Demographics of Alberta

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Population density of Alberta, 2016

Alberta has experienced a relatively high rate of growth in recent years, due in large part to its economy. Between 2003 and 2004, the province saw high birthrates (on par with some larger provinces such as British Columbia), relatively high immigration, and a high rate of interprovincial migration when compared to other provinces.[1] Approximately 81% of the population live in urban areas and only about 19% live in rural areas. The Calgary–Edmonton Corridor is the most urbanized area in Alberta and is one of Canada's four most urban regions.[2] Many of Alberta's cities and towns have also experienced high rates of growth in recent history. From a population of 73,022 in 1901, Alberta has grown to 3,645,257 in 2011 and in the process has gone from less than 1.5% of Canada's population to 10.9%.[3] As of July 1, 2018, Alberta's population represented 11.6% of Canada's total population of 37,058,856 making it the fourth most populated province in Canada.[4][Notes 1] According to the 2018 third quarter report, Alberta's population increased by 23,096 to 4,330,206, the largest increase since the 2014 economic downturn.[5][6]

Population history[edit]

Year Population [7] Five Year
 % change
Ten Year
 % change
Percentage of
Canadian Pop.
Rank Among
Provinces
1901 73,022 n/a n/a 1.4 9
1911 374,295 n/a 412.6 5.2 7
1921 588,454 n/a 57.2 6.7 5
1931 731,605 n/a 24.3 7.0 4
1941 796,169 n/a 8.8 6.9 5
1951 939,501 n/a 18.0 6.7 4
1956 1,123,116 19.5 n/a n/a 4
1961 1,331,944 18.6 41.8 7.3 4
1969 1,463,203 9.9 30.3 n/a 4
1971 1,627,875 11.3 22.2 7.5 4
1976 1,838,035 12.9 25.6 n/a 4
1981 2,237,724 21.7 37.5 9.2 4
1986 2,365,830 5.7 28.7 9.3 4
1991 2,545,553 7.6 13.8 9.3 4
1996 2,696,826 5.9 14.0 9.3 4
2001 2,974,807 10.3 16.9 9.9 4
2006 3,290,350 10.6 22.0 10.4 4
2011 3,645,257 10.8 22.5 10.9 4
2016 4,067,175 11.6 22.4 11.6 4

Population geography[edit]

Census divisions[edit]

Alberta's census divisions by population

Census metropolitan areas[edit]

As of the 2011 census, Alberta had two census metropolitan areas (CMAs) recognized by Statistics Canada. A third one was added in the 2016 census.

The following is a list of the recent population history of the Calgary and Edmonton CMAs.

CMA name [8] 2016 [9] 2011 [8] 2006 [10] 2001 [11] 1996 [12] Census division
Calgary 1,374,655 1,214,839 1,079,310 951,395 [CMA 1] 821,628 Division No. 6
Edmonton 1,297,280 1,159,869 1,034,945 937,845 862,597 Division No. 11

The third CMA added in 2016 is Lethbridge, and its population history is as follows:

CMA name [8] 2016 [9] Census division
Lethbridge 113,920 Division No. 2

CMA notes:

  1. ^ In the 2006 census, the 2001 population of the Calgary was adjusted to 951,494 due to a boundary expansion.

Census agglomerations[edit]

Census subdivisions[edit]

Population growth of Alberta's census subdivisions between 2006 and 2011 censuses

As of the 2006 census, Alberta had 453 census subdivisions (municipalities and municipal equivalents) recognized by Statistics Canada. The following is a list of those census subdivisions with a population of 10,000 or greater.

Population centres[edit]

Designated places[edit]

Ethnic origins[edit]

The ethnicities most commonly reported in the 2016 Census are shown in the table below. The percentages add up to more than 100% because of dual responses (e.g. "Irish-Canadian" generates an entry in both the category "Irish" and the category "Canadian").[18]

Ethnic Group Total Percentage
Canadian 902,310 22.7%
English 899,445 22.6%
German 712,955 17.9%
Scottish 704,200 17.7%
Irish 596,750 15.0%
French 411,315 10.3%
Ukrainian 369,095 9.3%
First Nations 200,285 5.0%
Dutch (Netherlands) 195,725 4.9%
Chinese 188,285 4.7%
Polish 186,510 4.7%
Filipino 175,130 4.4%
Indian (South Asian) 174,505 4.4%
Norwegian 156,600 3.9%
Métis 113,740 2.9%
Russian 107,800 2.7%
Italian 101,260 2.5%
Swedish 97,835 2.5%
British n.i.e. 90,865 2.3%
Welsh 80,455 2.0%

