Calgary's Cost of Living: Income, Housing Prices, & Taxes
The cost of living in Canada is measured by Statistics Canadaʼs Consumer Price Index (CPI), or inflation rate, which indicates changes in consumer prices. The CPI is one of the most important indicators because it is used nationally and calculated monthly and annually. The CPI is calculated by many different indicators such as food, transportation, and housing. However, this overview will focus on household income, housing prices, and provincial income tax rates as indicators to determine Calgary's cost.
Calgary has just over 1.5 million people, making it the fourth-largest city in Canada, following Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. In relation to these cities, measured by the indicators mentioned above, Calgarians enjoy a lower cost of living. Read on to learn why.
Household Income in Calgary
Household income varies provincially, and, according to Statistics Canada (2018), the Canadian median household income after taxes was $61,400. Provincially, Albertaʼs average after-tax household income was $72,700, Ontarioʼs was $66,200, Quebecʼs was $53,200, and British Columbiaʼs was $62,000. This shows that Albertans hold one of the highest average household incomes in the country.
Calgary Housing Prices
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) compiles monthly real estate statistics, and in October 2020, Calgary housing prices were some of the lowest in the country. Calgary housing prices averaged around $419,600, Greater Toronto averaged around $897,700, Montreal averaged around $418,000, and Vancouver Island prices averaged around $515,000.
Rent in Calgary
Calgarians are fortunate to pay lower rent compared to other major cities in Canada. According to Rentals.ca, monthly rent in Calgary averaged at $1,198/month for a one-bedroom apartment. Toronto averaged $1,922/month, Montreal averaged $1,474/month, and Vancouver averaged $1,901/month. As two of the largest cities in the country, Toronto and Vancouver also have some of the highest rental costs.
According to the Government of Canada (2019), Alberta has the lowest income tax rates compared to Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia.
Albertans also enjoy lower taxes since there is no provincial sales tax and no health care premiums.
Calgaryʼs Cost of Living
When we consider provincial household income, housing prices, and taxes, Albertans have a low cost of living and high quality of life. With a higher median household income and lower housing prices, it is easier for Calgarians to purchase a home and have some money to spare. This can lead to a higher quality of life with less financial stress and more energy to focus on enjoyable activities.