Immigrant Retention in NB: An Analysis Using Administrative Medicare Registry Data

Although annual immigration levels in Canada have been between 200,000 to 300,000 persons annually since 2000, relatively few of those immigrants chose to live in NB. Of those that did, a significant proportion have subsequently left the province. With its relatively older population distribution, substantial outmigration of younger people, and declining traditional industries in many (especially rural) areas, the Province of New Brunswick, Canada (NB) has invested significant resources and effort to encourage the attraction and retention of immigrants and refugees in NB. An understanding of these outcomes is therefore paramount for policy. This paper employs a novel approach and uses provincial administrative health insurance data on residents of New Brunswick to investigate retention of immigrants in the province and in particular how retention rates vary by observable characteristics such as region of previous residence. This dataset has the advantages that it covers almost the entire citizen and permanent resident population of NB, recorded address is actual residence in NB, and Medicare eligibility only applies to those physically resident in the Province.

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