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Infrastructure spending in Alberta

Infrastructure spending in Alberta

Posted on: 4/17/2019 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

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Alberta’s stock of public and private infrastructure was valued at $143 billion in 2018, according to Statistics Canada.* Of these roads, bridges, railway lines, water filtration plants, pipelines, schools and hospitals—among other things—58 per cent was held by the public sector and 42 per cent by the private sector.

Alberta’s stock of infrastructure accounts for 17 per cent of Canada’s national total, the value of which was $852 billion last year.

Using a constant point of reference, in this case we’ll use 2012 dollars, we can make some comparisons over time. For example, when adjusted for inflation and population growth, Alberta’s stock of infrastructure has gone from $21,541 per person in 2009 to $30,219 in 2019—an increase of 40 per cent.

Nationally, the per capita value of infrastructure was much lower than in Alberta, at $20,618 per Canadian. Some of this difference is explained by variation in population density (e.g., a larger number of people sharing the same infrastructure) and some by the amount, age and quality of the infrastructure itself.

On the same dollar scale, real annual investment in infrastructure in Alberta has increased by an average of 3.2 per cent since 2009 with total investment of $13.3 billion in 2018. Of this, 62 per cent was public spending and 38 per cent was private.

* The federal agency elaborates to say: “the value of infrastructure stock reflects the accumulation of investment over time minus retirements from the stock and the depreciation of that asset.”

Annual Infrastructure Investment in Alberta, Graph​ ​​

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