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Ontario is still the most popular province for new Canadian immigrants, but it seems the East is picking up steam.

In 2022, Canada set an immigration target of about 432,000. By the end of the year, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) had landed more than expected—about 437,000.

The new IRCC data show which provinces and cities these 437,000+ people landed in, and through which immigration program.

Migration data have-real world impacts on newcomers.  Policy makers, governments, and other stakeholders can use migration data to monitor existing strategies and inform new decisions for the future.

The following figures are from IRCC’s open data portal, where you can find Canadian immigration data that’s updated monthly.

Expectation vs Reality

In the 2022-2024 Immigration Levels Plan, IRCC called for 431,645 new permanent residents. The majority of which would come through economic class immigration, followed by family class, refugee class, then the final group called humanitarian and others.

The results of 2022 more-or-less followed the targets set out. A total of 437,120 new immigrants landed in Canada. IRCC admitted about 14,000 more than expected under economic class and about 370 more through the humanitarian and other category. Nearly 8,000 fewer than expected came through family class and about 1,200 fewer under the refugee class.

Note: All figures are rounded to the nearest multiple of 5 to protect the privacy of newcomers. For this reason, results may not add to the total sum indicated.

Bar graph showing immigration targets vs the reported number of new PRs n 2022

CategoryTargetNew PRsDifference
Economic241,850256,000+14,150
Family105,00097,165-7,835
Refugee76,54575,330-1,215
Humanitarian and Other8,2508,620+370
Total431,645437,120+5,475

Provincial immigration by year

By a long shot, Ontario—once again—welcomed more immigrants than any other province in 2022.

A total of 184,725 new permanent residents landed in Ontario, around 42% of all new PRs. However, this was down on 2021, when the total was 199,295 (49%). As recently as 2015, more than half of all new PRs chose Ontario.

Provinces that saw more immigration in 2022 compared to 2021 include:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Nova Scotia
  • New Brunswick (in fact, immigration to New Brunswick almost doubled even compared to pre-pandemic years)
  • Quebec
  • Manitoba
  • Saskatchewan
  • Nunavut

Provinces that observed fewer immigrants in 2022 compared to 2021 include:

  • Ontario
  • British Columbia
  • Yukon
  • Northwest Territories

20152016201720182019202020212022
Newfoundland and Labrador - Total1,1201,2001,1851,5251,8559002,0553,490
Prince Edward Island - Total1,1902,3152,3452,1252,4451,2902,6152,665
Nova Scotia - Total3,4205,5104,5155,9857,5953,5209,15512,650
New Brunswick - Total2,5804,7153,6604,6106,0052,8905,31010,205
Quebec - Total49,01553,23552,38051,12540,56525,23550,27568,685
Ontario - Total103,585109,885112,010137,460153,37082,955199,295184,725
Manitoba - Total14,89516,82514,64015,22518,8708,61016,57521,645
Saskatchewan - Total12,52014,88014,68515,51015,8707,42510,95021,635
Alberta - Total47,22049,25042,12042,01543,71522,97039,39549,460
British Columbia - Total35,72038,08538,46544,85550,23028,48069,47061,215
Yukon - Total265210225305400175595455
Northwest Territories - Total210185240280195125295235
Nunavut - Total3535403040204045
Province/Territory not stated - Total704530515--2020
Total271,840296,370286,535321,055341,175184,595406,040437,120

Provincial immigration by category

Except for Nunavut which welcomed slightly more family-class immigrants, economic-class immigrants made up the majority of newcomers in all other provinces and territories. The second highest portion of immigrants by province fluctuated between family class and refugee class immigrants.

The following chart is a breakdown of immigration to each province and territory by immigration category admitted in 2022.

ProvinceEconomicFamilyRefugeeOtherTotal
Newfoundland4,0252801,135405,485
PEI3,280150160253,615
Nova Scotia9,0051,1851,5358011,800
New Brunswick9,4706201,3204011,445
Quebec36,17510,2855,43589552,790
Ontario102,44556,06539,2059,005206,720
Manitoba18,2053,4402,98027024,895
Saskatchewan21,2952,2801,5206525,155
Alberta25,07517,01014,1351,32057,540
British Columbia42,67518,0857,5202,51070,790
Yukon755120200890
NWT2208025--330
Nunavut153010--55

Top 10 cities for new immigrants

The following cities were the top destinations for newcomers in 2022.

Toronto was still the most popular destination, and by a large margin. More than 128,000 new permanent residents came to Toronto alone in 2022. Montreal, which welcomed the second-largest amount of newcomers, had nearly 53,000—less than half of the amount of people who moved to Toronto.

CityNew PRs in 2022
Toronto128,035
Montreal52,950
Vancouver48,375
Calgary24,705
Ottawa17,355
Edmonton17,325
Winnipeg15,690
Halifax9,800
Saskatoon9,190
Regina8,310

To learn more about major cities in Canada, check out Moving2Canada’s destination guides.

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