Pop grows Alberta!

For all of the talk of doom, gloom, and lack of boom in what had been, for years, Canada's best-performing provincial economy, Alberta's two Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) surprised in the latest release of Statistics Canada's population estimates: at 2.4% apiece, the Calgary and Edmonton CMAs experienced the fastest population growth between 2014 and 2015 (July 1st estimates) of any of Canada's CMAs with a 2015 population of at least 200,000. (The only CMA in Canada to grow faster than these Alberta CMAs was Kelowna, which expanded by 3.2% over the past year, bringing its 2015 population to just past 197,000.)

The two Alberta CMAs were in a class of their own, followed by a second tier of growers from Saskatchewan: the Saskatoon CMA grew by 2.0%, while the Regina CMA grew by 1.9%, placing them third and fourth in the list of fastest-growers, respectively.

All other large CMAs in Canada grew by, at most 1.4% (this being Winnipeg's growth rate), with Windsor and St. Catharines-Niagara Falls bringing up the rear at 0.4%.

Of course, these growth rates mask differences in the underlying sizes of the CMAs and, accordingly, the number of population additions that the growth rates reflect. In this regard, the Toronto CMA added the largest number of people (76,500). Interestingly, with relatively modest base populations of 1.43 million and 1.36 million, respectively, the Calgary and Edmonton CMAs added the second- and fourth-most people, at 33,800 (Calgary) and 31,700 (Edmonton). 

It will be tough for the Alberta CMAs to carry on their most recent pace and magnitude of growth through 2016, to be sure, so expect this viz to look very different one year from now.

Next week, we'll use these recently-released demographic data to paint a picture of CMA and non-CMA growth by province across Canada. Stay tuned.