Calgary’s income, employment, diversity and more: Breaking down the city’s population statistics

The City of Calgary released updated profiles of communities across the city on Thursday, using data gained from the 2016 federal census. The data represents the most up-to-date statistics available that can be used to characterize the population of Calgary’s 200 residential communities and 14 wards.

Postmedia analyzed and broke down some of the highlights:


Calgary’s population in 2016 was 1,222,390. Ward 11, which encompasses communities such as Acadia, Lakeview and Mission, held the highest population in the city when broken down by ward, with 98,785 residents. It was followed closely by Ward 4, home to Beddington Heights, Brentwood, Dalhousie and other northwest communities, where 98,495 people listed their home address that year. The area with the fewest residents was Ward 7, home to the downtown and East Village, Sunnyside, Tuxedo Park and the University District, with a population of 65,070.


Calgary’s most affluent region was Ward 6 — home to southwest communities including Springbank, Glamorgan and Coach Hill — where the median household income before taxes was $124,453 in 2015, the year before the collection of the data. Not far behind was Ward 14, which encompasses areas such as Chaparral, Deer Ridge, Lake Bonavista and Midnapore. The deep southeast ward had a median household income of $121,359, compared to the city’s overall median figure of $97,329. Ward 9, which includes Forest Lawn, Inglewood and Ramsay, had the lowest reported income, at $71,740.

Aboriginal identity

In 2016, nearly 35,200 people living in private households across Calgary identified as Aboriginal. First Nations populations accounted for 15,500 people, followed by Metis at 18,480 and Inuk at 355 (365 people identified with multiple Aboriginal identities). More than 1,100 people cited a knowledge of at least one Aboriginal language, with Blackfoot and Cree being the most common.

Ethnocultural diversity

Wards 5 and 10, both in the northeast, had the highest proportion of people who identify as visible minorities compared to the overall population of each region. More than 80 per cent of those in Ward 5, encompassing areas such as Falconridge, Martindale and Saddle Ridge, identified as a visible minority. In Ward 10, which includes Abbeydale, Marlborough, Mayland Heights and Rundle, the tally was 58 per cent of the population. About 36 per cent of those in Calgary as a whole identified as visible minorities, with the most common ethnicities being South Asian, Chinese and Filipino.


More than 89,600 immigrants moved to Calgary between 2011 and 2016. For immigrants who reside in the city, Asia was the most common region from which newcomers emigrate, with 226,330 people across Calgary. The Philippines, India and China account for 34 per cent of the city’s immigrant population when it comes to country of origin. There were also 46,260 refugees across the city.


Ward 5 had the biggest population that spoke neither English nor French, with 5,845 people, or seven per cent of the area’s inhabitants. The northeast ward also had more than 51,000 people who spoke a different language at home most often, with Punjabi, Urdu and Filipino leading the way. There were more than 90,000 French speakers across the city as of 2016, including 1,200 who spoke French only. With more than 10,000 French speakers, southwest Ward 8, encompassing Sunalta, Mount Royal and Killarney, had the highest population with the ability to speak both of Canada’s official languages.


Of more than 996,000 people 15 or older, more than 60 per cent of the population said they own a post-secondary degree, certificate or diploma (one-third of Calgarians achieved that at the bachelor level or above from a university), while about one-quarter of the population held only a high school diploma. Wards 7 and 8 were the most educated regions in Calgary, both with 71 per cent of their respective populations who listed a post-secondary degree, certificate or diploma as their highest academic achievement.


Nearly three-quarters of Calgarians 15 and older were in the labour force — either working or actively looking for work — as of 2016, with an unemployment rate of 10 per cent across the city. Ward 12, in the deep southeast, and Ward 8 each registered the lowest unemployment rates by section of the city, at eight per cent.


By and large, Calgary remains a driving city. More than three-quarters of the population said they get to work everyday by way of a vehicle, such as a car, truck or van, including 71 per cent who are in the driver’s seat themselves. Just 16 per cent, or about 96,500 people, get to work by taking a bus or CTrain, while five per cent walk and two per cent said they ride their bike. Ward 13, in the deep southwest, had the highest percentage of people who use public transit to get to work, at one-fifth of the population. More than 40 per cent of Calgarians said their commute to work takes anywhere from 15 minutes to about half an hour, while 34 per cent said it takes half an hour to an hour to arrive at work.


In Calgary, 29 per cent of the population said they rented a home in 2016, compared with 71 per cent who owned the property where they lived. Owners indicated they spent nearly $1,600 per month on housing, while renters spent more than $1,300 each month. Ward 2, a northwest area home to communities such as Arbour Lake, Citadel and the Hamptons, had the highest proportion of homeowners, at 89 per cent, compared to renters. By contrast, 56 per cent of those living in the inner-city Ward 8 were renters, the highest percentage in the city. Ward 7 was an even split between renters and owners. Just over one-fifth of Calgarians said they spent more than 30 per cent of their household income on housing in 2016.

