indicatorThe Owl


Economic relations between Mexico and Alberta

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 5 May 2022 2 min read

In honour of Cinco de Mayo,* today’s Owl pulls together some interesting facts about Mexico and its economic relationship with Alberta

  • The population of Mexico was just under 129 million in 2020
  • At 1,964,375 square kilometres, Mexico is almost three times larger than Alberta
  • According to the 2016 Census, 15,665 Albertans were born in Mexico and 22,475 list Mexican as their ethnic origin
  • Mexico is Alberta’s third largest trading partner with over $3.1 billion of two-way trade** in 2021 after the US and China (Japan is our third largest customer, but when you add imports into the mix, Mexico rises to third spot in terms of two-way trade)
  • Energy products are the largest slice of Alberta’s exports to Mexico at 32% of the total in 2021 followed closely by food products at 29%
  • When it comes to what we import from Mexico, electrical equipment and parts are in top spot at 22% of the total last year, just edging out food products at 21% 
  • Mexico is, of course, part of the North American free trade zone created by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that went into effect on January 1, 1994
  • NAFTA was replaced by the US-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USMCA) on July 1, 2020
  • Tourists from Mexico accounted for 34,000 person visits to Alberta in 2019 and spent $22 million in the province
  • Canadians made 1,694,000 trips to Mexico in 2018 (data for Albertans are not readily available)

*Cinco de Mayo, or the Fifth of May, is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s May 5, 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. While it is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations. (Source:

**Trade between Alberta and Mexico is larger than the official statistics indicate because they do not include Mexican goods sold in Alberta that enter Canada via other provinces or the transshipment of goods through the US

Sources: Population - World Bank; trade - Statistics Canada table 12-10-0133-01; tourism - Government of Alberta, Alberta Visitor Profiles updated March 10, 2022 and Statistics Canada

Answer to the previous trivia question: “Star Wars” (a.k.a. “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope”) premiered on May 25, 1977.

Today’s trivia question: Which two countries are on Mexico’s southern border?

Two-way trade between Alberta and Mexico came to $3.1 billion in 2021

Two-way trade between Alberta and Mexico came to $3.1 billion in 2021

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