These are the happiest and unhappiest cities in Alberta (PHOTOS)

May 9 2023, 8:06 pm

A new report ranks Canada’s 100 happiest cities, and there are a few Alberta cities towards the top and bottom of the list.

Is it possible to measure the happiness of a city? Point2Homes thinks so.

The online real estate marketplace has released a report that ranks the happiness of Canada’s 100 largest cities, including several in Alberta.

The happiness index is based on 30 metrics, such as rainfall, commute time, sense of belonging, and median after-tax income.

These metrics fall into four broad categories: Economy and Real Estate, Location and Demographics, Health and Wellbeing, and Community and Environment.

Here are the top five happiest Alberta cities.

Top five happiest Albertan cities

5. Wood Buffalo

Wood Buffalo National Park/Shutterstock

Wood Buffalo is in the Northeast corner of the province and makes the list based on its Economy and Real Estate Rank. People in Wood Buffalo are spending 31% of their income on real estate, putting it in the top five for the country.

4. Calgary


One of the two biggest cities in Alberta, Calgary just missed out on the top 50 nationally. The biggest positive for Calgary on this list is the Health and Wellbeing rank, which puts Calgary in the top quarter of the country.

3. Airdrie

cost of living airdrie

Ramon Cliff/Shutterstock

Located just north of Calgary, Airdrie came in at number 33 on the national list. The report states that Airdrie has seen a high number of people moving to their city and settling down. The Economy and Real Estate rank was Airdrie’s best trait, making it attractive to people coming from the much more expensive Calgary.

2. St. Albert

happiest cities

hossein bakhtiari/Shutterstock

Much like Airdrie, St.Albert sits just north of a major city as it neighbours Edmonton’s northwest side.

Also similar to Airdrie, St. Albert scored well in the Real Estate area as it ranked in the top 10 in that area.

1. Strathcona County


Strathcona County Community Centre (Google Maps)

The report found that Strathcona County was the happiest city in Alberta, scoring 57.29 on the index.

Economy and Real Estate was a strength for Strathcona County, and it ranked in the top five in the country.

But it wasn’t all positive. What about the other end of the list?

Here are the five unhappiest cities in Alberta.

Top five unhappiest cities in Alberta

5. Lethbridge


Lethbridge Train Bridge (hatekayfit/Instagram)

Lethbridge is south of Calgary and finds itself in the bottom five of the happiness rankings for Alberta.

The Health and Wellbeing ranking was the toughest for Lethbridge, with the city ranking in the bottom 10 in the country.

4. Red Deer

happiest cities

Arlene Grace Evangelista/Shutterstock

The city in the middle of Edmonton and Calgary, Red Deer finished 82nd nationally.

The biggest hit to Red Deer was finishing dead last in the Location and Demographic ranks, which factors in “share of divorcĂ©es, crime severity, and overall appeal that makes people move into town.”

3. Edmonton


Alberta’s capital city, Edmonton ranked 81st in the country on the happiness index.

Edmonton struggled in both the Economy and Real Estate ranks and the Location and Demographics ranks finishing in the bottom 25 in both.

2. Grand Prairie

happiest cities


The northern Alberta city of Grand Prairie was in the bottom 10 of the happiness index, coming in at number 90.

The Health and Wellbeing ranking was Grand Prairie’s worst as it finished 98th out of 100. They were 90th in the Location and Demographics rank.

1. Medicine Hat

supportive housing

Medicine Hat is home to the Housing First initiative (Alex JW Robinson/Shutterstock)

The unhappiest city in Alberta, according to the report, was Medicine Hat

Medicine Hat scored just 40.74 in the index and was ranked in the bottom 10 for Location and Demographics and Health and Wellbeing.

In case you are wondering where Canada’s biggest cities placed on the ranking, Vancouver came in at 67th, Toronto at 72nd, and Montreal at 86th.

With files from Harry Linley

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