Population in Urban Area, now
- World: 349th
- North America: 47th
- Canada: 4th
Population in City Area, 2019-09-05
- World: 354th
- North America: 13th
- Canada: 3rd
Calgary Urban Area Population Graph
Calgary Population Review
Calgary is a major metropolitan area in the province of Alberta in Canada. It is home to 1.5 million people spread over 825 square kilometers in the urban area and just over 1 million in the city area. The city is 80 kilometers east of the Front Range of Canadian Rockies and is the largest city in Alberta, and the third largest in Canada (after Toronto and Montreal). Calgary’s population has exploded since the 1950s, adding over 1.3 million people to its population in just under 70 years.
Calgary was rated one of the most livable cities in North America in both 2018 and 2019 and was ranked one of the best cities in the world for drivers. Calgary has warm summers and cold, dry winters and is considered a humid, continental climate. Calgary is within Alberta’s ‘Hailstorm Alley’ and is prone to violent, damaging storms that can come on quickly and dissipate just as fast.
Ethnicity makeup of the city
Much of Calgary’s population is of European origin and 59% identify as being white. Four percent are of Aboriginal heritage, and 36% of the population belong to a visible minority that is non-white and non-aboriginal. Of those who report being from European descent, the most frequently reported background was British, German, Irish, and French—common backgrounds found throughout Canada. Calgary is ranked fourth in the country for visible minorities, behind Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg.
The Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede bills itself as “the greatest outdoor show on earth”. This ten-day event attracts over 1 million visitors per year who flood the city to take part in and watch rodeos, parades, stage shows, concerts, agricultural competitions, Chick Wagon racing, and First Nations exhibitions. The Calgary Stampede Parade alone attracts 400,000 people.
The Stampede first started in 1912 and set it’s 100th anniversary in 2012—with a record 1.4 million visitors. The stampede employs more than a 100 people year-round and 3200 people are hired during the actual event. The stampede is also a popular TV event, with over 2 million Canadians watching portions of the Calgary Stampede on television.
A leader in the oil and gas industry
The city’s economy expanded at a much higher rate than the country’s economy (43% vs. 25%) from 1999 to 2009 as it reaped the benefits of the oil and gas industry boom. This created high personal and family incomes, low unemployment, and a very high GDP per capita.
While the oil and gas industry dominated Calgary’s economy for many years—and is still the single largest contributor to the city’s GDP—the dominance of the industry is steadily decreasing. Oil and gas companies have had to slash prices and lay off en masse in the wake of price crashes. The devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic also led to a dramatic decrease in the demand of oil, virtually shutting down the oil sands.
A young city
Calgary has one of the youngest populations for a major Canadian city. Just over 70% of the city’s population are between the ages of 15 and 64, and the average age in Calgary is a sprightly 37. The city is also not predicted to get much older, even as the city is projected to grow to 1.8 residents by 2035. The proportion of toddlers and preschoolers is predicted to remain steady, while teenagers will decline slightly, and seniors will increase. However, due to the city’s young age, most of the population will stay in the range of working age for many years to come. This also helps bolster the city’s economy and keep their social service costs low.