March 27, 2023

Weekly EconMinute—Migration from other provinces to Alberta

In this week’s EconMinute, we’re talking about migration from other provinces to Alberta.

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Since the province launched its Alberta is Calling campaign in August to lure skilled workers from Toronto and Vancouver to the sunshine province, many have been curious to see who will “answer” the call.  

As it turns out, people are flocking to Alberta. The province has now seen six consecutive quarters of “net in-migration” (i.e., more people moving to Alberta than the number leaving) since late summer of 2021—a stark reversal from the outflow that followed the oil price collapse of 2014/15 and persisted for over 5 years.

Since late summer of 2022, the inflow has been particularly remarkable. From July to December, 53.3k Canadians moved to Alberta while just 22.5k left. This means 30.8k more individuals now live in Alberta as a result.

This roughly aligns with the first phase of the campaign which stirred up a national conversation around the quality of life and opportunity in Alberta, touting higher wages, lower taxes, more sunshine, and, importantly for the two markets that were targeted, more affordable housing.

So where are people moving from?  

  • The short answer is everywhere: every single province and territory saw more people move to Alberta.
  • However, the biggest net inflow was from the two provinces with the most unaffordable housing markets: Ontario and BC.
  • Movement from Ontario resulted in 13.5k more people choosing Alberta, accounting for 44% of the net inflow of people.
  • Movement from BC resulted in 9.6k more people choosing Alberta, accounting for 31% of the net inflow of people.
  • Other provinces and territories accounted for the remaining 7.7k or 25%.

If and how this changes over the year will be interesting. Recently, the province announced the start of a second phase of the Alberta is Calling campaign which targets new markets in Ontario and Atlantic Canada, as well as plans for a third phase that will reach international markets.

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