The Calgary Region - Economic Dynamo

Business Environment
  • #2 - Top 10 Large North American Cities of the Future 2013/14 – Overall Ranking (out of 52 large North American cities) FDI Magazine, 2013/2014
  • #2 overall - Entrepreneurial Cities - Calgary periphery (excludes the city) (out of 121    Canadian cities/areas) - Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Entrepreneurial Cities, October 2014
  •  #5 with a Grade A – Scorecard on Prosperity 2014: Overall Economy Ranking (out of 24 global cities). Toronto Region Board of Trade, Toronto as a Global City: Scorecard on Prosperity, 2014
Src: Calgary Economic Development (

Calgary's Key Industries

Energy - employing 68,500 (2014), \Calgary is home to the majority of Canada’s oil and gas production companies, major pipeline operators, oilfield service and drilling companies, energy-related engineering and consulting firms, and headquarters to major North American pipeline and energy distribution companies. Canada's largest concentration of investor owned electric power generation companies are based in Calgary.

Finance Services - employing 19,000 (2014), 8,100 new jobs were created over the past 10 years (2003-2012), an increase of 48%. In 2011, Calgary was added to the list of cities eligible to be recognized in the Global Financial Centres Index (rank #28).

Transportation & Logistics - employing 78,700 (2014), major retailers like Walmart, Target and Costco have selected the Calgary Region as an integral part of their Western distribution strategy. Recent investments include a $100 million Calgary logistics park announced by CN Railroad and the $30 million UPS distribution centre at the Calgary International Airport.

Technology - employing 24,500 (2014), Calgary is home to the largest number of technology start ups per capita in Canada.  Over half of Alberta’s fastest growing companies are in the ICT sector.

Manufacturing - employing 49,200 (2014), comprising a variety of consumer and industrial products.

Film, TV & Creative Industries - $150 million in annual film production. Rapidly growing cultural, convergent media, and creative design and consulting industries.
Alberta's Positive Business Climate and Recent Growth
  • Competitive Business Costs - one of most competitive tax environments in North America - no provincial retail sales tax, provincial capital taxes, payroll taxes, or machinery & equipment   taxes.
  • Modern Infrastructure - highly efficient and competitive transportation and logistics system.
  • Strong Exports - export of $121 billion in commodities to 195 countries in 2014, an 17% increase over 2013.
  • Market Access - central position in a growing western Canadian market of 10 million people. Overnight delivery service to 50 million consumers in western Canada / US Pacific Northwest.
  • Abundant Resources - third largest petroleum reserves in the world, after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Crude oil and equivalent production to rise to 4 million barrels/day by 2024, up from 2.3 million barrels in 2014.
  • Economic Growth - investment per capita of $22,340 in 2014, more than triple the national average.
  • Diverse, Skilled, and Educated Workforce - one of most multicultural provinces in Canada (1 in 6 Albertans born outside Canada). 65% of labour force age 25+ has post-secondary diploma, certificate or degree. Productive (second to Newfoundland, 2014, value added per hour 44% higher than Canadian average) workforce.
  • Innovation Support - Alberta Innovates committed to new technology development / commercialization.
  • Diverse Economy - energy accounts for 25% of GDP, down from 36% three decades ago. Growth rate of 4.4% in 2014 (national average 2.5%).
Src: Alberta Economic Development (

Economic Facts

  • 2nd best city to live in Canada. MoneySense Magazine, 2015
  • Highest labour force participation rate of major cities in Canada. Statistics Canada, 2015
  • Calgary created 19,900 jobs in 2014, 17.9% of Canada’s job growth. Statistics Canada, 2014
  • Lowest commute time of major  cities in Canada. Tom Tom, 2014
  • 3rd best place to raise kids in  Canada. MoneySense Magazine, 2015
  • Highest concentration of small businesses of major cities in Canada. Statistics Canada, 2014
Calgary is…
  • #5 most livable city in the world (140 cities ranked) in 2014 according to the Economist Intelligence Unit
Calgary has...
  • The highest concentration of head office employment in Canada (on a per capita basis).
  • 1.36 million people living in the Calgary Economic Region, with the highest total population growth and average annual population growth in Canada from 2002-2011 at 25.8% and 2.6% respectively.  
Src: Calgary Economic Development