Immigrant retention in New Brunswick: An analysis using linked federal-provincial administrative data

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New Brunswick Institute for Research, Data and Training


The Government of New Brunswick (GNB) has identified immigration as a key strategy for addressing stagnant population growth and a shrinking labour force. GNB invests significant resources and efforts to attract more immigrants to the province and retain them. However, to understand if current policies are effective or need to be altered, it is important to know the retention rates of immigrants arriving in New Brunswick and which factors influence these rates. In 2019, NB-IRDT released a report titled “Immigrant retention in New Brunswick: Results from BizNet and Citizen Database” (Leonard et al.), in which data from Biznet (the Provincial Nominee Program database) and the Citizen Database (Medicare registry) were used to estimate the retention rates of immigrants who arrived through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). The current study provides an update and extension to the 2019 report with the objective of using matched federal data from the Permanent Resident Landing File of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Citizen Database to estimate the retention rates of all immigrants who intended to arrive in New Brunswick (NB). As such, this study investigates - which streams of immigrants have higher retention rates, - factors influencing the decision to leave NB, and - retention rates for immigrants in the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) program. It also examines retention rates for PNP and immigration streams within PNP using data from Immigration New Brunswick (previously BizNet) and the Citizen Database for additional granularity in settlement streams not available in the IRCC data. These databases have been matched through the Department of Health using the name, gender, and birthdate of individuals; stripped of any personal identifiers (e.g., addresses); and pseudonymized (de-identified) before being sent to NB-IRDT.