B.C. losing people to Alberta amid high interprovincial migration: StatCan

As the cost of living continues to hammer the budgets of people living in Metro Vancouver, new numbers show many are giving up the west coast and moving to other parts of Canada, particularly Alberta.

Statistics Canada’s latest population data shows another big quarterly interprovincial shift in British Columbia’s population, with almost 13,000 people migrating to other provinces or territories from July through September. Of those, 9,589 chose Alberta as their new home.

While StatCan did not delve into the reasons behind interprovincial migration, CityNews has done many stories about people struggling with the high cost of living in Metro Vancouver.

“I’m not happy about it — I have no money,” said Sebastian, speaking to our partner OMNI News in Vancouver.

“It’s stressful. I’m about to go buy groceries and it’s quite expensive. I’ve resolved to make gifts for my friends and family because I don’t have money to buy gifts. I’ve cut down my spending almost entirely, I only eat at home, I buy mostly vegetables and I have to limit the meat I buy. It’s tough.”

Others talk about difficulties paying for housing and transportation while looking enviably at other, more affordable regions of Canada.

The province of Alberta’s recent “Alberta is Calling” campaign has certainly played on that sentiment, touting Wild Rose Country as affordable, friendly, and rich in opportunity.

Figures from Statistics Canada show 15-straight months of interprovincial migration losses for B.C. from Q3 of 2022 to Q3 of 2023, with Alberta, by far, the most popular destination.

However, B.C.’s overall population continues to grow — up 1.1 per cent through the first nine months of the year, with international immigration the biggest contributor.

StatCan estimates more than 13,000 immigrants moved to the province from other countries last quarter.

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