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Ontario Emerges as the Top North American Jurisdiction for FDI Projects Relative to Population in 2010 with 10 Projects Per Million of Population

May 24, 2011

According to a report released by the Financial Times' fDi Intelligence think-tank, Ontario ranked second in North America as a destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) projects. Relative to population, Ontario emerges as the top North American jurisdiction for FDI projects in 2010 with 10 projects per million of population, followed by South Carolina with nine projects per million.

Ontario attracted a total of 127 FDI projects in 2010, 8.1 per cent of all projects into North America. This generated an estimated US$6.1 billion of capital investment (9% of capital investment into North America) and an estimated 11,211 jobs (8 per cent of jobs created by FDI into North America). At number one, California accounted for 11 per cent of investment projects in North America.

This ranking further affirms Ontario's rising stature as a global investment destination. Ontario - Canada's economic powerhouse, and the seventh largest economy in North America - has emerged especially as a North American hub for international investment. The province's stable and growing economy, skilled and reliable workforce, environment of innovation, proximity to market, competitive business costs  and quality of life have made it an investment destination of choice for leading firms across industries worldwide.

Top 20 N. American States/Provinces for FDI Projects per 1,000,000 of population in 2010

Destination State/Province FDI Projects per 1,000,000 of population
Ontario 10.0
South Carolina 9.1
New Brunswick 8.2
Prince Edward Island 7.4
North Carolina 7.3
Indiana 7.3
Delaware 6.7
Rhode Island 6.7
Nova Scotia 6.6
New York 6.4
Alabama 6.3
Alberta 6.2
Massachusetts 6.1
Kentucky 6.0
Kansas 5.3
Saskatchewan 5.2
Georgia 5.2
British Columbia 4.9
Tennessee 4.9
Ohio 4.9

The US is the top source market for FDI into Ontario accounting for 66 projects, 52 per cent of all FDI into Ontario in 2010. Germany, UK, Spain and Japan complete the top five source countries for FDI into Ontario. Together the top five source countries accounted for 78 per cent of all FDI projects into Ontario.

Top 20 N. American States/Provinces by No of FDI Projects in 2010

Destination State/Province No of FDI Projects
California 172
Ontario 127
New York 126
Texas 92
Florida 72
North Carolina 70
Ohio 56
Georgia 52
Indiana 47
Illinois 45
South Carolina 42
Massachusetts 40
Quebec 32
Michigan 31
Tennessee 31
Alabama 30
Virginia 30
Pennsylvania 30
New Jersey 27
Kentucky 26
Other 395
Total 1,573

The top four sectors for FDI Projects into Ontario in 2010 were electronic components, software and IT services, business services, financial services, with Ontario's FDI of projects related to electronic components comprising an impressive 22 per cent of market share of FDI into North America by percentage.

Ontario ranked as the third top destination state/province in North America in 2010, attracting a total of US$6.1 billion of capital investment through greenfield FDI. When relating this investment to the population size, Ontario attracted US$482.4m capital investment per million of the population, ranking it 6th relative to other North American states/provinces.


  • Ontario's GDP, at US$473 billion, is larger than that of many countries.
  • Ontario is home to the majority - 58 per cent - of foreign-controlled head offices in Canada.
  • Ontario offers investors excellent market access, with over 153 million consumers located within a day's drive.
  • Overall, 63% of Ontario's population has a post-secondary education.


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