Alberta: The Population Magnet

“Net migration patterns over the last two years could not be more clear: more Canadians are moving to Alberta,” writes TD Economics in their recent June report. Alberta was one of only two provinces to record net population gains in 2012, the other province being Saskatchewan.

Alberta saw its net interprovincial migration tally (102,000 in-migrants less 56,000 out-migrants) come in at just under 46,000 in 2012 – accounting for 1.2% of its population. In fact, Alberta has not experienced a net loss since 1994.

Where is everyone coming from? Aside from Ontario, due to its larger population accounting for most of the migration across Canada, the bulk of new interprovincial migrants in Alberta came from Saskatchewan (11%) and British Columbia (30%)

Both Alberta & Saskatchewan have posted the strongest recoveries since the recession, have the tightest labour markets with unemployment rates the lowest in Canada and their real per capita incomes are higher relative to the rest of  the country.

It’s no wonder many Canadians are drawn to our prairie provinces.  It also goes without saying -but I’ll say it anyways- this bodes well for the housing industry here.

You can download TD’s report here: Interprovincial Migration Shifts In Canada

Alberta Population

(click to enlarge image)

4 responses to “Alberta: The Population Magnet

  1. Hi Mike:

    If we assume the average people in a address is 3, we divide the number 45718 by 3 to get the number of houses these new residence will need. We got 15,239.

    The question is, in Alberta as a whole, the number of new starts should be lower than this to make the supply short and cause the market to go up.

    What is the new starts in Alberta last year?

  2. Hello Anonymous,

    Alberta housing starts in 2012 were 33,396 (Source)

    That being said, the post above is regarding inter-provincial migration. Overall Alberta population increased by 115,843 in 2012 (source) but as for net migrants from all sources, it was 85,978 – the highest level ever recorded.

    So dividing 85,978 newcomers by your assumption of 3 people per home means we needed 28,659 residences.

    However, that’s not taking into account those currently living in Alberta that decide to stop renting and buy, or move out of their parent’s home, etc.

    Additionally, housing starts don’t necessarily mean they were completed in that year (ie. condos can take several years) so there are even fewer move-in ready residences available.

    No wonder market prices are going up while inventory remains low.

  3. True. Some inner city small bungalows used to be occupied by a lot of renters, up and down. After being torn down and made into a new mansion, there are only 3~ 4 people to live in. I guess SQFT per person is also increasing over the years. In fact, trend of SQFT per person will make a good topic for your next blog.

  4. Hello,
    I was wondering if you had any updates for 2014. specifically the housing market. thank you


    Hello Jay, please check the “Recent Posts” to the left for 2014 updates. Thanks,
    -Mike Fotiou

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