Population & Migration
Alberta’s population continues to grow. It rose to 4,334,025 as of April 1, 2018, an increase of 15,253 (+0.35%) from the previous quarter. On a year-over-year (y/y) basis, growth accelerated from a low of 1.2% in the same quarter last year to 1.4% as net interprovincial migration continued to pick up.
Alberta’s population growth was bolstered by the strongest natural increase among the provinces and a substantial amount of net international migration.
Net interprovincial migration has begun to rebound following an extended period of out-migration due to the recession. Increases in interprovincial migration have been somewhat associated with a resumption of activity in the oil and gas sector. While some work has resumed, there are limited expectations for large scale projects which will likely temper substantial increases in interprovincial migration in the foreseeable future.
International migration has remained strong throughout the recession with increases being over 5,000 per quarter since 2015.
Source: Alberta Treasury Board and Finance – Alberta Components of Growth by Quarter
The Government of Alberta has developed long-term population projections by applying the component cohort survival model to assumptions about future trends in fertility, mortality and migration, under three different sets of assumptions (i.e. low, medium and high scenarios). Based on these projections, the Government of Alberta predicts the following populations by 2046:
- Low Growth Scenario = 5,677,295 (30.9% increase)
- Medium Growth Scenario = 6,424,430 (47.8% increase)
- High Growth Scenario = 7,572,525 (73.7% increase)
Source: Alberta Treasury Board and Finance
Population Age Cohort
There is a general consensus based on current statistics and projections that Canada’s population is aging which will result in a number of challenges related to the workforce and housing. Population Cohort Models provide a graphical representation of the relative health and stability of a population. In general, a healthy cohort model is one that is balanced across the majority of age groups. Relative to Canada, Alberta presently features a reasonably healthy cohort model with strong numbers between the ages of 20 – 60, the majority of the workforce.
Based on the medium scenario population projections from the Government of Alberta, the cohort model is predicted to remain relatively balanced but it is important to note the significant growth in ages 60+ which will require a lot of new and innovative forms of housing to support a variety of needs.