Standard of Living

  • Alberta has been the nation’s leader in economic well-being for more than 30 years and in socio-economic well-being for the past 10 years.
  • The Index of Economic Well-Being is a measure of economic welfare and includes measures of wealth, the distribution of income and wealth, economic security, environmental sustainability and non-market activities such as household work.
  • In 2014, Alberta maintained the top spot in the nation and ranked second in an international comparison of economic well-being in Alberta and 14 OECD nations.
  • The Human Development Index is a measure of socio-economic well-being and includes measures of life expectancy, education and income.
  • In 2014, Alberta ranked first in Canada and fourth in an international comparison of the 13 Canadian provinces and territories and 175 OECD nations.


  • Alberta is home to an ethnically diverse population of over four million people.
  • One in six Albertans was born outside of Canada, making Alberta one of the most multi-national and multi-cultural provinces in the country.
  • Alberta has the youngest population of all Canadian provinces with a median age of 36.2. This compares to a median age of 40.5 in Canada.
  • A vast majority of the population are of European ancestry, with a strong representation of Aboriginal people and an increasing number of migrants from Asia and other regions. This all contributes to the province’s rich cultural diversity.
  • Between 2005 and 2015 Alberta’s population grew by 26.3 per cent, the largest increase of any province or state in North America.


  • Albertans are among the best educated people in North America.
  • Campus Alberta includes 26 diverse educational institutions, modern facilities, integrated technologies, and online learning combine to create innovative teaching and research opportunities for over 268,000 students, spanning every region of the province.
  • Campus Alberta is instrumental in supporting learners, society and the economy. It is a comprehensive, coordinated publicly funded post-secondary system that ensures all Albertans have access to affordable and high quality learning opportunities to meet their lifelong learning goals. This system has benefited from significant ongoing public investment in recent years.
  • Campus Alberta is supplemented by a multitude of community-based, religious, and vocational training opportunities. Together, Alberta’s post-secondary providers are offering the quality education and training Albertans need, where and when they need it.

Quality Education

  • Alberta ranks with the world’s best in terms of the quality of education.
  • The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a tool developed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to provide policy-oriented indicators of the skills and knowledge of 15-year olds’ capabilities as they near the end of compulsory education. Since 2000, PISA reports on reading literacy, mathematical literacy and scientific literacy every three years.
  • The 2012 examinations placed Alberta among the top ranks of 75 jurisdictions, including 10 Canadian provinces, where the tests were conducted. Alberta students have the eighth highest average score in science, the eighth highest score in reading, and the seventeenth highest score in mathematics.
  • According to the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, Alberta adults ranked first among the provinces for both numeracy and literacy skills and also for problem solving skills.

Health Care

  • Compared to other Canadian provinces, Alberta has the highest age/gender adjusted per capita spending on government health expenditures, funding more health services than required under the Canada Health Care Act.
  • Alberta’s health system directly employs over 100,000 people which serves a population of just over four million.
  • Alberta has the lowest 30-day hospital mortality rate for both strokes and heart attacks in Canada. The University of Alberta Hospital has performed the most heart, lung and heart/lung combined transplants in Canada, and was the first to offer mechanical hearts to both adults and children.
  • The province provides 24-hour access to stroke care at 28 centres and prevention clinics around Alberta, resulting in 23 per cent fewer emergency/hospital visits and 25 per cent fewer in-hospital deaths from strokes since 2005.

Arts and Culture

  • Arts and culture activities accounted for 1.6 per cent of Alberta’s gross domestic product and employed 55,518 Albertans in 2014.
  • Alberta’s cultural policy, The Spirit of Alberta, supports and creates opportunities for excellence in the arts, recreation and sports, and encourages the growth of the cultural industries.
  • Alberta is a leader among the Canadian provinces in government investment in the arts and culture. Alberta companies provide the second highest level of per capita support to the arts in Canada.

In 2014-15, the Alberta Media Fund invested in 82 film, television and digital media projects to develop local production expertise and talent.