Alberta had seven of the top 10 largest population drops in Canada

Feb 10 2022, 4:52 pm

Alberta is poised for some strong growth this year; however, some smaller towns in the province saw quite the population drop in the past few years.

Statistics Canada has dropped the first information from the massive 2021 census, and seven out of the top 10 municipalities with the largest population drops were in Alberta.

From 2016 to 2021, the population declined in 121 of the 737 Canadian municipalities with at least 5,000 inhabitants, according to Stats Canada.

When it comes to the top 10, Alberta is scattered throughout it, almost completely taking up the top five spots.

Athabasca County snagged the first spot, with its population dropping by 11.6% from 2016 to 2021.

Lac la Biche County came in third with a drop of 7.9%, followed by Brazeau County with a decrease of 7.6%, Barrhead County No. 11 with a drop of 6.5% and Greenview No. 16 with a decrease of 6.2%.

A spot in Saskatchewan splits the Alberta streak up, before Vermillion River County comes in at number eight with a population drop of 5.4% and Yellowhead County at number nine with a decrease of 5.2%.

Statistics Canada

Stats Canada says lower oil prices and higher unemployment in the province from 2016 to 2021 preceded the slowdown in population growth.

The agency added that remote municipalities tend to have older populations, post low or negative growth, welcome few immigrants, and are often characterized by the out-migration of young adults to elsewhere in the country.

The increase in population drops is pretty high — from 2011 to 2016, only two municipalities in Alberta were among the 25 municipalities with the greatest declines.

Laine MitchellLaine Mitchell

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