Cross-border migration (in both directions)

by Patrick Cain

Jacques Poitras wondered, looking at our maps of US citizens in Canada , (see previous post) what a map of Canadians in the United States would look like. I started to wonder, too, and (with some help from the US Census media people) found a table of Canadian-born respondents to the US census by county.

Plugged into a county population table, plugged into a county KML file, we have a more or less equivalent map of Canadian-born US residents, who may or may not also be US citizens. From there it was tempting to create a one-stop shop map showing both sides of the border, with density of Americans in Canada in blue and density of Canadians in the US in green.

Within regions, the cross-border flow of people is sometimes reciprocal, sometimes not. The Maine-New Brunswick border region that Jacques wrote about in his bookhas lots of people living on the opposite side of the border from the one they were born on – Aroostook County, Me. is the top American county for Canadian-born residents – but the US counties facing Quebec don’t show the same pattern. (Quebec has relatively few Americans.)

The Niagara and Windsor border regions show the opposite pattern, with proportionately far more Americans on the Canadian side:

The Lake of the Woods/International Falls area is more reciprocal:

… as is the Vancouver/Bellingham region.

A fully interactive version of the map can be found here.


About Leslie Young

A budding data and database geek, I try to turn numbers into stories. I've been with Global News since the spring of 2011. Find me on Twitter @leslieyoung
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