Country Digest

Calgary Population 2017

The population of Calgary (2017) is 1,235,171. This makes Calgary the third largest city in Canada, the largest city in Alberta, and the 20th largest city in North America.

Latest data from Statistics Canada shows that the population of the Calgary Census Metropolitan Area was 1,440,000 in 2015. The Calgary CMA is home to 4% of people who live in Canada.

Calgary is the fastest growing city in Canada. Its population grew by 32% between 2005 and 2015.

Calgary is located in the south of the Canadian province of Alberta. It is approximately 50 miles east of the Canadian Rockies and about 180 miles south of Edmonton, the Capital City of Alberta.

This article contains detailed information about Calgary demographics, covering both the city of Calgary and the Calgary Census Metropolitan Area.

Calgary Census Metropolitan Area Population

The city of Calgary is the largest part of the Calgary Census Metropolitan area. There are two other cities in the Calgary CMA, Airdrie (population: 42,564) is and Chestermere (population: 14,824).

The Calgary CMA also contains a number of smaller towns and a First Nations Reserve (the Tsuu T’ina Nation).

Although the city of Calgary is the third largest city in Canada, the Calgary CMA is only the fourth largest CMA in Canada. This is because Vancouver, which is a smaller city than Calgary, has a larger metropolitan area. The two largest census metropolitan areas by population in Canada are Toronto and Montreal.

Calgary Population Growth

As noted above, Calgary is the fastest growing city in Canada. The Calgary CMA population grew by 32% between 2005 and 2015.

The Calgary population growth rate is slightly higher than the rate of growth in Edmonton, the other major city in Alberta, which was 31% over the same period. However, Calgary’s population growth is three times as high as the average rate of growth across Canada.

By 2041 the population of the Calgary CMA is projected to grow to 2.4 million. Much of this population growth is likely to occur just outside of the city boundaries in suburban commuter towns like Airdrie.

The table below lists the population of Calgary every five years since 1891.

Year Population % Change
1901 4,091 n/a
1906 11,967 192.5%
1911 43,704 265.2%
1916 56,514 29.3%
1921 63,305 12.0%
1926 65,291 3.1%
1931 83,761 28.3%
1936 83,407 -0.4%
1941 88,904 6.6%
1946 100,044 12.5%
1951 129,060 29.0%
1956 181,780 40.8%
1961 249,641 37.3%
1966 330,575 32.4%
1971 403,319 22.0%
1976 469,917 16.5%
1981 592,743 26.1%
1986 636,107 7.3%
1991 710,795 11.7%
1996 768,082 8.1%
2001 878,866 14.4%
2006 988,193 12.4%
2011 1,096,833 11.0%
2016 1,235,171 12.6%

Note: Data provided by Statistics Canada, except for 2016, which is an estimate based on the Calgary Government’s 2016 Civic Census.

Calgary Population Density

The city of Calgary covers 825.29 km². Based on the city’s 2011 population, which was 1,096,833, its population density was 1,329.0 people per km².

The Calgary Census Metropolitan area covers 5,107.55 km². With a population of 1,214,839 in 2011, the Calgary CMA population density was 237.9 people per km².

Calgary Languages

Seven in every 10 people (70.9%) in Calgary speak English as their first language. Eight in every 10 people (80.3%) speak English most often at home.

A further 1.5% people speak French as their first language. Just over a quarter of people in Calgary (25.3%) speak another non-official language.

English70.9%
French1.5%
Other / Non-Official Language25.3%

The most commonly spoken other languages in Calgary are Tagalog / Filipino (2.6%), Punjabi (2.6%), Chinese (2.3%) and Spanish (2.0%).

Just 7.2% of people in Calgary are English – French bilingual. People aged 20 to 44 (8.7%) are most likely to be bilingual, and people aged over 65 (4.3%) are least likely to be bilingual. People whose first language is French (88.7%) are almost 14 times more likely to be bilingual and people whose first language is English (6.4%).

Ethnicity in Calgary

White67.3%
Visible Minority Group30.1%
Aboriginal2.7%

The most common ethnic group in Calgary is White (67.3% of the population).

Nearly a third (30.1%) of Calgary residents reported in the 2011 census that they were members of a Visible Minority Group. The largest of these groups were South Asian (7.5%), Chinese (6.8%), Filipino (4.4%) and Black (2.9%).

A further 2.7% of the population of Calgary is Aboriginal. Métis are the largest aboriginal group, they make up 1.4% of the population, followed by First Nations with 1.2% of the population. Inuit and other aboriginal peoples make up the remaining 0.1% of the population.

When asked about their ethnic origin, 24.12% of people in Calgary reported that it was English. This was followed by Canadian (19.96%), Scottish (18.49%), German (15.51%) and Irish (15.34%).

English24.12%
Canadian19.96%
Scottish18.49%
German15.51%
Irish15.34%

A further 9.33% of people reported that their ethnic origin was French and 7.19% reported that their origin was Chinese. Note that people were able to select more than one group of ethnic origin.

Religion in Calgary

Based on the 2011 census Christianity remains the largest single religion in Calgary. 54.9% of respondents reported that they were Christian.

Christian54.9%
No religion32.3%
Muslim5.2%
Sikh2.6%
Buddhist2.1%

Almost a third of people (32.3%) reported that they had no religion. This was followed by Islam (5.2%), Sikh (2.6%) and Buddhist (2.1%).

Resources and further reading

Unless otherwise noted, demographic data in this article is provided by Statistics Canada, who conduct a nationwide census every five years or the City of Calgary, who conduct an annual civic census.

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