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International migration drives Metro population growth, while losses fuelled by draw of neighbouring areas

A record number of Metro Vancouver residents have fled the region for other areas of B.C., according to the most recent population data from Statistics Canada.

At the same time, Metro, which is home to more than 2.5 million people, has seen sustained population growth thanks to steady immigration from other countries.

StatsCan’s population estimates for sub-provincial areas, released Tuesday, show that Vancouver saw a net 9,926 people leave its census metropolitan area — which encompasses Metro, an area that stretches from Lions Bay to Langley — between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016, and settle in other areas of the province. The migration losses were most pronounced among those aged 25-64 years and children under 18.

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Patrick Charbonneau, a senior analyst with StatsCan, said Metro has always had population losses due to intra-provincial migration, but in the past they were “less considerable.”

“There is for sure an increase at the intra-provincial losses if we’re looking at the recent trends in Vancouver,” he said.

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