saint John, New Brunswick, and St. John's Newfoundland remain the most affordable housing markets we track," Freestone wrote, "Even in Halifax, the average home price is 60% below that of Toronto. With housing affordability worsening in major urban markets in Central Canada, this may mark the beginning of a trend: young talent moving east for an improved quality of life."

Whether the "surge of newcomers endures" is yet to be seen, Freestone said, but it bodes well for a future of Atlantic revitalization!

Cormac O'Brien
Staff Writer