Canada: The world’s emergency exit
As Canada celebrates its national day on July 1, many Britons and Americans view the country with envy. Data from Google Trends show interest in moving to Canada at an all-time high. It surged in Britain after the Brexit vote. Americans’ interest peaked after Donald Trump cleaned up on Super Tuesday. The spikes coincide with searches for other expressions of despair, such as “rigged election” and “average IQ by state”
CANADA has long been a country for idealists. Before the United States entered either world war, thousands of Americans eager to fight in Europe joined the Canadian military. Decades later, Americans fled north to avoid fighting in Vietnam. In the absence of any large-scale conflicts between national armies, what events might inspire an American to leave for the Great White North today? Data from Google Trends provide a clue.
In America, presidential elections seem to be a major source of grief. Google searches for “move to Canada” dramatically spiked when George W. Bush defeated John Kerry in 2004. The uptick in interest in Canada coincided with searches for other expressions of political despair like “rigged election” and “average IQ by state”. Americans’ interest in moving to Canada seemed to decay rapidly however, and it was only earlier this year that Americans began contemplating moving north again. This time the catalyst was the ascent of one Donald J. Trump; on March 1st, when the Republican presidential candidate won seven out of 11 primaries on “Super Tuesday”, searches for “move to Canada” hit an all-time high.
Dreams of the wondrous Canada have spread across the Atlantic: when Britain unexpectedly voted by a margin of 52% to 48% to leave the European Union, some disillusioned Britons also looked to the home of Celine Dion for salvation. While the actual number of Americans and Brits adopting maple-leafed passports over the last decade is rather low (15,000 combined a year on average), recent political events suggest that the case for Canada may have never been stronger.