Mingzhu Qi

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography and Geology


Kao-Lee Liaw




This thesis sets out to characteize, explain, and assess the 1991-96 and lifetime interprovincial migrations of elderly Canadians, based on the migration data of the 1996 population census. The study of the 1991-96 elderly migration is divided into two parts. The first part characterizes, interprets, and assesses the relative importance of five distinct types of migration(primary, onward, return, foreign, and recent immigration). The major findings are (1) that the overall redistributional impact of the 1991-96 elderly migration was the increase of the shares of Canada's elderly population by the three provinces with the strongest economies; (2) that due to the positive selectivity in primary and onward migrations with respect to income and marital status, the migrations of the Canadian-born elderly probably did not result in increased financial burden on these provinces; and (3) that recent immigrants accounted for more than half of the combined pool of the elderly migrants and made Canada less French. The purpose of second part is to characterize and explain interprovincial elderly primary migration (migration from the province of birth) in a multivariate context, using a nested logit model. The main finding is that both the location of adult children and environmental amenities were important factors in the departure decision and destination choices of elderly migrants. This result supports Litwak's theory of modified extended family and the developmental theory of Litwak and Longino as well. The main purpose of studying the lifetime migration of elderly Canadians is to assess the long-term effects of interprovincial migration. The main findings are (1) that the lifetime migration resulted in the net transfers of migrants from the "have not" to the "have"provinces; (2) that the migrants moving in the "right" direction achieved income betterment, although the betterment was not large enough to compensate for the disadvantage of being born in the "have not" provinces and/or to Francophone parents; and (3) that the lifetime migration aggravated somewhat the cultural polarization between Quebec and the rest of Canada.

McMaster University Library

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