The latest 2021 population of Edmonton is 1,047,003. This is 23.7% of the population of Alberta. This is based on extrapolating data from the 2016 census. Data from the 2021 census is due in 2022.
Edmonton is one of the five largest cities in Canada. Known as the Gateway to the North, it is the capital city of Alberta, but not the city with the highest population in the province – that honour goes to Edmonton, which sits at the southern end of the Calgary-Edmonton Corridor.
The wider Edmonton Metropolitan Area has a population of 1,321,426 in 2016 – more details are in the section below.
Edmonton population growth
Fort Edmonton was founded as a trading post in the Hudson Bay Company in 1795. Between then and 1830 it was located in four different places before finally settling on a permanent location in 1830.
In 1878, at the time of the first municipal census of Edmonton, its population was just 148 people.
Census records for Edmonton are only available from 1901, when the number of people living in Edmonton was a mere 2,626 people. Other than a brief dip between 1991 and 1996 its population has grown at every census since.
Much of the city’s growth has come from absorbing neighbouring municipatlities – notably Strathcona, North Edmonton, West Edmonton, Jasper Place and Beverly).
Going forward, the City of Edmonton predicts that it could grow to a population of two million people by 2040 – that would mean the population almost doubling in just 20 years.
The table below lists the population of Edmonton at every census since 1901.
Edmonton Metro population
The Edmonton CMA (Census Metropolitan Area) had a population of 1.321.426 at the 2016 census. This is an increase of 13.9% from the previous 2011 census, when the population was recorded at 1,159,869.
More recent data from the Alberta government puts the 2021 population of the Edmonton Metro Area at 1,491,000.
Overall in 2016, the Edmonton CMA had a population density of 140 people per km2.
Aside from Edmonton itself, other major population centres in the Edmonton CMA are:
- Strathcona County (population 98,044)
- St Albert (population 65,589)
- Spruce Grove (population 34,066
- Parkland County (population 32,097)
- Leduc (population 29,993)
- Fort Saskatchewan (population 24,149)
- Sturgeon County (population 20,495)
All data is from the 2016 census.
In 2016, visible minorities made up 37.1% of the city’s population. This is a significant increase from the 30% recorded just five years earlier in the 2011 census. Just 40 years ago, in 1981, only 2.95% of people living in Edmonton were classed as a visible minority.
There are four visible minority groups with more than 5% of the population. The are: South Asian (9.5%), Chinese (6.3%), Black (5.9%) and Filipino (5/9%).
A further 5.5% of people are part of an aboriginal group, the two largest being Métis (2.8%) and First Nations (2.5%).
Europeans remained the largest group, with 57.4% of the population, down from 64.7% of the population in 2011.
The largest ethnic origin in Edmonton is Canadian (17.41%), followed closely by English, Scottish, German, Irish and Ukrainian.
The table below lists ethnic origin of Edmonton residents in 2016
English is the most commonly spoken official language in Edmonton. 97.7% of people living in the city speak English. 7.2% speak both English and French, and just 0.2% speak only French.
However, English is the mother tongue of just 63.8% of Edmonton residents and French the mother tongue of just 1.9% of residents.
Data on religion is not recorded in the census. It is instead recorded in household surveys. The data below is from the 2011 household survey.
Christianity is the largest single religion in Edmonton. 55.8% of people are Christian. Catholics (25.9%) make up the largest single grouping.
Other major religious groups are: Muslim (5.5%), Sikh (2.5%), Buddhist (2.1%), Hindu (1.9%), Jewish (0.4%), and Aboriginal Spirituality (0.2%)
The proportion of people who report that they are not religious is 31.1%.
Edmonton Population Density
The city of Edmonton’s population density in 2016 was 1,186.8 people per square kilometre.
Sources and further reading
Unless otherwise noted, data reported in this article comes from either Statistics Canada or the Government of Alberta.