Is Edmonton Bigger Than Calgary?

Edmonton and Calgary image

When it comes to vibrant Canadian cities, Edmonton and Calgary both stand out as economic powerhouses with unique charm and appeal. In this blog post, we will delve into various aspects of these cities and compare them based on population, size, and population density. Let’s explore which city takes the lead in this friendly urban rivalry.


Edmonton, the capital of Alberta, boasts a population of approximately 1,010,899 residents. On the other hand, Calgary, situated just a few hundred kilometers south of Edmonton, houses around 1,306,784 inhabitants. With these figures, Calgary emerges as the more populous city, surpassing Edmonton by nearly 300,000 residents. However, population alone does not determine a city’s allure; other factors play crucial roles.

Edmonton vs Calgary Population chart


In terms of sheer size, Edmonton covers an expansive area of 189,186.351 acres, providing its residents with ample space and an abundance of recreational opportunities. Meanwhile, Calgary stretches across 202,779.6181 acres, giving it a slightly larger geographical footprint than its northern counterpart. Despite the marginal difference, both cities offer a mix of urban landscapes and nearby natural wonders for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Edmonton Vs Calgary Size chart

Population Density

While Calgary takes the lead in population, a city’s population density is equally important in understanding the quality of life it offers. Edmonton, with a population density of 1,320.4/km², exhibits a more spread-out living arrangement, affording its residents a sense of openness and tranquility. On the contrary, Calgary, with a population density of 1,592.4/km², showcases a denser urban environment, which may appeal to those seeking a vibrant and bustling city atmosphere.

StateArea (acres)PopulationPopulation Density (KM2)

Which is better Calgary or Edmonton

When it comes to choosing a city to call home, the decision often revolves around factors such as quality of life, job opportunities, cost of living, and cultural amenities. In Canada, two prominent cities that frequently find themselves in the spotlight are Calgary and Edmonton. These Alberta-based cities are not only economic powerhouses but also vibrant cultural hubs.

In this article, we will conduct a thorough comparison of Calgary and Edmonton to help you make an informed decision about which city suits your preferences and needs better.

1. Economic Landscape:

Both Calgary and Edmonton have robust economies driven by the energy sector. Calgary is often referred to as the “Energy Capital of Canada” due to its prominent role in the oil and gas industry. On the other hand, Edmonton also boasts a thriving energy sector but is recognized for its focus on petrochemicals and refining. The choice between the two cities could depend on your industry of expertise and employment prospects.

2. Cost of Living:

The cost of living is a crucial consideration when evaluating cities. In this aspect, Edmonton generally has a slightly lower cost of living compared to Calgary. Housing costs, in particular, are more affordable in Edmonton, which might be appealing to individuals and families looking to stretch their budget.

3. Cultural Attractions:

Calgary and Edmonton both offer a range of cultural attractions, but their offerings differ. Calgary is known for its annual Calgary Stampede, a world-famous rodeo and exhibition, which showcases the city’s western heritage. Edmonton, on the other hand, boasts the West Edmonton Mall, one of the largest shopping and entertainment complexes globally, along with numerous museums and festivals. Your preference for a specific cultural vibe might influence your choice between the two cities.

4. Education and Healthcare:

Both cities are well-equipped in terms of education and healthcare facilities. Edmonton is home to the University of Alberta, a prestigious institution renowned for its research and academic excellence. Calgary hosts the University of Calgary, contributing significantly to research and education as well. Healthcare services are equally well-established in both cities, ensuring that residents have access to quality medical care.

5. Outdoor Recreation:

For outdoor enthusiasts, both cities offer a variety of recreational opportunities. Calgary, being closer to the Rocky Mountains, provides easier access to hiking, skiing, and other mountain-related activities. On the other hand, Edmonton offers beautiful river valleys, parks, and trails for nature lovers. Your preference for mountainous terrain or river valleys could sway your decision.

6. Urban Planning and Infrastructure:

Calgary and Edmonton have distinctive urban planning and infrastructure setups. Calgary’s downtown features a recognizable skyline with modern skyscrapers, while Edmonton’s downtown is undergoing significant revitalization. Both cities have efficient public transportation systems and are working towards sustainable urban development.

In the Calgary vs. Edmonton debate, there is no definitive winner; it ultimately depends on your priorities and lifestyle preferences. Calgary excels in terms of its energy sector and proximity to the Rockies, while Edmonton offers a slightly lower cost of living and a diverse cultural scene. When making your decision, consider factors like job opportunities, cost of living, recreational activities, and cultural amenities that align with your values and aspirations.

Whether you’re drawn to Calgary’s western charm or Edmonton’s bustling festivals, both cities have a lot to offer residents seeking a high quality of life in the dynamic province of Alberta, Canada.

Is Edmonton Bigger Than Calgary

In conclusion, both Edmonton and Calgary hold their own unique charm and advantages. While Calgary outnumbers Edmonton in population and covers a slightly larger land area, Edmonton provides a more spacious living arrangement and a lower population density. Ultimately, the decision between the two cities depends on personal preferences and priorities.

Whether you seek the bustling energy of a densely populated urban center or the tranquility of a more spacious city, both Edmonton and Calgary offer an array of opportunities for residents and visitors alike. From cultural attractions and economic opportunities to stunning natural landscapes, each city has its own allure.

As the urban rivalry continues between these two Alberta giants, it is essential to recognize that both cities contribute significantly to the province’s growth and prosperity. So, whether you are drawn to the vibrant cosmopolitan flair of Calgary or the open expanses and cultural richness of Edmonton, you are sure to find a welcoming community and a place to call home in either city.

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