Athabasca has a population of 2759. A recent study shows that the Town serves a market area of an additional 8000-11000 people who call Athabasca "their town" and reside in the County of Athabasca or the surrounding Summer Villages, lakeside communities. Highway 813 also connects to Calling Lake and the Wabasca-Demarais region.
The local economy builds upon a strong small-business sector and a permanent employment base at Athabasca University, Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries, and public sector jobs in health, education, and social services. As a gateway to the new industrial north, Athabasca is also a centre for employment in oil and gas exploration and services, forestry and supporting services, agricultural, food, hardware, and retail services.