More people left Alberta than moved to the province in the second quarter of 2020

It's the first time since the same quarter last year that the balance between incoming and outgoing shifted in favour of the latter, but it has happened more often than not since 2015. 

Despite the out-migration, Alberta continued to grow thanks mainly to births

The vacancy rate in Calgary's downtown sits at almost 30 per cent. Statistics Canada figures show more people left Alberta for other provinces than moved here in the second quarter. (Robson Fletcher/CBC)

Alberta lost more people to other provinces than it gained in the second quarter of 2020, according to the latest estimates from Statistics Canada.

The data show 2,733 more people left Alberta than moved here from April to June.

It's the first time since the same quarter last year that the balance between incoming and outgoing interprovincial migrants shifted in favour of the latter.

Alberta has been on the losing end of interprovincial migration most quarters since 2015.

Despite the inter-provincial outflow and the drying up of international migration due to the pandemic, the province continued to grow due primarily to births outnumbering deaths.

Statistics Canada estimates Alberta's population to be 4,421,876 people in the third quarter of 2020, up 4,870 from the second quarter.

Blake Shaffer, an economist at the University of Calgary, says periods of out-migration from Alberta coincide with "periods of economic weakness," but that not too much should be extrapolated from just one quarter's worth of migration estimates.

"We want to see if this continues, so it becomes a start of a trend," he said.

He said there are big questions swirling around the province right now when it comes to economic stability and politics and whether the province will make unprecedented changes, like pulling out of the Canada Pension Plan.


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