While Canada's population soared at a record pace in the third quarter of 2023, fueled by the highest quarterly growth in 66 years, it's Alberta that's the envy of the nation, benefitting from an unprecedented influx of newcomers from every other province and territory.
Alberta population estimates, quarterly
Source: Source: Statistics Canada. Table 17-10-0009-01 Joel Dryden/CBC
Here's a deeper dive into the statistics and trends driving this historic shift:
- Canada's population jumped by over 430,000 (1.1% quarterly growth) between July and September, pushing the national total to around 40.53 million as of October 1st.
Alberta's Golden Streak:
- Alberta reigns supreme, recording its fifth consecutive quarter with net interprovincial migration gains exceeding 10,000 people – a first since comparable data began in 1971.
- In Q3 alone, Alberta welcomed 17,094 newcomers due to interprovincial migration, making it the clear net beneficiary of this national movement.
The East-West Shuffle:
- Ontario, despite ongoing net losses, saw a smaller decline in Q3 (down by 5,952) compared to previous quarters.
- Atlantic provinces, however, witnessed a shift from the recent pandemic trend of strong population growth due to interprovincial movement. They now see negligible or negative net migration, likely impacted by a decrease in Ontario-to-Atlantic migration.
- StatCan points to Alberta's exchanges with Ontario and British Columbia as key contributors to its population boost.
- In contrast, British Columbia, once a migration magnet, recorded its fifth consecutive quarter of interprovincial migration losses, highlighting a significant trend reversal.
What This Means:
- Alberta's sustained migration gains reflect a potentially significant economic and demographic shift within Canada.
- The reasons behind these movements are likely multifaceted, involving factors like job opportunities, housing costs, and lifestyle preferences.
- Understanding the underlying trends and their long-term implications will be crucial for policymakers and businesses across the country.
- Delving deeper into the demographic breakdown of the migrants (age, education, skills) could provide valuable insights into Alberta's needs and future trajectory.
- Analyzing the specific industries and sectors attracting these newcomers would shed light on Alberta's economic strengths and potential growth areas.
- Investigating the reasons behind the Atlantic provinces' recent migration slowdown and its potential impact on their economies would offer valuable context.
By delving deeper into the statistics and exploring the driving forces behind this historic migration shift, we can gain a better understanding of the changing demographics and economic landscape of Canada, with Alberta emerging as a key player in this nationwide story.
Statistics Canada, "Quarterly Population Estimates," October 26, 2023
CBC News, "Canadians flock to Alberta in record numbers as population booms by 184,400 people," September 27, 2023
Lethbridge News Now, "Alberta's population the fastest-growing in Canada," September 27, 2023
Alberta Government, "Current provincial population estimates," October 26, 2023
Mpamag, "How is interprovincial migration influencing Alberta's growth?,", 21 Dec. 2023
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