Trump's election didn't actually inspire more Americans to move to Canada

Some Americans may have said they wanted to move to Canada after Donald Trump became president, but few actually followed through, The National Post reports.

New data released by Canada's immigration office indicates only a slight year-over-year uptick in applications for Canadian citizenship in 2017.

In the first four months of 2016, an average of 264 people filed applications each month. This year, the number rose to 400 in that period — that's more than a 50% jump from 2016 but just half of the average from 2012. The data actually suggests a trend of declining applications overall.

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Migrants fleeing to Canada from Minnesota
A group of migrants who said they were from Djibouti and Somalia follow railway tracks towards the Canada-U.S. border as seen from Emerson, Manitoba, Canada, March 27, 2017. Picture taken March 27, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) vehicle approaches as a migrant stands on a residential street after crossing the Canada-U.S. border in Emerson, Manitoba, Canada, March 27, 2017. Picture taken March 27, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
A group of migrants who said they were from Djibouti and Somalia walk along railway tracks after crossing the Canada-U.S. border in Emerson, Manitoba, Canada, March 27, 2017. Picture taken March 27, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A road sign pointing to Emerson, Manitoba, Canada, near the Canada-U.S. border, March 24, 2017. Picture taken March 24, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
Deer graze along railway tracks near the Canada-U.S. border in Emerson, Manitoba, Canada, March 26, 2017. Picture taken March 26, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
A sign is seen on a fence on the U.S. side of the former Canada-U.S. border crossing in Noyes, Minnesota, U.S., March 28, 2017. Picture taken March 28, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
A Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer waits in a van near railway tracks on the Canadian side of the Canada-U.S. border in Emerson, Manitoba, Canada, March 25, 2017. Picture taken March 25, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
Fog blankets the area near railway tracks on the Canadian side of the Canada-U.S. border in Emerson, Manitoba, Canada, March 27, 2017. Picture taken March 27, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
A train crosses the Canada-U.S. border in Emerson, Manitoba, Canada, March 25, 2017. Picture taken March 25, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
An international boundary marker is seen on the U.S. side of the Canada-U.S. border in Noyes, Minnesota, U.S., March 28, 2017. Picture taken March 28, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
A scarf lies on the ground on the U.S. side of the Canada-U.S. border near the former border crossing in Noyes, Minnesota, U.S., March 28, 2017. Picture taken March 28, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
A child's bottle lies on the ground on the U.S. side of the Canada-U.S. border near the former border crossing in Noyes, Minnesota, U.S., March 28, 2017. Picture taken March 28, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
A ski mask lies on the ground on the U.S. side of the Canada-U.S. border near the former border crossing in Noyes, Minnesota, U.S., March 28, 2017. Picture taken March 28, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
A group of migrants who said they were from Djibouti and Somalia walk along a residential street after crossing the Canada-U.S. border in Emerson, Manitoba, Canada, March 27, 2017. Picture taken March 27, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
A group of migrants who said they were from Djibouti and Somalia place their belongings in a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) vehicle after crossing the Canada-U.S. border in Emerson, Manitoba, Canada, March 27, 2017. Picture taken March 27, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
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Threatening to move north is something of a tradition during US election cycles. Roughly half of the country is guaranteed to be disappointed with the outcome, and many people take comfort in Canada's proximity.

After the November election, Canada was one of a few countries that opened its arms to Americans, along with New Zealand and Ireland.

However, becoming a Canadian citizen is an expensive, time-consuming process. Applicants must pony up more than $500 just to apply, and those who get accepted must have a sponsor, such as an employer or spouse, to vouch that the immigrant will be able to live comfortably.

Only then will the permanent residency clock start moving — full citizenship will come roughly six years later.

Some people have made the move despite those challenges. Heidi Lamar, a day spa owner from Scottsdale, Arizona, filed for permanent residency with her Canadian husband in 2012. ("My Canadian husband came in for a massage and left with a wife instead," she told Business Insider.) But five years later, she is still waiting to become a naturalized citizen.

According to The National Post, tourism to Canada's Cape Breton spiked 14% in the wake of the election compared to the same timeframe the previous year. Even if citizenship presented a challenge, a small taste of the country seemed to suffice.

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SEE ALSO: How to move to Canada and become a Canadian citizen


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