Overview

The Calgary Region has an average cost of living compared to global cities. The highest family income in Canada makes all forms of housing in Calgary affordable despite the third highest residential real estate values in Canada.

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Cost of Living Index
Cost of living indexes allow for comparison between locations, and calculate prices for defined quantities of a range of goods and services typically including, but not limited to, housing, food and clothing. Canadian cities have lower living costs than many other locations in the developed world. In 2012, Calgary ranked 92 out of 140 global cities compared (#1 = most expensive), rising from a ranking of 88 in 2010.

Within Canada, Calgary has the fourth highest cost of living of 54 Canadian cities (after Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal).

Source: Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey 2012

Income
The Calgary Region has the highest median family income (2008) in Canada. Median family income is 6.4 per cent higher than the Alberta average, and 33 per cent higher than the Canadian average.
Source: Statistics Canada

Newcomers to Canada typically earn less income than established Canadians, though studies have shown that income differential narrows over time.

Expenditures
Average household expenditure in the Calgary Region was $89,578 in 2009. Spending can be divided into several categories and provides a picture of what a “typical” household spends annually. To help you budget cost of living, the average household size in the Calgary Region was 2.7 in 2006 and can be used as a rough guide to raise or lower your calculations based on whether you have a larger or smaller family.  

 

  Amount ($) % of total
Total current consumption 62,732 70
Shelter 17,968 20
Transportation 12,216 14
Food 8,083 9
Recreation 5,144 6
Household Operation 3,803 4
Clothing 3,680 4
Health Care 2,623 3
Household furnishings and equipment 2,181 2.5
Tobacco products and alcoholic beverages 1,807 2
Miscellaneous 1,745 2
Education 1,456 2
Reading materials and other printed matter 324 0.4
Games of chance (net) 266 0.3
Personal income taxes 20,125 22
Personal insurance payments and pension contributions 4,451 5
Gifts of money and contributions 2,270 2.5
  89,578 100

Source: Statistics Canada, 2009