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Alberta in context: Population

Alberta in context: Population

Posted on: 6/17/2019 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

This week, The Owl will be focused on putting key statistics about Alberta’s economy in a broader context. Throughout the week, we’ll explore gross domestic product, capital expenditures, jobs by sector, and take a look at Alberta’s main exports. But first, we’re diving into population.


Depending on how you look at it, Alberta’s population of 4.3 million people (as of July 1, 2018) could be seen as either a small or large market.


Alberta accounted for just 0.06 per cent of a total global population of 7.6 billion people last year. Like the rest of the world, we are dwarfed by China and India. We are also quite small compared to the United States, Indonesia, Mexico and Japan. There are, in fact, 33 countries with populations at least 10 times larger than ours. With that said, there also 105 countries with populations smaller than ours.

Put into an American context, our population is in the middle of the pack, right around Kentucky and Oregon. We are about four times larger than Montana but about nine times smaller than California.

Within Canada, Alberta is the fourth largest province, accounting for 11.6 per cent of the national population. Not including the territories, Alberta’s population has grown the most over the last 10 years, sporting a 20 per cent increase compared to 10 per cent for the rest of Canada. Going forward, having the youngest population—again, not including the territories—will help keep the province growing through natural increase (births less deaths).

Even though we are bigger than many countries and American states, our market of 4.3 million people is a small fish in a big pond. However, as tomorrow’s Owl will show, our economic punch is greater than our population might suggest.


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