-Calgary Herald/ Sammy Hudes


Eight areas to monitor to protect your home’s value and avoid costly repairs.

Whether old or new, a home is an investment worth protecting.

“The difference between a house the owner has paid attention to and one they have not can be amazing,” said Mike Becker, a home inspector for Calgary and surrounding areas with Pillar to Post Home Inspectors.

Homeowners can maintain the value of their investment by monitoring these areas of the home:

1. Property and Site

“After buying a new home, the grade and property may be in a state of settling and the most important part of this will be drainage,” said Becker. “Mature lots will typically have good drainage, but should still be monitored, particularly after major runoffs or new landscaping.”Watch for:

  • Drainage must move away from the structure.
  • Monitor during snow melts and heavy rain.
  • Most newer lots require some regrading once they settle, sometimes five to 10 years out, but always monitor.


  • Repairs = $3 to $6 per square foot.

2. Roof

Michael Babisky, general manager at Astoria Homes, said the top concern for Calgary homeowners should be regular roof inspections. “I recommend every three to six months, especially with the frequent wind and hail here.”Watch for:

  • Implement a regular maintenance schedule for shingles and flashings after five years.
  • Characteristics of shingles near the end of usefulness: curling up, rounded edges and granule surface wearing off.
  • Caulking usually lasts three to five years and should be refreshed.
  • Inspect after severe weather.


  • Gutter cleaning = $150 to $300.
  • Gutter replacement = $7 to $9 per linear foot.
  • Asphalt replacement = $3 to $7 per square foot.

3. Exterior

“The majority of houses are being done with vinyl siding – a good, long-lasting material, assuming it has been installed correctly,” said Becker. “Wall covering, such as siding or stucco, nearing end of life are usually very apparent.”Watch for:

  • Loose or incorrectly fitted siding around openings, where moisture can reach the structure or wind might blow siding off. Seal holes with caulking and replace damaged pieces.
  • Exterior penetrations, such as those around gas lines/meters and furnace venting, require yearly re-caulking.


  • Repairs = $5 to $6 per square foot.
  • Replacement can be more economical than repair costs.

4. Attic

“Typically, people are only accessing the attic if they are running wires or when something has already gone wrong, especially leaks,” said Becker.Watch for:

  • Condensation from the living area can build up and stain the ceiling, or worse. • Check for condensation when it’s cold outside. Look for signs of frost on the sheathing or around the attic hatch.
  • Over time, attic insulation can lose volume, reducing its R value. Improve thermal efficiency by adding more insulation.


  • Insulation = $2 to $5 per square foot.

5. Structure

“Usually, if there are structural problems, they’re not something that can be fixed with maintenance,” said Becker. “But monitoring is best.”Watch for:

  • Doors not opening and closing properly anymore.
  • Cracks in finishing might indicate structural problems, but don’t always require action. Monitor over time for possible moisture penetration or foundational movement.

6. Electrical

“Nearly every do-it-yourself home renovation project I have seen (involving electrical) has safety issues,” said Becker. “Get an electrician, I cannot say this enough.”Watch for:

  • Mis-wired receptacles can damage electronics or cause shocks, sparks and/or fires.
  • Professional installations should be maintenance-free unless something fails, like a ground fault circuit breaker/receptacle. These should be replaced.
  • A very hot distribution panel might indicate problems. Don’t touch it, call an electrician.


  • Repairs = $150 to $250 per hour, plus material costs.

7. Heating

“There will come a time when replacing the furnace heating system will be more economical than the repairs and maintenance, but I have inspected many houses with furnaces 25-plus years old that have been well maintained,” said Becker.Watch for:

  • Prior to winter each year, Becker suggests opening the front panels to take a picture of the furnace for yearly comparison. Water or rust indicate it might be time for inspection.
  • Yearly furnace cleaning is key to maximizing its life, Babisky says. “Clean the humidifier at the same time.”
  • Replace filters every six months.
  • After 10 years, implement a regular furnace maintenance schedule, with inspection by an HVAC professional.


  • Annual service and cleaning = $250 to $500.
  • Furnace replacement = $3,600 to $4,700.

8. Plumbing

“Get leaks fixed as soon as possible,” said Becker.Watch for:

  • Leaks around slow-draining sinks, bathtubs and showers.
  • Less available hot water or the pilot light repeatedly going out. Repairs can often add years to appliances.
  • Water heaters typically last 10 to 15 years, but can fail at any time, usually unexpectedly.


  • Repairs = $150 to $250 per hour, plus material costs.
  • Water heater replacement = $800 to $1000.


-Natalie Noble