Numbers don’t lie: Alberta great place to live, stats say

Great article & I can't disagree!

It’s well-known that Alberta is a great place to live, but having the numbers to back up the claim up never hurts. Alberta’s Office of Statistics and Information released some new data Thursday that give a glimpse into what makes this province so special.


Here’s what the numbers tell us:

Don’t live in Alberta yet? You likely will. The province’s population grew 3.5 per cent in 2013, three times the rate of the national average, and is now home to more than four million people.


Where is this population growth coming from? Many new Albertans arrive from Eastern Canada, but the province also absorbs a significant proportion of Canada’s new immigrants. As of 2011, immigrants made up 18.1 per cent of Alberta’s population. Between 2006 and 2011, Alberta became home to 12.4 per cent of newcomers to Canada.


So, why are so many people coming to Alberta? Besides the Rocky Mountains, the golden plains and its thriving capital city, there’s also a good deal of money to be made. Albertans are Canada’s highest average weekly earners, making $158.66 per week more than Newfoundlanders, who come in a distant second. Albertans make an average of $1,108 a week (not including overtime), 22 per cent higher than the national average. And of Alberta’s immigrants, most seem to prefer living in major cities, with more than 50 per cent flocking to Calgary and 35 per cent to Edmonton.

While we’re on the subject of moving, if you’re new to Alberta or planning to relocate, you might be better off heading south to Medicine Hat, where the average monthly rent of a two-bedroom apartment is about $1,300 cheaper per month than similar apartments in Fort McMurray, where the average lease is $2,061. If you prefer the big cities, Edmonton offers a slight discount to renters at $1,180 per month compared with Calgary, where the average two-bedroom apartment rent is $1,267.


If you welcomed a bundle of joy in a pink blanket, she’s more likely to see the turn of the century than babies wrapped in blue. The average life expectancy for baby girls is 84, while baby boys are expected to live closer to 80 years.

And whether you’ve got sons, daughters or both, their prospects for educational success look good. Last year, 75 per cent of students graduated high school within three years, and 82 per cent earned their diploma within five years. Higher rates of high school graduation seem to be the trend. Since 2008, the rates of graduation have increased every year.


More and more Albertans are also pursuing higher education: 62 per cent of Albertans aged 25 to 64 had post-secondary credentials such as degrees, university certificates, college diplomas, trade certificates and apprenticeships, an increase of eight per cent in 10 years.


Albertans may be well off, but an overwhelming majority also give back. Nearly 84 per cent of Albertans said they volunteered last year, particularly in sports and recreational activities. Almost half of Alberta’s volunteers were involved in coaching, officiating or organizing recreational activities, 32 per cent volunteered at places such as food banks, seniors centers and international aid organizations, 18 per cent were active in arts and cultural organizations and 16 per cent gave their time to youth development volunteer work.



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