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Secondary migration of immigrants to Canada: an analysis of LSIC wave 1 data

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Immigrant settlement patterns are inherently more dynamic and diverse than those observed at the time of the census. In particular, it is likely that the intended settlement pattern (the destination stated to immigration officials at the time of entry) differs from the initial settlement pattern (the actual settlement location). At best, previous research has relied upon census data to illuminate these patterns, but only allowing a rough estimate of the dynamics of the system. As a result, spatial adjustments to the settlement process are only partially understood, with limited distinctions between recent and earlier arrivals, those who settled after a series of moves, or those that did not move at all after arrival. Using the recently released Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada (LSIC), this article examines differences in the evolution of the settlement pattern of immigrants in their first 6 months in Canada, potentially illuminating differences between the intended and initial settlement patterns. The advantage of this file is its longitudinal nature, allowing settlement location of the same individuals to be traced over time. Results suggest that while mobility is high among the newest arrivals, the intended and initial destinations are largely equivalent.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Geography and Earth Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4K1, Canada ( ), Email:

Publication date: 2007-03-01

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