Introduction

A population estimate is a measure of the current or historical population at a particular point in time.

  • As of October 1, 2023, Alberta’s population was 4,756,408.
  • Alberta’s population growth continues to accelerate. In the 12 months preceding October 1, the province’s population expanded by about 194,000 people, or 4.3%. This represents a significant increase from the previous year (2.5% in 2021-22) and the highest October 1 annual growth rate since 1980.
  • Alberta’s population expanded by over 61,118 residents over the third quarter of 2023, or 1.3%. This was the highest growth in any single quarter since 1980.
  • Alberta has registered interprovincial migration gains of 10,000 or more for 5 consecutive quarters for the first time since comparable data were made available (1971).

Image 1. Alberta components of population change, Q3 of 2023

Alberta components of population change
Source: Statistics Canada and Alberta Treasury Board and Finance

Other highlights

  • In comparison, Canada’s growth rate was 1.07%. Among the 4 largest provinces, Ontario had the next fastest quarterly growth at 1.24%, with B.C. and Quebec coming in at 1.13% and 0.83%, respectively.
  • International net migration was the biggest driver of Alberta’s growth in the second quarter, contributing 0.84%, followed by net interprovincial migration at 0.36% and natural increase with 0.10%.
  • This was the fifth quarter in a row that Alberta registered the highest net gains in Canada, adding a net of 17,094 new residents.
    • Alberta was the only province to register substantial net inflows of interprovincial migrants.

International migration

International migration added 39,212 net new residents to Alberta in the third quarter of 2023. This figure includes both permanent and temporary immigration (NPRs) from sources outside the country.

  • This was the second consecutive quarter of record international migration in the current data series (going back to 1971).
  • Alberta welcomed 11,881 immigrants in the third quarter, representing 11.0% of national arrivals. The share of national arrivals was similar to the same period last year (10.3%).
    • In comparison, almost 108,000 immigrants made their home in Canada in the third quarter. So far in 2023, Canada has landed 371,299 immigrants. The national target for the 2023 calendar year is 465,000 arrivals.

For the second quarter in a row, Canada and the large provinces welcomed a record number of net non-permanent residents.

  • Alberta saw a net increase of 28,434 exceeding last quarters record of 17,736. Of these, 55% held a work permit only, 25% held a study permit only and 9% held both.

As of October 1, 2023, almost 180,000 NPRs were Alberta residents. This stock of temporary immigrants was largely comprised of work permit holders (59%) and study permit holders (24%).

Table 1. Number of non-permanent residents by type

Source: Statistics Canada and Alberta Treasury Board and Finance
Notes: The NPR types are mutually exclusive and are derived in the following order of classification: asylum claimants then permit holders. Consequently, there are no asylum claimants among the permit holders types. 'Other' mainly refers to family members living with permit holders, unless these family members are already Canadian citizens, landed immigrants, or NPRs themselves. The NPR type 'Other' also refers to other permit holders (for example, temporary resident permits, formerly known as 'Minister’s Permits').
 October 1, 2022July 1, 2023October 1, 2023∆Q/Q∆Y/Y
Total non-permanent residents103,834150,320178,75428,43474,920
Total asylum claimants4,2935,7667,4371,6713,144
Total, permit holders and their family members99,541144,554171,31726,76371,776
Work permit holders only53,94589,575105,31115,73651,366
Study permit holders only33,05236,57643,7427,16610,690
Work and study permit holders7,46911,01313,6112,5986,142
Other5,0757,3908,6531,2633,578

Interprovincial migration

Alberta posted the largest net interprovincial gains of all provinces and territories in the second quarter by a large margin (17,094).

  • Alberta was the only province registering significant net gains from interprovincial migration. 
  • This was the fifth quarter in a row that Alberta registered the highest net interprovincial gains.
  • On a net basis, Alberta gained the most interprovincial migrants from Ontario (6,262), B.C. (5,269), Saskatchewan (1,579) and Manitoba (1,316).

Natural increase

Natural increase added 4,812 people in the second quarter, the balance of 13,402 births and 8,590 deaths.

  • Manitoba had the highest natural growth rate at 0.11%, followed by Alberta (0.10%)

Image 2. Net population movement for Alberta (July 1 to September 30, 2023)

Map: Net Population Movement for Alberta

Source: Statistics Canada and Alberta Treasury Board and Finance

Table 2. Interprovincial migration statistics (July 1  to September 30, 2023)

Source: Statistics Canada and Alberta Treasury Board and Finance
Province/
territory
InOutNetOutflow
to Alberta
Inflow
from Alberta
Net flow
to Alberta
NL1,7722,004-232626399227
PEI1,0591,208-149417114303
NS4,6364,652-16979572407
NB4,2684,24721838429409
QC7,9339,025-10921,7156181,097
ON20,34526,297-5,9529,7103,4486,262
MB3,3835,858-2,4751,9446281,316
SK3,9605,878-1,9182,9711,3921,579
AB29,12912,03517,094000
BC12,55217,186-4,6349,5894,3205,269
YT382558-176704030
NWT244653-40924060180
NVT288350-62301515

Detailed population tables

Population change components

Population change is a result of the relationship between births, deaths and migration.

Definitions

  • Natural increase – The difference between the number of births and deaths.
  • Migration (net) – The difference between movements into a region and those out of a region.
  • International migration (net) – This includes immigrants, emigrants, non-permanent residents (net), temporarily abroad (net) and returning migrants:
    • Immigrants – permanent residents moving to Canada from other countries and landing in Alberta.
    • Emigrants – people permanently leaving Canada
    • Non-permanent residents (net) – in and out movements of foreign students, workers and refugee claimants, and the families of each of these categories
    • Temporarily abroad (net) – movements of people who do not have a residence in Canada, but intend to return
    • Returning migrants – former emigrants who have returned to Canada to live
  • Interprovincial migration (net) – The movement between the provinces and territories of Canada, which equals 0 at the national level.
  • Intraprovincial migration (net) – The movement within the province of Alberta, which equals 0 at the provincial level.

Archived publications

These detail Alberta population estimates between 2002 and 2019 on a quarterly basis.

  1. 2002 First Quarter to 2009 First Quarter
  2. 2009 Second Quarter to 2019 Second Quarter

Archived annual report: 2021-22 Annual Population Report (January 19, 2022)

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Contact

Jennifer Hansen, Manager, Demography and Social Statistics
Office of Statistics and Information
Phone: 780-427-8811
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]

General OSI enquiries

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-2071
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-426-3951
Email: [email protected]

Media enquiries

Contact the Treasury Board and Finance Spokesperson.