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Call for papers for a special issue

Why Do Migrants Stay? Migrant Retention in Small and Mid-Sized Cities in Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand
March 30, 2021

Many small and mid-sized cities in Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand view international migration as a way to address labour shortages and to counter the effects of population decline. But smaller urban centres often face significant challenges to attracting and retaining migrants, however, as migrants often prefer to live in larger cities. 

It is clear that stable and meaningful employment is a primary factor for immigrant attraction and retention in regional centres. A number of research studies have also found that educational opportunities, the creation of a welcoming environment, and the presence of amenities and services contribute to the successful attraction and retention of migrants. Yet, smaller centres often struggle to meet all of these criteria simultaneously. Moreover, even when these requirements appear to be met, migrant retention rates may fall short of expectations. 

Our goal with this special issue is to take a place-based approach and to delve deeper into the contextual factors contributing to newcomer retention in small and mid-sized cities.

This Special Issue focuses on Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand due to active research and policy debate in these countries (whether at the federal level or the local level) on how to maximize the benefits of international migration by making smaller centres attractive and welcoming to newcomers.  

For the submission timeline and the full range of topics that will be considered for this special issue, please download the Call for Proposals PDF found at the top of this page. 

Deadline for paper proposals: May 10, 2021

Please submit a paper abstract of 500 words indicating the analytical framework, methodology and main preliminary findings, and a 200 word biographical note to and Please submit in one file labelled clearly with your last name and short title of paper. Authors (those selected and not selected) will be notified by the end of May.