The number of U.S. citizens who moved to Canada last year hit a 30-year high, with a 20 percent increase over the previous year and almost double the number who moved in 2000.
In 2006, 10,942 Americans went to Canada, compared with 9,262 in 2005 and 5,828 in 2000, according to a survey by the Association for Canadian Studies.
Of course, those numbers are still outweighed by the number of Canadians going the other way. Yet, that imbalance is shrinking. Last year, 23,913 Canadians moved to the United States, a significant decrease from 29,930 in 2005.
“Those who are coming have the highest level of education â€” these aren’t people who can’t get a job in the states,” he says. “They’re coming because many of them don’t like the politics, the Iraq War and the security situation in the U.S. By comparison, Canada is a tension-free place. People feel safer.”
As a frequent traveler to Canada in the 70s and 80s, I still remember the noticable feeling of safety in a Canadian city. I’m glad to finally see some hard numbers on emigration, which corroborate my anecdotal, gut-level feeling: I can now name several acquantainces or e-buddies who moved in recent years, in specific response to the way things are going in the USA.
My advice to those who are thinking of moving (and this includes me): leave as soon as you can, before this trickle becomes a flood, before the borders close or an "exit tax" is imposed, or before Canada’s entrance requirements are raised considerably because of this flood. I’ve studied the various ways to emigrate, and have noticed various legal services set up in Canada to assist would-be emigres. Simply google Canada immigration.
Beyond the process of getting into another country, the issue of whether to stay or go (assuming you are able to leave) is an interesting one. Some feel compelled to stick things out here, in order to fight to change them. They have a sense of obligation or even patriotism. Moreover, there’s the sense of unique privilege we have as American citizens, that unlike the rest of the world, which is affected by the policies of our government, we at least have the right as citizens to try and change these globally impacting policies. Billions on this planet have no such say whatsoever. I felt this very strongly in the 2000 and 2004 elections, and cast my votes with a heavier sense of responsibility than ever before.
Beyond that, it comes down to where is the best place for you, as an individual, to express your life in the years to come, to make your stand. My grandparents came here from Russia, fleeing their native land before the Bolshevik Revolution. Those Jews who escaped Nazi Germany were similarly lucky. America is still a shining star for many, especially the third world. For some first world Australians, America is the Big Time, and I recently met one who emigrated here for this very reason. Each person’s reasons for staying or going are unique. But being the freedom loving guy that I am, I sure as hell don’t want to be stuck here against my wishes when the borders close and It’s Too Late.