Calgary, Canada Population

Population in Urban Area, now

1,566,712
  • World: 348th
  • North America: 47th
  • Canada: 4th

Population in City Area, 2019-09-05

1,019,942
  • World: 274th
  • North America: 10th
  • 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.

Review Updated: July 26, 2020

Calgary Urban Area Population History

1950 132,000
1951 141,000
1952 151,000
1953 162,000
1954 174,000
1955 186,000
1956 199,000
1957 213,000
1958 228,000
1959 245,000
1960 262,000
1961 280,000
1962 289,000
1963 299,000
1964 310,000
1965 320,000
1966 332,000
1967 345,000
1968 359,000
1969 374,000
1970 389,000
1971 404,000
1972 417,000
1973 430,000
1974 443,000
1975 457,000
1976 472,000
1977 494,000
1978 518,000
1979 542,000
1980 568,000
1981 594,000
1982 609,000
1983 624,000
1984 640,000
1985 656,000
1986 673,000
1987 688,000
1988 705,000
1989 721,000
1990 738,000
1991 755,000
1992 768,000
1993 782,000
1994 795,000
1995 809,000
1996 825,000
1997 849,000
1998 875,000
1999 901,000
2000 927,000
2001 955,000
2002 979,000
2003 1,004,000
2004 1,030,000
2005 1,056,000
2006 1,083,000
2007 1,109,000
2008 1,135,000
2009 1,162,000
2010 1,190,000
2011 1,220,000
2012 1,253,000
2013 1,288,000
2014 1,324,000
2015 1,360,000
2016 1,398,000
2017 1,437,000
2018 1,477,000
2019 1,513,000
2020 1,547,000
2021 1,581,000

Calgary Urban Area Population Projections

2022 1,611,000
2023 1,640,000
2024 1,665,000
2025 1,688,000
2026 1,709,000
2027 1,728,000
2028 1,745,000
2029 1,762,000
2030 1,779,000
2031 1,795,000
2032 1,810,000
2033 1,826,000
2034 1,841,000
2035 1,856,000

Map of Calgary, Canada

All Biggest Cities in Canada