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Canada: A Nation On The Move

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 15 July 2003 00:00

Statistics Canada describes this country as "a nation on the move." According to the most recent Census, four in 10 Canadians picked up and moved between 1996 and 2001. Research shows Canadians are still heading west, but stopping at the Rockies. Young adults continue to flock to large metropolitan areas while those over 65 leave urban areas for smaller cities or rural locations.

Although 11,710,300 individuals aged five and over changed addresses during the five-year period between 1996 and 2001, the overall rate at which Canada's population moved declined to its lowest level in more than two decades.

Movers represented 41.9% of the total population aged five and over in 2001, down from 43.3% in 1996 and down sharply from 46.7% in 1991. Statistics Canada analysts credit this decline to growth in the older population who have tended to move less than young adults.

Almost half of the moves were short-distance transplants within the same municipality. About 12.8% of movers uprooted to another municipality inside the same province. Only about 905,700, or almost 3.2%, moved from one province or territory to another and only a fraction of those Canadians were over age 65.

Statistics Canada analysts see the decline in mobility beyond age 25 as a reflection of the aging of children in a family and their enrolment in school. Compared to 50% of the population aged 15 to 29 moving between 1996 and 2001 and about 5% leaving their province, only 27 % of adults aged 45 to 64 changed addresses and only 2.0% changed province or territory. Similarly, among adults aged 65 and over, only 18.3% changed addresses while 1.2% changed province or territory.

Moving involves more than a change of address. Whether you live in a house, semi, condominium, apartment or any other type of housing, your home:

  • Is a symbol of your independence and autonomy
  • Fulfils many of your emotional, spiritual and social needs
  • Is at the center of the community that supports your lifestyle
  • Affects your financial and physical well-being
  • Allows control over your life and relationships

    Although individual circumstances vary, once the kids leave home and career moves are no longer the driving force behind relocation, people move for one or more of the following-- usually unanticipated--reasons:

    1. Costly home repairs, renovations or modernizations become necessary.
    2. Changes in personal mobility of one or both spouses.
    3. Altered requirements for accommodation which make the home too big or too small for family needs or obligations.
    4. Increased financial stresses which may include increased property taxes or decreased income. 5. Dramatic changes in personal relationships including divorce, remarriage or severe illness or death of a spouse.
    5. Increased availability of housing alternatives in the desired neighborhood.
    6. New lifestyle interests which make another location more attractive or a different type of housing more suitable.

    Reviewing this list and preparing "What if" back-up plans may help your moves become voluntary changes not forced relocations. When and if you do decide to move, be sure that this is the best way to preserve or improve your standard of living, and to maintain your independence.

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