Sunday, December 27, 2009

Interprovincial migration goes negative

Hope everyone is doing well after a weekend of merriment, seeing their blood sugars shoot into the exopshere, and perhaps even found their wallets a little lighter should they have partaken in the Boxing Day/Week sales. Hopefully your stomach and liver paced itself though, as New Year is now fast approaching and another round of parties and dinners await.

Hard to believe we're on the cusp of a new decade, I can still remember ten years ago suddenly feeling very old as infomercials for the first of the 90's collections of music started to air. So, in honour of that memory I dug out a couple old CD's (yeah, CD's, remember those?!) to give this entry a soundtrack. Fuel's 'Sunburn', is playing as we speak for those curious... I must have just about drove my dorm-mates insane blasting 'Shimmer' incessantly as a freshman. Toad the Wet Sprocket's 'Dulcinea' is on deck.

Anyway, enough reminiscing, on with the show. Just before the break Statcan released their latest population figures, which while generally unspectacular it did have one interesting component... Alberta's interprovincial migration went negative in the 3rd quarter of 2009.

Interprovincial Migration
That is the first time since Q4 '94 its been negative, and not just that but to a degree not seen since Q3 '88, while the province was still shaking off the previous boom/bust cycle.

Though while certainly notable, this is obviously not anywhere near the exodus witnessed in the 80's bust (at least not yet) as the quarterly losses then were much deeper and lasted for years on end. I wouldn't expect it to reach the same levels because, as we discussed last week the recent boom was just not of the same magnitude of the prior one.

While interprovincial migration went negative, the population itself did still grow (again, in light of another discussion, not surprising). The natural increase (basically birth rate exceeding death rate) alone was greater then the net interprovinvial migration. Beyond that international migration levels remained constant, which is to be expected as we looked at back in April.

This will be another interesting stat to keep an eye on for the next couple years, as it is very much a barometer of the economic health of the province. Interprovincial migration more then the other elements of population can swing wildly as young people flock to where the jobs are. So when interprovincial migration goes negative like it has, it's a sign a lot of young people are leaving the province.