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Calgary outpacing Canada's largest cities on population growth rate: StatCan

Calgary's skyline is seen in this undated image. (Lisa Bourgeault/Pexels) Calgary's skyline is seen in this undated image. (Lisa Bourgeault/Pexels)
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Calgary saw the highest population growth rate among Canada’s largest cities between 2022 and 2023 – surpassing 1.6 million people.

Statistics Canada updated its census population estimates on Wednesday, with Calgary reaching 1,682,509 as of July 1, 2023.

Of Canada’s six census metropolitan areas (CMAs) with a population over one million, Calgary had the highest growth rate at 5.9 per cent.

All six cities experienced their fastest growth since 2001-2002 – with Edmonton (+4.1 per cent), Vancouver (+4.1 per cent), Toronto (+3.3 per cent), Montreal (+2.9 per cent) and Ottawa–Gatineau (+2.6 per cent) following Calgary.

The Calgary CMA population increased by 95,784 from 2022-2023, from 1,586,725. That nearly 100,000-person increase outpaced the city’s combined population gains between 2019 and 2022 (+83,430).

Statistics Canada noted that all four CMAs in Alberta – Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge and Red Deer – saw net gains in population from exchanges with other provinces.

“From July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2023, Alberta overtook British Columbia as the region recording the biggest gains from exchanges between provinces,” Statistics Canada said in an article Wednesday.

The net gains for Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge were the highest since 2001-2002, while Red Deer’s increase was the largest since 2005-2006. The net increases from other provinces for each city were:

  • Calgary – +26,662;
  • Edmonton – +16,082;
  • Lethbridge – +1,651; and
  • Red Deer – +1,277.

Nationally, the population of Canada’s CMAs rose to 29,814,146 in 2023 – up 3.5 per cent from 2022.

All 41 CMAs across Canada experienced population increases for the second year in a row.

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