Other Ethnic Groups[edit]

In addition to the groups listed above, the next most commonly reported (counting both single and multiple responses) were:

Future projections[edit]

Ethnic origin by regional group
Group 2016[19] 2036[20][21]
Number % of 2016 population (4,067,175) Number % of 2036 estimated population (6,201,000)
European origins 2,786,340 70.0% 3,505,000 56.5%
East and Southeast Asian origins 401,820 10.1% 953,000 15.4%
South Asian and Middle Eastern origins 308,610 7.8% 784,000 12.6%
Aboriginal origins 258,640 6.5% 447,000 7.2%
African origins 129,390 3.3% 320,000 5.2%
Latin, Central and South American origins 55,090 1.4% 118,000 1.9%
Other 38,260 0.9% 92,000 1.5%
*Percentages total over 100% due to multiple responses, e.g. German-Indian, Norwegian-Irish.

Visible minorities and Aboriginals[edit]

Indigenous and visible minority identity (2016):[22][23]

  Visible minority (23.5%)
  First Nations (3.4%)
  Métis (2.9%)
  Inuit (0.1%)
  Other Indigenous (0.2%)
Visible minority and Aboriginal population (Canada 2016 Census)
Population group Population % of total population
European 2,786,340 70%
Visible minority group
Source:[24]
South Asian 230,930 5.8%
Chinese 158,200 4%
Black 129,390 3.3%
Filipino 166,195 4.2%
Latin American 55,090 1.4%
Arab 56,700 1.4%
Southeast Asian 43,985 1.1%
West Asian 20,980 0.5%
Korean 21,275 0.5%
Japanese 12,165 0.3%
Visible minority, n.i.e. 9,900 0.2%
Multiple visible minority 28,360 0.7%
Total visible minority population 933,165 23.5%
Aboriginal group
Source:[25]
First Nations 136,585 3.4%
Métis 114,370 2.9%
Inuit 2,500 0.1%
Aboriginal, n.i.e. 2,280 0.1%
Multiple Aboriginal identity 2,905 0.1%
Total Aboriginal population 258,640 6.5%
Total population 3,978,145 100%

Languages[edit]

Knowledge of languages[edit]

Knowledge of official languages of Canada in Alberta
Language Percent
English only
91.86%
French only
0.10%
English and French
6.57%
Neither English nor French
1.47%

The question on knowledge of languages allows for multiple responses. The following figures are from the 2016 Canadian Census, and lists languages that were selected by at least one per cent of respondents.

Language Responses %
English 3,916,805 98.46
French 264,720 6.65
Tagalog 138,440 3.48
Spanish 104,445 2.63
Punjabi 90,485 2.27
German 83,010 2.09
Cantonese 74,770 1.88
Mandarin 70,510 1.77
Arabic 62,730 1.58
Hindi 61,290 1.54
Urdu 41,235 1.04

Mother tongue[edit]

Languages of Alberta (2016):[26]

  English (74.3%)
  French (1.8%)
  Indigenous language (0.7%)
  Other language (20.9%)
  Multiple (2.3%)

Of the 3,978,145 singular responses to the 2016 census question concerning mother tongue, the languages most commonly reported were:[27]

