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


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