You’ve probably heard many things about Alberta’s population on the news and online in recent months, especially considering the province’s current economic climate.
Are people leaving or are they going? This question interests many in Alberta because immigration has helped both Calgary and Edmonton become the fastest growing cities across Canada.
According to census data collected by Statistics Canada for 2016, Calgary is still the number one fastest growing city in all of Canada.
Calgary’s Metropolitan Area (CMA) increased by nearly 14.6 percent between 2011 and 2016, beating out the 12.6 percent growth rate seen during the previous five years before that (2006 to 2011).
Furthermore, Calgary has now replaced Ottawa-Gatineau as the fourth-largest metropolitan area in Canada.
Second to Calgary for growing city in Canada is its northern neighbour – Edmonton. The provinces capital city grew by 13.9 percent between 2011 and 2016, following a 12.1 percent population increase for the previous five-year census period (2006 to 2011).
Trends show that Edmonton’s growth rate may overtake Calgary and the rest of Alberta’s cities within the next five years and could replace Ottawa-Gatineau as Canada’s fifth largest metropolitan area as a result.
Alberta’s population growth continues to be the highest in all of Canada with an increase of 11.6 percent in 2016 which is up from 10.8 percent in 2011 and almost 7 percent higher than the provincial average.
Increased immigration is good news for Alberta, a province that has thrived on its multiculturalism and provides opportunities presented by several of its mainstay industries – such as the oil and gas sector. Also see Alberta’s Population Keeps Growing Despite Energy Prices.
But for now, while energy prices are low, benefiting the most is the construction sector. Many immigrants are filling much needed positions to keep Alberta’s construction and homebuilder companies working hard now and in the years to follow.
According to Statistics Canada, population growth rate will face some challenges onwards and into the future because of low fertility and an aging population. However, these issues are projected to be offset by an increase in inbound international immigrants.
Between 2011 and 2016, almost two-thirds of the nation’s population growth was due to a net increase of migrants (immigrants versus emigrants).