Younger Canadians moving away from big cities at record levels

January 25, 2021 - Reading time: 2 minutes

A record number of Canadians are leaving the big urban centres, led by teenagers and young families, according to Statistics Canada data released Thursday. 

In total, 87,444 people left three cities in the first quarter of 2016 for other parts of the same province, compared with a record 1,832,000 in 2015 and 1.5 million in 2014, data from StatisticsCanada show. 

The number of citizens moving to suburbs, smaller towns and rural areas are growing faster than the population growth in the big cities.

Canada’s housing market is heading for a soft landing after a record year – and is set to break in late 2015, according to a new report. The report released Wednesday said overburdened demand, driven in part by rising consumer confidence, will drive housing and market activity in Canada to record highs in 2016 and 2017, to break the record by 2021.

Robert Hogue, the chief economist at RBC, estimates in the report that the number of homes will rise to 588,300 by the end of 2015, a 3.5 per cent increase from the previous year. The increase is expected as the market has experienced its strongest year to date since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring. 

National benchmark prices will rise 8.4 per cent to $699,000, largely due to lower supply” Mr Hogue wrote.

The phenomenon is not new, but in recent years people have left the big cities in large numbers and been replaced by new immigrants.

The pandemic has accelerated the trend, especially among younger demographic and has had a significant impact on the housing market, where large suburban homes are seen as a more attractive option for young people than large urban ones. 

Almost a third of the increase in outflows is attributable to 15-29 year olds, with 82 per cent under 45.

DW Staff

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