That whooshing sound you’re hearing around the province these days may be more than the passing
summer winds. It may be the sound of cars, buses and airplanes carrying migrants to Alberta. Judging by the most recent numbers, our province continues to be a destination of choice.
In the first quarter of 2013, there was an estimated 26,714 people who moved into Alberta from other provinces. At the same time, about 13,276 moved out of the province—leaving a net interprovincial gain of 13,438. That is nearly as high as the recent peak of 13,915 in the summer of 2012, and one of the highest quarterly gains over the last twenty years. The four-month moving average shows a
trend in net in-migration mirroring that of the 2006-07 period of rapid population growth.
The strong economy and the promise of good paying jobs has been without question the primary factor motivating those in other provinces to pack up and move to Alberta. This in-migration—along with international migration and natural population growth—has boosted the province’s total population to 3,965,339. At 3.2 per cent annualized growth, Alberta had by far the fastest growth rate among the provinces.
While surging population growth brings certain economic advantages, it can create some challenges as well. Housing (especially rental accommodations) may start to become strained. There are also
environmental challenges such as water resources, land use and traffic congestion that can be difficult to manage with such a rapidly growing population.*
*Courtesy of Todd Hirsch, Chief Economist, ATB Financial