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More newcomers in B.C. are choosing to live outside Metro Vancouver, latest census data shows

October 29, 2022

By CBC News |

A growing number of new immigrants in B.C. are choosing to live outside of Metro Vancouver, according to 2021 census data from Statistics Canada.

One of them is Alan Gonzales, who came to Kelowna, B.C., five years ago as a Canadian permanent resident.

Gonzales, who is from the Philippines, received his permanent residency through the Express Entry program, a competitive point-based immigration program for skilled workers.

“One day I just decided to click on the government website to apply for Express Entry,” said Gonzales, a marketing professional who currently works as a settlement services co-ordinator at the non-profit, KCR Community Resources, in Kelowna.

“It’s not even a very high score, and then after three days, I received an email from the Government of Canada saying, ‘congratulations,'” he said.

“At first I thought it was a scam. I didn’t bother reading it and after two weeks, I just forwarded it to my sister who’s staying here in Canada, and she said, ‘that’s your key to Canada!'”

Immigrants now make up 29 per cent of B.C.’s population, higher than the national average of 23 per cent, according to census data released Wednesday.

While Metro Vancouver is still home to the largest number of immigrants in the province, its share of recent newcomers has dropped from 81 per cent in 2011-2016, to 78 per cent in 2016-2021, as many have chosen to live in other metropolitan areas.

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