2016 % 2011 % 2006 % 2001 %
1. English 2,972,670 74.71% 2,780,200 78.37% 2,576,670 79.99% 2,379,515 81.84%
2. Chinese 119,710 3.01% 105,470 2.97% 97,275 3.02% 78,205 2.69%
Cantonese 59,580 1.50% 34,985 0.99% 32,485 1.01% 26,255 0.90%
Mandarin 49,990 1.26% 19,325 0.54% 12,135 0.38% 5,580 0.19%
Min Nan languages (Teochow, Fukien, Taiwanese) 3,075 0.08% 785 0.02% 400 0.01% N N
Hakka 940 0.02% 325 0.01% 425 0.01% 570 0.02%
3. Tagalog (Filipino/Pilipino) 98,360 2.47% 60,085 1.69% 29,740 0.92% 11,705 0.40%
4. French 70,440 1.77% 68,545 1.93% 61,225 1.90% 58,645 2.02%
5. Panjabi (Punjabi) 68,315 1.72% 49,940 1.41% 36,320 1.13% 22,535 0.78%
6. German 63,570 1.60% 80,905 2.28% 84,505 2.62% 78,040 2.68%
7. Spanish 54,685 1.37% 44,020 1.24% 29,125 0.90% 19,820 0.68%
8. Arabic 40,695 1.02% 28,000 0.79% 20,495 0.64% 15,390 0.53%
9. Urdu 26,860 0.68% 19,900 0.56% 11,275 0.35% 4,910 0.17%
10. Vietnamese 23,015 0.58% 21,195 0.60% 19,350 0.60% 16,680 0.57%
11. Selected Aboriginal languages 22,970 0.58% 22,005 0.62% 20,890 0.65% 18,470 0.64%
Cree 17,125 0.43% 16,745 0.47% 17,215 0.53% 15,105 0.52%
Blackfoot 3,385 0.09% 3,035 0.09% 3,015 0.09% 2,630 0.09%
Dene 1,570 0.04% 1,680 0.05% 1,585 0.05% 1,495 0.05%
Ojibway 630 0.02% 455 0.01% 615 0.02% 645 0.02%
12. Ukrainian 21,215 0.53% 24,575 0.69% 29,455 0.91% 33,970 1.17%
13. Polish 19,780 0.50% 19,890 0.56% 21,990 0.68% 20,635 0.71%
14. Russian 17,465 0.44% 13,840 0.38% 10,145 0.31% 6,980 0.29%
15. Korean 17,400 0.44% 13,885 0.39% 10,845 0.33% 6,330 0.22%
16. Hindi 16,495 0.41% 12,290 0.35% 8,985 0.28% 6,315 0.22%
17. Dutch 16,005 0.40% 17,950 0.51% 19,980 0.62% 19,575 0.67%
18. Niger-Congo languages 15,515 0.30% N N N N N N
Swahili 2,390 0.06% 1,455 0.04% 850 0.03% 380 0.01%
Akan (Twi) 1,765 0.04% 1,100 0.04% 345 0.01% N N
Kinyarwanda (Rwanda) 770 0.02% 440 0.01% 60 0.01% N N
Rundi (Kirundi) 570 0.01% 290 0.01% 50 0.01% N N
19. Persian 14,835 0.37% 10,655 0.30% 7,700 0.24% 3,700 0.13%
20. Gujarati 12,775 0.32% 8,675 0.24% 6,280 0.19% 4,910 0.17%
21. Italian 11,475 0.29% 11,960 0.34% 13,095 0.41% 13,935 0.48%
22. Somali 9,425 0.24% 5,515 0.16% 3,130 0.10% 810 0.03%
23. Portuguese 8,565 0.22% 7,380 0.21% 7,205 0.22% 6,110 0.21%
24. Romanian 8,255 0.21% 6,550 0.18% 4,370 0.14% 2,890 0.10%
25. Amharic 7,015 0.18% 5,110 0.14% 2,785 0.09% 1,100 0.04%
26. Bengali 6,940 0.17% 5.030 0.14% 2,710 0.08% 1,190 0.04%
27. Hungarian 6,505 0.16% 6,700 0.19% 6,770 0.21% 6,985 0.24%
28. Malayalam 6,230 0.16% 2,760 0.08% 1,550 0.05% 1,055 0.04%
29. Ilocano 5,750 0.14% 3,010 0.08% 1,885 0.06% N N
30. Cebuano and other Bisayan languages 5,025 0.13% 3,255 0.09% 1,370 0.04% N N
31. Nepali 4,995 0.13% 1,605 0.05% N N N N
32. Tamil 4,650 0.11% 2,645 0.07% 1,385 0.04% 1,110 0.04%
33. Japanese 4,575 0.11% 4,560 0.13% 4,555 0.14% 3,625 0.12%
34. Croatian 4,425 0.11% 3,960 0.11% 4,150 0.13% 4,195 0.14%
35. Serbian 4,115 0.10% 3,560 0.10% 3,090 0.10% 2,125 0.07%
36. Scandinavian languages 3,750 0.09% 4,935 0.14% 6,045 0.19% 6,795 0.23%
Danish 2,225 0.06% 2,805 0.08% 3,510 0.11% 3,615 0.12%
Swedish 785 0.02% 950 0.03% 1,145 0.04% 1,345 0.05%
Norwegian 740 0.02% 1,180 0.03% 1,245 0.04% 1,670 0.06%
37. Greek 3,285 0.08% 2,965 0.08% 3,305 0.10% 2,765 0.10%
38. Afrikaans 3,050 0.08% 2,420 0.07% N N N N
39. Sinhalese 2,935 0.07% 1,940 0.05% 835 0.03% N N
40. Sindhi 2,835 0.07% 2,560 0.07% 2,000 0.06% 1,990 0.07%
41 Turkish 2,760 0.07% 2,460 0.07% 1,605 0.05% 810 0.03%
42 Czech 2,715 0.07% 2,880 0.08% 3,100 0.08% 3,520 0.12%
43. Oromo language 2,615 0.07% 1,405 0.04% N N N N
44. Albanian 2,435 0.06% 1,685 0.05% N N N N
45. Pashto 2,340 0.06% 1,850 0.05% 1,175 0.04% 275 0.01%
46. Nilo-Saharan languages 2,310 0.06% N N N N N N
47. Slovak 2,275 0.06% 2,145 0.06% 2,430 0.08% 1,605 0.06%
48. Creole 2,120 0.05% 1,560 0.05% 415 0.01% 250 0.01%
49. Khmer (Cambodian) 2,075 0.05% 1,745 0.05% 1,740 0.05% 1,450 0.05%
50. Bosnian 2,020 0.05% 1,745 0.05% 1,745 0.05% N N

