Many people I know who are within 10 years of retirement are considering options for relocating when they retire.  It’s great to have options but making a decision can be tricky when there is so much to consider.  One piece of information that might help in making a relocation decision is whether the new place seems to suit our personality style of ‘belonging’. 

One indicator that might be helpful in assessing a decision to move is the amount of relocation already taking place in an area.  If there is a lot of movement it might indicate that the neighbours will be transitory and neighbourly relationships will be fleeting.  If there is very little movement it might indicate a higher degree of difficulty a new comer will experience when integrating into their new neighbourhood.

In order to understand how much relocation is taking place, a comparison of cities of similar sizes, at opposite ends of the country, is below.  The chart includes Victoria and Kelowna because of their reputation as retirement destinations.  Also included are Halifax and St. John’s, two eastern cities of similar size to Victoria and Kelowna respectively.  All four cities are of interest to older Canadians.  Toronto is included for comparison purposes.

The Statistics Canada data indicates those who live in these cities as of the 2011 census.  It also indicates the number who moved and whether those moves took place within the same metropolitan area or not.

Migration

Victoria

%

Kelowna

%

Toronto

%

Halifax

%

St. John’s (N.L.)

%

Total Population

311,060

153,165

4,771,650

351,015

170,070

Those who did not move

165,100

53

74,865

49

2,630,150

55

207,360

59

105,915

62

Those who moved

145,965

47

78,300

51

2,141,500

45

143,655

41

64,150

38

Switched census   area

68,300

22

37,915

25

1,003,960

21

47,730

14

28,945

17

 

 

 

 

 

Kelowna, British Columbia has the greatest percentage of movers at 51%.  Victoria and Toronto are similar at 47% and 45% of the population moving.  The eastern metropolitan areas have fewer movers with Halifax, Nova Scotia at 41% and St. John’s Newfoundland at 38%.

More diverse results occurred when the percentage of people switching between metropolitan areas was examined.  This provides some insight into how many new comers there are, although some migrants will be returnees with roots already in the community.  These numbers range from a high in Kelowna at 25% to a low in Halifax at 14%.

These migration indicators are useful for making generalizations.  I’m always one for test-driving a decision whenever possible.  In this case I’m a huge advocate for renting first in a new location.  It’s not always possible but it is something to remain open minded about when making big decisions such as moving.