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'No other year comes close': Alberta sees record population boom mostly due to international migration

Alberta’s population spiked, setting a record for the number of people added and leading all provinces in population growth this year.

Alberta was home to 4.7 million people as of July 1, according to new data from Statistics Canada, which is 4.1 per cent higher than the same time last year due to an increase of 184,400 people.

“No other year comes close,” said Mark Parsons, vice-president and chief economist at ATB Financial in a written release.

“This year’s increase in the total population outmatches the previous record in 2013 by 77,800.”

Olga Vozna and her husband fled the war in Ukraine. They arrived in Calgary eight months ago and their daughter recently started first grade.

“She's so happy here and it's really important for us because we need a peaceful place,” said Vozna.

Olga Vozna and her husband arrived in Calgary eight months ago.

International migration is the biggest driver of this boom adding 112,562 new people which is 61 per cent of the total increase.

Hasam Anwari moved to Calgary two weeks ago due to the Taliban take over in his home country Afghanistan.

"A lot of people killed,” he said.

Like many people, he chose Alberta due to its stronger job growth and relatively affordable housing.

“We heard Canada is the land of opportunity for everyone. Comparing to other provinces and cities in Canada, it is better to be here and it is a little bit cheaper.” said Anwari.

Hasam Anwari moved to Calgary two weeks ago. He chose Alberta due to its stronger job growth and relatively affordable housing.

“Toronto is too big and daunting, Vancouver too expensive so they come here,” said Saima Jamal, co-founder of Calgary Immigrants Support Society.

She said more funding is needed to support all of the newcomers.

“There’s lack of housing, massive,” she said.

Migration from other parts of Canada makes up a big chunk as well, about 31 per cent of the increase. That’s a net growth of about 56,245 people.

The vast majority of the people coming from other provinces arrived from Ontario and B.C.

The remainder of the growth, 15,592 new people (or eight per cent of the total increase), came from the number of births minus deaths, due to the relatively high proportion of young families living in Alberta.

Alberta’s population boomed more than others and outpaced the national average by 1.1 percentage points, though Canada did see a sizable increase in population (three per cent), the fastest since 1957, and stronger than any of the G7 countries, according to Parsons.

“The influx of people in Alberta has contributed to the recent surge in housing demand and resilient consumer spending,” Parsons said.

“It’s also added to the labour force, which is growing at its fastest annual pace since 2007, leaving aside the COVID recovery."

“Some sectors are growing more than others, like food and accommodations and construction still have high job vacancy, so migration does provide a steady source of people to fill some of these jobs,” he added. Top Stories

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