In addition to the table above, other mother tongues in Alberta include (including languages with more than 407 people, or 0.01 per cent of respondents):

In addition to the single-language responses detailed above, about 88,765 people reported having more than one mother tongue. There were 74,515 responses of both English and a non-official language; 2,785 of both French and a non-official language; 10,005 of both English and French; and 1,455 of English, French and a non-official language.

Migration[edit]

Immigration[edit]

The 2016 Canadian census counted a total of 938,495 people living in Alberta who are born outside of Canada.
The most common countries of birth for immigrants living in Alberta were:[28]

Rank Place of Origin Total
1. Philippines 123,825
2. India 91,660
3. United Kingdom 59,215
4. China 57,690
5. United States 30,460
6. Pakistan 28,075
7. Vietnam 27,080
8. Germany 19,200
9. Hong Kong 19,110
10. Poland 16,930
11. Mexico 15,665
12. Netherlands 14,030
13. South Korea 13,850
14. Nigeria 12,410
15. Ethiopia 10,565
16. Lebanon 10,395
17. Colombia 9,535
18. Iran 8,905
19. Ukraine 8,150
20. Italy 8,115

Other Places of Origin[edit]

In addition to the countries listed in the table above, there were also about:

{Countries of birth for more than 4,068 persons (0.1%) are shown.}

Internal migration[edit]

Net cumulative interprovincial migration per Province from 1997 to 2017, as a share of population of each Provinces

Over the past five decades, Alberta has had the highest net increase from interprovincial migration of any province. However, it typically experiences population decline during economic downturns, as it did during the 1980s.[29] Oil is the main industry driving interprovincial migration to Alberta, as many Canadians move to Alberta to work on the oil fields. Interprovincial migration to Alberta rises and drops dependent of the price of oil. There was a dramatic reduction after the 2014 drop in oil prices.[30][31]

Interprovincial migration in Alberta
In-migrants Out-migrants Net migration
2008–09 75,238 62,054 13,184
2009–10 57,958 61,229 −3,271
2010–11 63,975 55,532 8,443
2011–12 80,837 53,185 27,652
2012–13 84,602 46,004 38,598
2013–14 87,307 51,925 35,382
2014–15 81,540 59,946 21,594
2015–16 56,978 72,086 −15,108
2016–17 50,396 65,955 −15,559
2017–18 55,147 58,394 −3,247
2018–19 65,778 60,236 5,542

Source: Statistics Canada[32]

Religion[edit]

Religious affiliation (2011):[33]

  Christian (60.3%)
  Sikh (1.5%)
  Buddhist (1.2%)
  Muslim (3.2%)
  Jewish (0.3%)
  Hindu (1.0%)
  Aboriginal spirituality (0.4%)
  Other religions (0.5%)
  Irreligious (31.6%)

Christian sub-affiliation (2011):[33]

  Roman Catholic (40.3%)
  United Church (12.5%)
  Anglican (6.5%)
  Lutheran (5.5%)
  Baptist (3.1%)
  Pentecostal (2.8%)
  Orthodox (2.4%)
  Presbyterian (1.7%)
  Other Christian (25.2%)

Over 60 percent of Albertans identify as Christian, while almost 32 percent of residents identify with no religion. The largest denominations are the Roman Catholic, United, Anglican, Lutheran, and Baptist Churches.

Almost 2 percent of Albertans are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, descended from pioneers who emigrated from Utah around the turn of the 20th century; there are three temples in the province. Alberta also has large numbers of Pentecostal, Presbyterians, and evangelical Christians.

There are significant numbers of Mennonites and Hutterites, which are communal Anabaptist sects. There are also many Jehovah's Witnesses and Reformed Christians, as well a significant population of Seventh-day Adventists in and around Lacombe where the Canadian University College is located.

