Updated population projections and estimates

2021-22 Annual Population Report released January 18, 2023

Population estimates for municipalities (census subdivisions) released January 11, 2023

Population estimates released December 21, 2022

Population projections for 2022 to 2046 released July 5, 2022

Alberta population estimates

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

Alberta’s population growth shattered records in the third quarter of 2022

  • Alberta’s population growth shattered records in the third quarter of 2022, according to provincial and territorial population estimates released by Statistics Canada for the period between July 1, 2022, and October 1, 2022.
  • Alberta just recorded the highest single quarter growth rate in over 40 years.
    • The province led the country in third-quarter growth, supported by record levels of international migration and very strong interprovincial migration.
    • Alberta added 58,203 residents between the beginning of July and the end of September in 2022, posting a growth rate of 1.28%.
    • While international net migration was the biggest driver of growth, Alberta attracted the most net interprovincial migrants in the country by a wide margin. New Albertans came from every part of the country.
  • Among all provinces, Alberta still has the highest natural growth rate, the youngest average age, as well as the lowest proportion of people aged 65 and over.

Alberta components of population change, 3rd quarter of 2022

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

Population of provinces and territories as of October 1, 2022 and growth rates since October 1, 2021

Population of provinces and territories as of October 1, 2022 and growth rates since October 1, 2021
Province/
territory
Population Y/Y Growth rate
Canada 39,292,355 2.25%
NL 528,818 1.33%
PEI 172,707 3.77%
NS 1,030,953 3.26%
NB 820,786 3.13%
QC 8,751,352 1.40%
ON 15,262,660 2.42%
MB 1,420,228 1.78%
SK 1,205,119 1.87%
AB 4,601,314 3.03%
BC 5,368,266 2.47%
YT 43,964 1.36%
NWT 45,602 -0.01%
NVT 40,586 1.67%
  • Alberta’s population growth over the third quarter was 1.28%, higher than Canada’s growth of 0.93%. Alberta had the highest growth rate in the country. Among the 4 largest provinces, Ontario had the next fastest third-quarter growth at 1.01%, with B.C. following at 0.92%. International net migration was the biggest driver of growth in the third quarter, contributing 0.73%. Net interprovincial migration and natural increase contributed 0.42% and 0.12%, respectively.

Natural increase

  • Natural increase (births minus deaths) added 5,621 people.

International migration

  • International migration added 33,297 net new residents to Alberta in the third quarter of 2022. This was the largest single-quarter gain from international sources in the current data series, which started in 1971.
    • Alberta welcomed 12,603 immigrants, a level similar to the same quarter last year, but more than double the third quarter of 2020, when travel restrictions were in place.
    • In the third quarter, 122,145 immigrants made their home in Canada. This was similar to the same period last year, but over three times the level in 2020. The national immigration target for the calendar year of 2022 is 431,645. Year-to-date, Canada has welcomed 354,028 immigrants and the federal government is on track to meet or exceed their target.
    • Alberta’s share of national immigration was 10.3% in the third quarter. This share was 1.0 percentage point above that of the same period last year (9.3%).
    • Record net inflows of non-permanent residents (21,434) to the province added to international migration. The category of non-permanent residents (NPR) includes temporary foreign workers, international students and refugee claimants.
      • Unprecedented net inflows on NPRs at the national level boosted arrivals to record levels for all provinces, including Alberta. On the national level, 225,198 NPRs were admitted in the third quarter.
      • Nationally, the increase in NPRs was primarily driven by an increase in work permit holders, but all categories of NPRs increased in the third quarter.

Interprovincial migration

  • By a very wide margin, Alberta posted the largest net interprovincial gains of all provinces/territories in the third quarter (19,285). Besides Alberta, only Nova Scotia (2,298) and New Brunswick (1,510) saw a net gain of interprovincial migrants.
    • This was the largest single-quarter gain since the third quarter of 1980.
    • On a net basis, Alberta gained the most interprovincial migrants from Ontario (8,645), B.C. (5,960), Manitoba (1,503) and Saskatchewan (1,036).

