What is the average income to survive in Calgary?

Calgary, known for its booming oil and gas industry, is one of Canada's most expensive cities to live in. With a high cost of living, it's important to have a sufficient income to cover your expenses and still enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. In this article, we will explore the factors that affect the average income in Calgary, the cost of living, how to determine the average income needed to survive, and provide some tips for managing your finances in this vibrant city.

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Factors Affecting the Average Income in Calgary

Several factors contribute to the average income needed in Calgary. The primary factor is the city's high cost of living. Other factors include the type of employment, level of education, industry, and experience. Calgary's economy heavily relies on the oil and gas industry, and thus, salaries in these sectors tend to be higher compared to other industries.

Cost of Living in Calgary

The cost of living in Calgary is significantly higher than the national average. Housing, transportation, and healthcare are the major contributors to the high cost. Housing, in particular, can be quite expensive, with the average cost of a home in Calgary being above the national average. Additionally, groceries, utilities, and entertainment expenses can also add up quickly.

How to Determine the Average Income Needed to Survive in Calgary

Determining the average income needed to survive in Calgary requires careful consideration of your expenses. Start by creating a budget that includes all essential expenses such as housing, transportation, groceries, utilities, and healthcare. Research the average costs for these items in Calgary and calculate the total. Next, factor in discretionary expenses such as dining out, entertainment, and savings. By adding all these expenses together, you can determine the average income needed to cover your costs and maintain a comfortable lifestyle in Calgary.

Tips for Managing Your Finances in Calgary

  • Create a budget: Track your expenses and ensure you're living within your means.
  • Save on housing: Consider sharing a living space or exploring more affordable neighborhoods.
  • Use public transportation: Calgary has a reliable transportation system that can help you save on car-related expenses.
  • Shop smart: Look for sales, use coupons, and compare prices to make your money go further.
  • Take advantage of government programs: Explore any available government assistance programs that can help with living costs.
  • Invest wisely: Consider long-term investments that can provide financial stability in the future.


Living in Calgary requires a higher-than-average income to cover the city's high cost of living. By understanding the factors that affect the average income needed, determining your own expenses, and implementing effective financial management strategies, you can thrive in this vibrant city while maintaining a comfortable lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the average income required to live comfortably in Calgary?

The average income required to live comfortably in Calgary varies depending on individual circumstances and lifestyle choices. It is recommended to thoroughly evaluate your expenses and create a budget that suits your needs.

2. How does the cost of housing impact the average income needed in Calgary?

The high cost of housing in Calgary significantly impacts the average income needed. It is one of the major expenses for residents, and finding affordable housing options or considering alternative living arrangements can help reduce the financial burden.

3. Are there any government programs or assistance available to help with living costs in Calgary?

Yes, there are various government programs and assistance available to help with living costs in Calgary. These programs can provide financial support for housing, healthcare, education, and other essential needs. It is advisable to research and inquire about the specific programs that you may qualify for.

4. What are some strategies for saving money and reducing expenses in Calgary?

Some strategies for saving money and reducing expenses in Calgary include creating a budget, shopping smart, using public transportation, exploring affordable housing options, and taking advantage of government assistance programs. Additionally, investing wisely and prioritizing savings can help build financial stability for the future.

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