Calgary sees massive population growth in 2023: Stats Canada

New numbers from Statistics Canada detail the staggering growth of the Calgary area in 2023.

The area grew by 96,000 people last year, or around six per cent, with 1.68 million now residing in the Calgary Metropolitan Area, which includes Airdrie, Cochrane, Chestermere, parts of Rocky View County, and the Tsuu T’ina Nation.

The city saw the largest growth by far last year among Canada’s largest cities — more than double Ottawa and Montreal.

  • Calgary (CMA) – 5.9%
  • Edmonton (CMA) – 4.1%
  • Vancouver (CMA) – 4.1%
  • Toronto (CMA) – 3.3%
  • Montreal (CMA) – 2.9%
  • Ottawa-Gatineau (CMA) – 2.6%

Most of the growth can be attributed to people from other countries moving to the city, but Calgary also saw more than 25,000 people come from other provinces, the largest in the country and highest in the city since 2001-2002.

Alberta also overtook B.C. as the province with the biggest gains from interprovincial immigration.

Ward 10 Coun. Andre Chabot was asked about the surge in population at City Hall on Wednesday. He says building infrastructure to accommodate the new numbers is a challenge for councillors.

“People don’t come here with their fire trucks and their police cars, nor do they come with their pipes and wastewater treatment facilities,” he says. “We have so many capital projects on the go right now to try and meet the needs of those new citizens.”

Chabot was asked whether the growing population means there should be a tax increase at budget time when inflation is factored in to the population growth.

“No I don’t,” he answered. “That growth also generates additional revenue.”

After approving city-wide rezoning last week, housing continues to be in the spotlight, as Calgary’s Infrastructure and Planning Committee reviews new builds.

The zoning changes allow for townhomes or row homes to be built in most communities alongside single-family homes and duplexes. The city hopes the move will provide relief to the housing crisis by speeding up approvals and making it easier for more housing options to be built across the city.

The population of Calgary’s metropolitan area has grown by nearly 180,000 since 2019.

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