For the first time since joining Confederation, all three Prairie provinces recorded the highest rates of provincial population growth from 2011 to 2016.
Population growth accelerated in Alberta and Manitoba―the only two provinces to post higher growth rates from 2011 to 2016 compared with the previous intercensal period.
Alberta (+11.6%) had the fastest growth rate among the provinces, up from 10.8% from 2006 to 2011. This was more than double the national average. Alberta also recorded the highest growth among provinces during the two previous intercensal periods.
As a result of strong growth over the last 15 years, Calgary (1,392,609) became the fourth largest CMA in the country in 2016, replacing Ottawa–Gatineau (1,323,783), which fell to fifth place. Edmonton was a close sixth at 1,321,426 inhabitants.
The four western provinces were the only provinces to record population growth rates higher than the national average. As a result of this growth, almost one-third (31.6%) of Canadians lived in the West in 2016, the largest share on record.