Alberta is also home to several Eastern Rite Churches as part of the legacy of Eastern European immigrants, including the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton, and the Ukrainian Orthodox Diocese of Edmonton and Western Canada. There are 500 Doukhobors living in their few communities across Southern Alberta.

Many people of the Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim faiths also make Alberta their home; one of the largest Sikh temples in Canada is located just outside Edmonton. Most of Alberta's Jewish population of 10,900 lives in Calgary and Edmonton.

Religion (2011) 1 Denomination Congregation Proportion
Christian 2,152,200 60.3%
Catholic 866,305 24.3%
United Church 268,275 7.5%
Anglican Church 140,665 3.9%
Lutheran 119,345 3.3%
Baptist 66,635 1.9%
Pentecostal 60,960 1.7%
Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox 51,340 1.4%
Presbyterian 36,765 1.0%
Other Christian 541,520 15.2%
Muslim 113,445 3.2%
Sikh 52,335 1.5%
Buddhist 44,410 1.2%
Hindu 36,845 1.0%
Jewish 10,900 0.3%
Other Religions 16,605 0.5%
Aboriginal spirituality 15,100 0.4%
No religious affiliation 1,126,130 23.62%
^1 Statistics Canada. 2013. Alberta (Code 48) (table). National Household Survey (NHS) Profile. 2011 National Household Survey. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 99-004-XWE. Ottawa. Released September 11, 2013.[34]

See also[edit]

Demographics of Canada's provinces and territories

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The three most populated provinces, as of July 1, 2018 were Ontario with 14,322,757 inhabitants representing 38.6% of the Canadian population; Quebec with 22.6% or 8,390,499 people and British Columbia 13.5% and British Columbia with 4,991,687 people or 13.5%.

References[edit]

  1. ^ StatCan - Alberta population
  2. ^ "2001 Census Analysis Series - A profile of the Canadian population : where we live" (PDF). Statistics Canada. p. 6. Retrieved 2011-08-17.
  3. ^ [1] - Statistics Canada
  4. ^ Canada's population estimates: Total population, July 1, 2018 (Report). The Daily. Government of Canada. Statistics Canada. September 27, 2018. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  5. ^ Quarterly Population Report Third Quarter 2018 (PDF) (Report). December 20, 2018. p. 4. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  6. ^ "Population statistics". Alberta Government. December 20, 2018. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  7. ^ "Census of Population". February 7, 2017. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
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  9. ^ a b "Immigrant status and period of immigration, 2016 counts, both sexes, age (total), Canada and census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations, 2016 Census". Statistics Canada. 2019-02-20. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  10. ^ "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations, 2006 and 2001 censuses - 100% data (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. 2010-01-06. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
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  12. ^ A National Overview: Population and Dwelling Counts (1996 Census ed.). Ottawa: Statistics Canada. April 1997. ISBN 0-660-59283-5.
  13. ^ a b "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2006 and 2001 censuses - 100% data (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. 2010-01-06. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
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  15. ^ "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2011 and 2006 censuses (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
  16. ^ "Population and Dwelling Counts, for Canada, Provinces and Territories, and Census Subdivisions (Municipalities), 2001 and 1996 Censuses - 100% Data (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
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  19. ^ "Census Profile, 2016 Census Alberta [Province] and Canada [Country]". Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  20. ^ "Population by visible minority group, place of residence and projection scenario, Canada, 2011 and 2036". Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  21. ^ "Projections of the Aboriginal Population and Households in Canada 2011 to 2036" (PDF). Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  22. ^ "Aboriginal Peoples Highlight Tables". 2016 Census. Statistics Canada. 2019. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  23. ^ "Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity Highlight Tables". 2016 Census. Statistics Canada. 2019. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  24. ^ [2], Community Profiles from the 2011 Census, Statistics Canada - Province/Territory
  25. ^ [3], Aboriginal Population Profile from the 2011 Census, Statistics Canada - Province/Territory
  26. ^ "Language Highlight Tables". 2016 Census. Statistics Canada. 2019. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  27. ^ [4]
  28. ^ [5]
  29. ^ Cite error: The named reference :2 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  30. ^ "The death of the Alberta dream - Macleans.ca". www.macleans.ca. Retrieved 2018-12-28.
  31. ^ Cite error: The named reference :5 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  32. ^ Cite error: The named reference :1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  33. ^ a b "Religion (108) for the Population in Private Households of Canada". 2011 National Household Survey. Statistics Canada. 2019. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  34. ^ "NHS Profile, 2011". Statistics Canada. Government of Canada. Retrieved 2 June 2016.