Alberta’s population will only get more diverse as immigration fuels population growth, Stats Can reports
February 2, 2017
By Stuart Thomson, Edmonton Journal |
Twenty-five years from now the face of Alberta will include many more immigrants and almost all of them will be calling Edmonton and Calgary home, according to long-term projections from Statistics Canada.
The report from the agency describing immigration and diversity projections to 2036 lays out a few different scenarios for Canada, including a high immigration and low immigration forecast. All scenarios see immigrant numbers rising steadily.
About 85 per cent of Alberta’s immigrants lived in Calgary and Edmonton in 2011 — the baseline year used by Stats Can — and that number will rise a percentage point or two at most.
In 2011, the proportion of Alberta’s population made up of immigrants was 18 per cent. That could increase to 24 per cent within 20 years in the low immigration scenario or 31 per cent in the high immigration scenario. With birth rates in Canada declining, the proportion of immigrants will rise even higher.
By 2036, half the Canadian population will be either an immigrant or a second generation immigrant in the high immigration scenario. In Calgary that number would reach 61 per cent and in Edmonton it would be 53 per cent.
For Alberta, the variables have more to do with where immigrants decide to live, rather than the overall population numbers in Canada — a trend has been very dynamic over the last two decades.
For example, from 2000 to 2015, Alberta’s share of the immigrant population more than doubled from 6.8 to 14.2 per cent, mostly at the expense of British Columbia and Ontario.
Edmonton and Calgary are two of the top four Canadians cities in terms of religious diversity and that will continue over the next 25 years, according to the Stats Can religious diversity index.
The study comes at a time when some major Canadian allies and trading partners have taken a turn toward anti-immigration policies with Brexit in the United Kingdom, a nationalist wave in Europe and the election of Donald Trump in the United States