This section of the report has developed projections of migration for the 16 Census Divisions of the Greater Golden Horseshoe using an analysis model that relates the components of migration to two economic variables that are expected to have considerable influence on individual choices: employment opportunities and house prices.

The economic assumptions used in this research are based on historic experience. Under these assumptions, economic opportunities (measured by the employment-to-population ratio) in the study area will be less attractive than they were during the late 1990s and early 2000s, but comparable to the average seen over the last business cycle. House prices are assumed to be relatively stable, albeit at a level that has been boosted by a recent strong market cycle. The assumed average real price is about 10 percent higher than the average seen during the second half of the 1990s.

Both of these economic assumptions are expected to have negative consequences for migration tendencies in the future as compared to the second half of the 1990s.

The projections are sensitive to these assumptions:

  • If it is assumed that over the entire projection period (2001-2031) the employment rate will be higher than it was during the past business cycle, then projected migration would be higher.
  • If it is assumed that house prices will be lower (in inflation-adjusted dollars), then the projections of migration would also increase.
  • On the other hand, if house prices increase beyond the level that is assumed here, then migration would be less than expected.

The projections developed here have limitations, largely because of the small amount of data that is available, which limits the complexity of the analysis. Therefore, the projections are not definitive, either in terms of the outcomes or in terms of the specifics of the analysis. However, this analysis suggests that projections of migration and population growth should take account of economic influences.