Canada’s population hits 41M, Alberta is growing more than other provinces

TORONTO – Less than one year after reaching a population of 40 million, Canada has crossed a new milestone: as of Wednesday morning, the population is at 41 million, according to Statistics Canada’s real-time “tracker”. 

According to StatCan, between January 1, 2023 and January 1, 2024, Canada added 1,271,872 inhabitants, with a growth rate of 3.2%: the highest since 1957. In particular, since October 1 as of December 31, 2023, Canada’s population increased by 241,494 people (0.6%) – the highest growth rate in a fourth quarter since 1956.

Most of the growth rate of the Canadian population, equal – as we said – to 3.2%, derives from temporary immigration. Without it, Canadian population growth would have been 1.2%.

But where do the new residents go, above all? Apparently, the most “popular” province is Alberta: more and more Canadians (“new” or “old” as they may be) are answering “yes” to the “calls” that Alberta is making through a massive advertising campaign that highlights the advantages of “living in Alberta”, first of all the lower cost of housing compared to Ontario and British Columbia.

In fact, according to the latest Statistics Canada report, Alberta saw the largest net gain in interprovincial migration in 2023: as many as 55,107 Canadians moved to Alberta last year, which represents the largest increase in interprovincial migration in national level since comparable data became available, i.e. since 1972.

“Alberta has seen population increases due to interprovincial migration since 2022, a reversal of the trend observed from 2016 to 2021, when more people left that province than arrived from other parts of Canada” they explain from Statistics Canada. In total, “approximately 333,000 Canadians moved from one province or territory to another in 2023, the second-highest number recorded since the 1990s—and the third consecutive year that interprovincial migration exceeded 300,000”.

Meanwhile, British Columbia saw the movement of 8,624 more residents than in 2023, meaning net interprovincial migration was negative for the first time since 2012. Overall, the largest migration flows for British Columbia and l ‘Alberta are reciprocal, so most of the net loss from B.C. in 2023 it went to Alberta.

But things are much worse in Ontario than in B.C.: Canada’s most populous province lost 36,197 people to other areas in 2023, recording the largest loss in 2023, according to Statistics Canada data. This followed the loss of 38,816 people in 2022; the only other times a province lost more than 35,000 people to migration to other parts of Canada occurred in Quebec in 1977 and 1978. Alberta aside, net interprovincial migration also increased in Nova Scotia (+6,169 people), New Brunswick (+4,790) and Prince Edward Island (+818), although all three maritime provinces gained fewer interprovincial migrants in 2023 than the previous two years.

Photo by Jan Vašek from Pixabay