A Look at Alternative Ways to Estimate Emigration in Canada
Andre Lebel, Statistics Canada
Developing accurate and timely estimates of emigration is essential for producing valid population estimates. Despite recommendations by the United Nations to establish a universal definition and implement uniform methods to measure international migration, not much progress has been made. Unlike immigration, there is no legal provision in Canada to maintain records for persons leaving the country or legal obligations to declare an emigration event to Canadian authorities. Therefore, estimates must be derived through secondary sources such as Canadian administrative files or immigration statistics from foreign countries. According to information from census coverage studies, emigration estimates in Canada have systematically been underestimated and appear to explain a major part of population estimates discrepancy with adjusted census. The aim of this paper is to assess the feasibility and efficiency of using new data sources and methods to produce enhanced official estimates of emigration in Canada.