Net population movement for Alberta (July 1, 2022 to September 30, 2022)

Map: Net Population Movement for Alberta
 
Source: Statistics Canada and Alberta Treasury Board and Finance

Interprovincial migration statistics (July 1, 2022 to September 30, 2022)

Interprovincial Migration Statistics, July 1, 2022 to September 30, 2022
Province/
Territory
In Out Net Outflow
to Alberta
Inflow
from Alberta
Net Flow
to Alberta
NL 1,891 1,903 -12 677 370 307
PEI 1,073 1,071 2 270 98 172
NS 7,103 4,805 2,298 1,191 682 509
NB 5,600 4,090 1,510 650 406 244
QC 8,452 10,004 -1,552 1,627 975 652
ON 22,135 33,716 -11,581 12,290 3,645 8,645
MB 3,515 6,703 -3,188 2,162 659 1,503
SK 4,187 5,685 -1,498 2,608 1,572 1,036
AB 32,816 13,531 19,285 0 0 0
BC 14,306 19,105 -4,799 10,928 4,968 5,960
YT 312 414 -102 183 65 118
NWT 384 588 -204 146 65 81
NVT 228 387 -159 84 26 58

Data tables (Excel format)

Population estimates and components of growth

Components of migration, mobility and births and deaths

PDF reports: Annual and quarterly population reports archive

These past publications detail Alberta population estimates between 2002 and 2019.

Animated population estimates pyramid (age and sex)

See the animated pyramid population estimates (age and sex) for 1921 to 2020 (updated October 7, 2020).

Shifts in the age distribution result from changes in fertility, mortality and migration for specific age groups.

The relative size of the major cohorts in Alberta’s population is largely due to the differences in the size of the cohort at birth. For instance:

  • an increase in fertility rates after World War II caused the large Baby Boom cohort
    (born 1946–1965)
  • the decline in fertility rates right after the Baby Boom years led to the Baby Bust cohort
    (born 1965–1974)
  • the Boomer cohort’s children also stand out in the pyramid as the Echo generation
    (born 1975–1995)

Alberta population projections

Population projections give a picture of what the future population may be like. Population growth projections for Alberta and its sub-regions use 3 scenarios:

  • medium-growth (or reference)
  • high-growth
  • low-growth

Alberta population projections infographic – 2022 to 2046:

Alberta population projections infographic

Highlights: 2022-46 medium (reference) scenario

In 2046, Alberta’s population is expected to:

  • reach over 6.4 million people, an increase of almost 2.0 million people from 2021
  • become older, with an average age of 41.7 years, up from 38.9 years in 2021
  • become increasingly diverse, as arrivals from other countries account for about 55% of the expected growth over the projection period
  • become more concentrated in urban centres, especially along the Edmonton-Calgary Corridor; 80% of Albertans are expected to live in this region by 2046

Chart: Alberta Population Projections, 1972-2046

Alberta Population Projections, 1972-2046
Source: Statistics Canada and Alberta Treasury Board and Finance

PDF report and infographic: Alberta population projections

The following are for 2022 to 2046 and were released on July 5, 2022:

Data tables: Alberta population projections

The following files are for 2022 to 2046 and were released on July 5, 2022.

Population projections data tables – Alberta and Census Divisions

Population projections data tables – Economic Divisions

  • These are available upon request. Contact Jennifer Hansen ([email protected]) for assistance.

Animated population projection pyramids (age and sex)

Animated population pyramids are available below for Alberta.

Age and sex are presented as percentages of the total population for the periods 1996 – 2021 (estimated) and 2022 – 2046 (projected) under 3 different population growth assumptions:

  • medium growth (reference scenario as most-likely case based on historical trends)
  • high growth
  • low growth

The population projection pyramids below are for 1996 to 2046 and were released on July 5, 2022.

Chart: Alberta population by age and sex (thousands), 2021 and 2046

View the pyramid animation for the medium growth scenario population projections (age and sex) to 2046. The image below shows the population for 2021 and 2046.

Alberta Population by Age and Sex (Thousands), 2021 and 2046

Source: Statistics Canada and Alberta Treasury Board and Finance

Animated population projection pyramids for Alberta

Animated population projection pyramids for Census Divisions and Economic Regions

  • These are available upon request. Contact Jennifer Hansen ([email protected]) for assistance.

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 (see definitions below).
  • 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.

Data tables (Excel format): population change components

Demographic spotlight reports

Demographic profiles and information about the population, such as:

  • migrants
  • age cohorts
  • fertility

PDF reports: demographic spotlights

Demographic glossary of terms

We have a document listing relevant demographic terms.

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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.

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