In a recent report, it was estimated that 2.8 million Canadians currently live abroad. The rate of naturalized citizens leaving the country was three time higher than those born in the country. In fact, the emigration rate of the population between 1996 and 2006 was 4.5%, according the Canadians Abroad Project report.
Additional data noted that from among the Canadian-born population, the rate of emigration was 1.33%, or about 500,000 Canadians left the country during decade-long period being studied. The findings of the study were necessarily limited only to those born in Canada, thus eliminating foreign nationals who do not have an inherent right to return to the country.
The report also includes some other relevant statistics. For instance, 57% of all Canadian expats live in countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Hong Kong. The numbers of younger Canadians, aged 21 through 25, who left the country, were twice the average rate.
Another key factor noted in the report was gender. Canadian men who chose to live abroad figured at about 1.6% while women were only 1.05%.
The report also highlighted the cyclical patterns of immigration that characterize the lives of many expatriate Canadians living in foreign countries who end up back in Canada at some point. The reasons for this back and forth pattern may be determined by their status as foreign born immigrant who moved to Canada then later moved again. It could also be other external factors such as state of affair in the adopted country.
A Canadian may move from one country to another to take advantage of certain internal conditions—or avoid others. In fact, foreign born Canadian immigrants have noticeable return rate to their original countries when conditions or life circumstances improve or change. The percentages may vary depending on the country of origin. Still, economics may play a role as well.
The report noted that those that emigrate from wealthier countries will leave more often but will stay short periods of time. In contrast, those from less wealthy countries or those that have political issues as well, tended to remain longer in the country before leaving again.