For the first time since 2009-2010, Calgary and Edmonton failed to crack the top five list for population growth in Canadian metropolitan areas.
According to projections from Statistics Canada based on census numbers, both Alberta centres grew by 1.8 per cent in 2016-2017.
That’s down from growth of 2.5 per cent in Calgary and 2.4 per cent in Edmonton for the period covering 2015-2016.
The projections look at census metropolitan areas (CMA), which encompass neighbouring municipalities that are strongly linked to the city.
The population in the Calgary region is projected to be 1.5 million, while Edmonton is estimated to be 1.4 million.
Saskatoon and Regina topped the list this year, with growth of 2.8 per cent and 2.4 per cent, respectively, followed by Guelph, Ottawa-Gatineau, Toronto and Winnipeg.
“The population growth of CMAs in Alberta has been lower since 2013/2014, coinciding with the commodities downturn that began in 2014,” said Statistics Canada in a release Tuesday.
“This downturn was also associated with the rising unemployment rate in the province from the beginning of 2015, which reached a peak at the end of 2016.”
As a whole, Canadian metropolitan areas grew by 1.5 per cent in 2016-2017, with 70.5 per cent of Canadians now calling one of those centres home.