It seems a large number of Americans really were interested in finding out what it takes to immigrate to Canada, as Donald Trump rose to victory Tuesday night.
Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration (CIC) website crashed on election night due to a huge spike in web traffic, more than half of which came from U.S. web addresses. According to a spokesperson, the CIC website began experiencing server issues around 11 p.m., right around the time it became clear a Trump win was imminent.
“At that time, American IP addresses accounted for approximately 50 per cent of the traffic, followed by Canada at 37 per cent, then Australia at 3 per cent, and U.K. at one per cent,” a spokesperson told Global News.
Of course, those numbers don’t include users who tried to access the CIC website, but were unsuccessful – and, according to Twitter, there were quite a few people who were unable to access the website.
On average, the share of American users accessing the CIC website ranges from eight to 11 per cent, according to the spokesperson.
The number of U.S. visitors the websites received on election night is pretty impressive when you look at the number of U.S. immigrants to Canada in the last 10 years or so.
The number of American citizens immigrating to Canada spiked in 2003, back when U.S. and allied forces invaded Iraq, and rose again sharply when Bush was re-elected in 2004. It started to fall again after President Barack Obama was elected in 2008.
Some 34,000 more Americans emigrated to Canada in 10 years, starting with Bush’s 2004 re-election, than in the previous decade. Immigration from the United States to Canada doubled between 2002 and 2008, from just under 5,000 to just over 10,000.
U.S. immigration to Canada rose after the September 11, 2001 attacks, the invasion of Iraq and Bush’s second election victory, but that increase is dwarfed by the thousands of Americans, many in danger of being drafted, who fled to Canada during the Vietnam era.
U.S. immigration to Canada, 1955-2014
An Ipsos poll, conducted exclusively for Global News in March, found that 19 per cent of American respondents would “consider moving to Canada” if Trump were to win. The number was especially high among young respondents: 28 per cent aged 18 to 34 said they’d consider the move.
The number of U.S. residents searching for jobs in Canada has gone up more than 50 per cent this year from last, Monster.com revealed last week.
In all of 2015, there were about 20,000 such queries on the popular employment search engine. By 2016, there were more than 30,000.
— With files from Patrick Cain