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Beyond the Metropolis

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Immigration to small and mid-sized cities in comparative perspective

While immigration has historically been an urban phenomenon, in recent decades key players in small and mid-sized cities have come to see international migration as an opportunity to fill local labour shortages, promote economic growth, and offset the consequences of population decline. Canada, Australia and New Zealand have all developed policies to encourage immigration to non-metropolitan communities. Many of these policies have been limited in their effectiveness, however, with most immigrants continuing to show a preference for larger urban centres.  

This project considers how so far under-studied factors related to immigrants’ life course stage and the characteristics of specific places impact immigrants’ preferences for certain destinations. A comparative framework will be developed to identify commonalities and differences across the three study countries. The findings of the study will be of interest to a range of stakeholders interested in improving the successful attraction and retention of immigrants in small and mid-sized cities. 


For information about this research project contact Melissa Kelly

This project is generously supported by a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant