While the population has grown overall, Saskatchewan is losing more residents to interprovincial migration than it's gaining — and that's a trend that's continued for the last seven years. The Sask. Party has often touted its success as a government by showing increases in population numbers since the party formed government for the first time in 2007.Population numbers have also long been a focus for the party, going back to the days when "bring the kids back" was a mantra in Saskatchewan. Quarterly data prepared by Statistics Canada and compiled by the Saskatchewan Bureau of Statistics show the province lost anywhere between 76 people and 3,320 people to other provinces every three months going back to July 1, 2013.The same data from the Saskatchewan Bureau of Statistics from Jan. 1, 1992, to Oct. 1, 2007 — the last time an NDP government was responsible for the numbers — showed declines anywhere between 240 people to 3,898 people due to interprovincial migration.There were, however, a few periods where interprovincial migration into Saskatchewan increased in the Jan. 1992 to Oct. 2007 time period as well, including a period between Oct. 1, 2006, and Oct. 1, 2007, where 5,774 people moved to the province from elsewhere in Canada. View more population data back to 1971 here: Sask. Party Leader Scott Moe said he would create opportunities in Saskatchewan that would lure people from other provinces to the Land of the Living Skies. On Saturday the Sask. Party announced a plan to temporarily reduce the small business tax, which Moe touted as a way the province could attract small business owners and their families.The NDP committed to removing PST on construction labour and would create a Saskatchewan-first procurement strategy should it form government after the Oct. 26 election. Growth 'somewhat' government policy but 'a lot not'Jason Childs, an associate professor of economics at the University of Regina said when it comes to the population, it's important for governments to "not overdo it" or rely solely on policy to bolster numbers."You could interpret [population numbers] as a very real endorsement of policy and the opportunity that has come to be here — somewhat through government policies, a lot not," he said. He said although interprovincial migration is taking people away from the province, the joke about getting students luggage as a graduation present isn't heard as often as it once was in Saskatchewan, but the numbers are something that people should be aware of.Childs said the interprovincial migration changes end up being a case of economic migrants seeing more opportunities elsewhere in Canada.A big challenge governments in Saskatchewan face, Childs said, is the appeal of larger cities to younger generations, who are drawn to crowds of their own age. A lot of drawing the younger crowd — and people in general back — to Saskatchewan, he said, comes through creating opportunities for economic migrants, like what existed when the province's economy was booming in the last decade.> Calgary has got bigger, brighter lights than Regina or Saskatoon. The same is true for Vancouver. \- Jason Childs, associate prof., U of RBut he said governments in "the west," or Europe, North America and parts of Asia, have tried to figure out how to "create opportunity" with minimal success. "It's really, really hard for the government to push it," Childs said. "The most economic success, particularly lasting economic success, comes from the ground up, it doesn't come from the top down."An exception he noted, could be the provincial sponsorship program that increased international migration in the province, which contributed in a large way to Saskatchewan's growth over the last decade.But an important aspect of looking at population numbers, he said, would be considering just how many people moved to the province who would have done so regardless of provincially-created programs. "If I give a tax break to green firms, as has been proposed by the federal government, can you claim every green firm that starts or moves, is moving as the result of the tax break?" he asked. "No, that would be silly. Some of that stuff was going to happen anyway."