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Canada: internal migration

Migration A–Z


  1. Don Nerbas

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm089

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Nerbas, D. 2013. Canada: internal migration. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


During the late 1860s and early 1870s the vast territories of northern North America were assembled under a new political entity called Canada. With this, the new Canadian state assumed political authority over a highly regionalized geographic space peopled by individuals whose migration patterns and worldviews failed to respect national boundaries. In the case of Canada, a settler society, the project of nation-building was explicitly linked to attracting large numbers of immigrants, but outmigration also remained common; and an estimated 2.8 million people left for the United States between 1840 and 1940 (Ramirez 2001: ix). Internal migration thus represents a discrete category of migration, which only became recognizable as such after the creation and consolidation of imperial and national boundaries.


  • poverty;
  • demography and population studies;
  • farming;
  • labor supply;
  • indigenous peoples