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Government of Alberta

Alberta Is #1 Again: We Called, Canada Answered

With nearly 200,000 new residents in one year, Alberta tops Canada’s population growth rate

If you want affordable living and quality of life, Alberta may no longer be Canada’s best-kept secret.

If population trends tell us anything, Alberta’s recent boom in population says, “Alberta is Calling!

Alberta’s population was boosted with the arrival of more than 184,000 new residents between July 2022 and July 2023, which means that Alberta is now home to an estimated 4.7 million people.

The population boom is the fastest year-over-year demographic growth of all provinces and territories. Alberta topped everyone at just over four percent

The last time the province had over 4% population growth was back in 1981, when the top song of the year was “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes, and we were all wearing puffed shoulders, power suits and parachute pants. 

Alberta also saw the highest net interprovincial gains ever recorded for the province. 

Interprovincial migration —  the difference between the number of people who moved to Alberta and the number who left — saw a net gain of 56,245 people, with most newcomers from Ontario and BC.

Overall population increases in Alberta from 2000 to 2023 | Government of Alberta

Why are People Moving to Alberta?

Historically, Alberta’s high population gains were tied to oil prices. 

Economic opportunities in the province tend to improve when oil prices are higher. But this time it seems more affordable housing is driving the migration from other provinces. 

Around 74,000 people moved from Ontario and BC to Alberta last year. 

The average home price for the period of July 2022 to July 2023 in Greater Vancouver was $1,208,400 and in Toronto was $1,082,496. 

Calgary reported a lower average home price of $570,000 while Edmonton recorded an average price of $491,000. 

Sell your house in Vancouver or Toronto, move to Calgary or Edmonton, and pocket the change as savings! Almost as good as a lottery win! 

The provincial government’s $5 million Alberta is Calling advertising campaign last year, aimed to attract workers from Ontario, BC, and the Maritimes, might have also played a role in the population increase.

Net population movement for Alberta (April 1, 2023, to June 30, 2023)  Government of Alberta

Where in Alberta are People Moving to?

Cities like Calgary and Edmonton are witnessing significant growth. The city of Airdrie, located north of Calgary, has seen its population grow by more than a quarter since 2016 while Cochrane has seen similar growth over the same time. 

Most people moving here end up in the two larger cities or in smaller satellite cities within commuting distance of these major centres like Beaumont, Leduc, Okotoks, Spruce Grove, St. Alberta, Chestermere, Cochrane and Airdrie. 

Few rural Alberta towns outside the major centres are seeing growth despite even more affordable house prices than Calgary and Edmonton.

Rural communities need to have a booming economy to draw people in, low housing prices are usually not enough.

The combination of affordable house prices and the availability of jobs seems to be the magic formula for attracting people to smaller towns.

Alberta’s recent population boom is a testament to our province’s appeal, both in terms of economic opportunities and quality of life.

While this growth brings several advantages, including increased labour supply and government revenues, it also presents challenges in terms of infrastructure and service provision.

And with higher demand for housing, prices start driving up and availability drops, creating a problem most people came here to escape.

As Alberta continues to attract both Canadian and international newcomers, it will be crucial for our provincial government to address housing challenges and job prospects in smaller communities to keep the Alberta Advantage alive!

Alberta is Calling ad | Government of Alberta

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