'Move to Canada' Google Searches Surge After Trump-Biden Debate

Many Americans were upset by last night's presidential debate, prompting them to look for a way out. The spike in interest in moving to Canada arose that night.

people in california watch presidential debate

Image via Getty/Mario Tama

people in california watch presidential debate

The U.S. presidential debate that went down last night was an absolute clusterfuck. There’s simply no other way to put it. “Shit show” also works, but CNN already used that term. 

In between the outbursts and interruptions were actual short spurts of comprehensible adult conversation on topics like the upcoming Supreme Court pick, the COVID-19 pandemic response, the economy, the civil unrest still ongoing in centres across the nation and more, but it wasn’t enough to keep Americans from spiralling into an existential dread over the two candidates on tap for national leadership. 

With the current POTUS, Donald Trump, rambling from interruptions to insults to lies like he’s swapping out wives, the Democratic nominee Joe Biden struggling to complete a thought without chucking a barb back at his opponent, and the “moderator” Chris Wallace talking over “Mr. President” again and again in futile attempts to rein him in, it’s no wonder the term “move to Canada” shot up in Google rankings last night. 

The highlight was hands-down the moment that presidential hopeful Biden said what the whole world was thinking and asked Trump, “Will you shut up, man?” Amazing. 

Still, many Americans were quite upset by the showing of current and potential leadership, prompting them to look for a way out. You don’t say…

And one of the most direct routes out of the U.S.? Head North, politically frustrated young man.  

Searches for “how to apply for Canadian citizenship” more than quadrupled shortly after the two old men started jabbering at each other, peaking at 10:30 p.m. EST according to Google

Move to Canada” also became a popular query online, with searches spiking last night. Things apparently don’t feel much better in the light of day, either, as searches rose even higher first thing this morning.  

So who is it that wants out? Google suggests it's the residents of Wyoming, Oregon, Vermont, Colorado, and Maine who are most itchy to fly the coop, at least according to their increased interest in expatriation. 

The spike in interest in moving to Canada is reminiscent of election night 2016, when the Canadian immigration site crashed due to an influx of traffic. In fact, more Americans actually have tried to move to Canada since the 2016 election. According to data from the Canadian government, applications for permanent residency in Canada jumped to 9,000 individuals in 2017 from 6,800 in 2015.

So how do you, a Canadian citizen, feel about this push to visit and/or move in from our politically exhausted Southerly neighbours? Should we peel open the border and welcome them in, or take up our own “Build The Wall” chant? Luckily, for the moment at least, we don’t have to decide. 

Never thought I’d write this, but thank you COVID.


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