B.C. welcomes more than 100,000 people – the most in 60 years

NEW data released by Statistics Canada shows that British Columbia broke a record for the number of people moving to the province in 2021.

The Province said on Wednesday that the year-end data shows that B.C.’s net migration reached 100,797 people in 2021, which is the highest annual total since 1961, and noted that this was an important step to expand the province’s workforce and address labour shortages. Net migration is the number of people who moved to B.C. from another province or territory, or from another country, minus the number of people who left.

“People are coming to B.C. in record numbers because they know that by investing in people, we are building a stronger province where their families will have a safe and secure future,” said Premier John Horgan. “We welcome these newcomers with open arms, and we are determined to deliver the services and housing people in B.C. need to support this record growth.”

Of the people who moved to B.C. last year, 33,656 people came from other Canadian provinces or territories, which is the highest number seen since 1994 and the highest in Canada. This positions B.C. as a leader across the country in attracting new talent to fill an anticipated one million job openings over the next decade. Nearly 80% of these future job openings will require some level of post-secondary education or training.

“We are excited to welcome the more than 100,000 people who chose to make B.C. their new home in 2021,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “Our StrongerBC Economic Plan makes it clear – B.C.’s strength is its people. Building a B.C. that’s attracting record numbers of newcomers is an important part of our work to help tackle the labour shortage, as these new British Columbians will help us fill the jobs of tomorrow, drive innovation and support our care economy.

“The StrongerBC Economic Plan builds on this momentum and moves British Columbia forward by tackling the challenges of today while growing an economy that works for everyone. The plan will help B.C. compete and thrive in an ever-changing global economy with a generational commitment toward B.C.’s competitive advantage – its people.”

Quick Facts

* The remaining 67,141 people who made B.C. home in 2021 came from abroad and last year marked the second-highest level of international immigration to B.C. on record.
* B.C. was second only to Ontario.

* Last month, the Province introduced changes to the Provincial Nominee Program so immigrants who received international training in health care and child care can more easily transfer their credentials in B.C. and begin working in these high-demand fields.

* B.C. continues to lead the country in economic recovery, having recovered all jobs lost at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
* Now, 84,000 more people are working in B.C. than prior to the pandemic, which is the highest job recovery rate in Canada (103.2%).