Cost of living in Alberta

Cost of living in Alberta

Living in Alberta is an excellent option if you’re looking to live in Canada. However, one thing on your mind is the cost of living in this location. So, what’s the cost of living in Alberta?

Alberta is the 4th most expensive province in Canada. Yet, the overall cost of living allows you to enjoy more disposable income. The average cost of living per month, excluding rent in Alberta, is $703 for an individual and $2,190 for a family of four which is 1.02 times less than the national average.

Beyond this, various factors independently influence the living cost in any province. As such, in this article, we’ll discuss the cost of living in Alberta and the elements that influence the cost of living in Alberta.

What Is the Cost of Living In Alberta?

The average cost of living per month, excluding rent in Alberta, is $703 for an individual and $2,190 for a family of four which is 1.02 times less than the national average. Regardless, Alberta offers considerable cost of living advantages in comparison to the national average. Families in Alberta tend to enjoy higher family incomes than other provinces in Canada. According to the 2018 Canadian Income Survey, families in Alberta earned a median income of $98,400 (after taxes) above the national average of $84,900.

Factors That Influence the Cost of Living In Alberta

Here are some of the factors that determine the cost of living in Alberta:

1. Feeding (Groceries and Restaurants)   

Groceries’ shopping cost varies from one individual to another depending on factors like quality of food, the number of people you want to feed, appetite, among others. However, an average household spends a minimum of $168 per week on groceries. 

According to numeo.com, for a family of two adults, the monthly estimate can range from $400 to $600. Groceries such as dairy products and meat may be more expensive than the average. Generally, a meal in an inexpensive restaurant costs $12.6, and a three-course meal for two people at a mid-range restaurant costs $49.4. 

For caffeine lovers, a regular cappuccino costs $4.27, and an espresso costs $3.00. In Alberta, a typical fast food meal costs $11.50. Note that planning and cooking most meals and scheduled supermarket visits can help you stay within budget and focused on essentials.

2. Monthly Bills (Utilities, Internet, etc.)

The cost of essential utilities in Alberta, including electricity, heating, cooling, garbage disposal, and water for an individual, is $95.9 per month and $147 per month for a family. Internet services cost up to $52.5 per month. A modern townhouse monthly gas and electricity bills range from $280 to $350 in winter to $100 to $200 in summer.  

3. Transportation

Transit passes are available for low-income earners in Alberta’s two largest cities, Edmonton and Calgary, to aid commuting within the local community. There are separate passes for senior citizens. In Calgary, a pass costs $99 and allows unlimited rides on all transit services. In addition, a senior day pass costs $9.50. In Edmonton, a monthly pass costs $91.50, and a senior day pass is $9.25. 

4. Healthcare

Alberta has a funded healthcare system for the public. The Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) ensures that permanent residents receive free access to necessary hospital and health care services. Private health insurance premiums cost $100 to use a walk-in clinic. 

The Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan doesn’t cover dental care such as fillings, cleaning, and extortion of wisdom teeth.  So, here are some estimated dental costs to worry about:

  • X rays (both sides) $40 
  • Check–up including scale and polish $190 
  • Composite filling back tooth $180 
  • Amalgam filling back tooth $130 
  • Porcelain Crown $800

5. Car Insurance

In Alberta, all vehicles using or parked on public property or roads must remain insured and registered. The cost of registration for passenger vehicles is $84.45 for one year and $159.45 for two years. On the other hand, insurance costs depend on age, driver history, car type, where you live, mileage, and the type of coverage, among others. 

According to The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), Alberta’s average car insurance policy is $1,316 per year. As such, Alberta has the third-highest average car insurance costs among all provinces in Canada. You also have to worry about third-party liability coverage and benefits as they are mandatory in Alberta. 

Albertans also need to carry up to $200,000 in third-party liability and up to $50,000 in accident benefits. Car insurance premiums are specific to individual circumstances, so shop around for the best prices for yourself.   

6. Home Insurance

Among all provinces, Alberta has the second-highest home insurance premium. The average cost of home insurance in Alberta ranges from $800 to $1,200, depending on the size of your home, location, and type of insurance policy. For instance, basic condo insurance will be lower as there are fewer risks. Although the average across Alberta is about $25 per month, tenant insurance can be as low as $15 per month.

7. Real Estate and Rent Pricing

Rental prices vary depending on location, size, and type. Here’s what you need to know.

a. One Bedroom Rentals

For a single-bedroom apartment downtown, the monthly rent is $796. At the same time, a single-bedroom apartment outside the centre costs $623 per month. 

b. Three Bedroom Rentals 

Three bedroom dwelling outside the city centre costs $1,019 per month. In comparison, a three-bedroom apartment downtown costs $1,228 per month. Most rental apartments remain unfurnished but typically include window coverings, kitchen appliances, carpets, waste disposal, central vacuum, air conditioning, and heating.

c. Apartment Purchase Price

In Alberta, apartments sales are per square inch, and prices vary depending on the location. For example, in the city centre, the purchase price of a 10ft2 apartment is $2,977, while similar houses in the Suburbs cost $2,151. 

8. Property Tax

Owners of residential properties pay property tax. The government determines the amount paid as tax using the area tax rate and property value. In Alberta, property tax ranges from $1,200 to $3,500 per year. You’ll not pay tax if you’re renting the apartment.

9. Education 

Primary education is necessary from the ages of 6 to 16. In Alberta, schooling is free from kindergarten to the 12th grade.  Private schools have a wide range of rates, ranging from as low as $5,000 to $50,000 or higher per year. International primary school for one child costs $9,343 per year, and private preschool or kindergarten costs $793 for one child. 

Alberta has a lot of tertiary options with 26 universities and colleges. The Alberta government subsidizes up to 50% of tuition fees, and the cost differs across the province. 

10. Leisure

The monthly subscription for an adult in a fitness club or gym is $40.1, and tennis courts are available for 1-hour weekend rentals at $22.92. In addition, a cinema ticket for one person costs up to $11.2. So, the cost of leisure is readily available.

Is Moving to Alberta Worth It?

Living in Alberta has its advantages. For instance, the province has many support resources and services to aid newcomers to settle in easily. Also, with over 270 annual events, there are always tons of affordable activities for friends and families all year round. So, now that you know about the cost of living in Alberta do you plan to move in soon?

Thais R

I moved to Canada in 2016. This was the best decision that I ever made. I created this website to share what I’ve learned with anyone who’s thinking of moving or travelling to Canada.

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