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Growth pressures

'Alberta is Calling' and the Provincial ad campaign encouraging Canadians to relocate to Alberta is working.

Alberta’s population continues to see dramatic growth. In the twelve months preceding October 1, the province’s population expanded by about 194,000 people, or 4.3%. This represents a significant increase from the previous year (2.5% in 2021-2022) and the highest Oct. 1 annual growth rate since 1980.

Alberta’s population expanded by over 61,118 residents over the third quarter of 2023, or 1.3%. This was the highest growth in any single quarter since 1980.

Government of Alberta website, February 2024

Alberta has the highest weekly wages of all Canadian jurisdictions, boasts some of the most affordable housing costs of all major Canadian centres and offers a high quality of life with quick access to the Rocky Mountains.

With the vast majority of newcomers settling in urban centres, Airdrie needs the Government of Alberta to actively partner with our municipality to accommodate and support population growth.

2024 Provincial budget

Growth requires transparent, criteria-based investment in roads, transit, community amenities like recreation and cultural centres, affordable housing, schools and health care.

Airdrie advocated strongly for specific funding for growing municipalities and $60 million over three years was allocated in the Alberta budget to a new Local Growth & Sustainability Grant Program.

This funding is welcome recognition that growing communities are experiencing challenges, but there is concern that the amount of funding will not address the increasing need from dozens of municipalities with increasing populations. Over the next ten years, Airdrie will spend approximately $1 billion on key capital projects and critical infrastructure upgrades.

Why Airdrie needs increased Provincial funding to support growth

  • Over 70% of Albertans live in Calgary, Edmonton or a mid-sized city like Airdrie.
  • According to the Government of Alberta 4/5 Albertans will live in the Calgary-Edmonton Corridor by 2051.
  • A staggering 91% of the recent provincial population growth has happened in urban centres.
  • Airdrie’s total current population is over 80,000 residents and growing.
  • Airdrie’s population in 2003 was just 23,680.
  • Airdrie has been Alberta’s fastest growing city since 2016 and still is.
  • The city is expected to reach 100,000+ within the next seven years and is on track to become the third largest city in Alberta in less than 20 years.