Cost of Living

Alberta SouthWest has a ‘Low’ Cost of Living

Using average household income and average house price in the Region (2005) compared to Alberta, and average house price in the Region (2010), Alberta SouthWest communities:
  • Have 30% lower household income than the Alberta average, BUT
  • Have an average house price that is 58% lower than the Alberta average

A mortgage is the major component of shelter costs (in addition to municipal taxes and utilities

Average Alberta family income (2005) $73,823
Average house price - Alberta (2010) $349,000
Average family income in Region (2005) $55,658
Average house price in Region (2010) $146,673
   
Average family income 25% lower than Alberta average
Average house price 58% lower than Alberta average


Newcomers to Canada typically earn less income than established Canadians, though studies have shown that income differential narrows over time.

Expenditures

Average household expenditure can be used as a general guide to show where Canadians spend their income and to help budget cost of living. Data is not available for Alberta SouthWest; data for the Calgary Metropolitan Region is shown with a word of caution: household income is much higher in the Calgary Region, offset by shelter, and transportation costs that are much higher in the Calgary Region. Also note that taxes are a ratio of total income, and would be lower if you have lower household income. The average household size in the Calgary Region was 2.7 in 2006, and can be used as a rough guide to raise or lower your calculations based on whether you have a larger or smaller family.

  Amount ($) % of total
Total current consumption 62,732 70
  Shelter 17,968 20
  Transportation 12,216 14
  Food 8,083 9
  Recreation 5,144 6
  Houshold Operation 3,803 4
  Clothing 3,680 4
  Health Care 2,623 3
  Household furnishings and equipment 2,181 2.5
  Tobacco products and alcoholic beverages 1,807 2
  Miscellaneous 1,745 2
  Education 1,456 2
  Reading materials and other printed matter 324 0.4
  Games of chance (net) 266 0.3
Personal income taxes 20,125 22
Personal insurance payments and pension contributions 4,451 5
Gifts of money and contributions 2,270 2.5
Total Expenditure 89,578 100
Source: Statistics Canada, 2009