Household Income

People in Wood Buffalo enjoy competitive wages and a high standard of living.


For Example:


Avg. Hourly Wage

The average hourly wage in Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake is $32.67. That’s 103% more than the national average (per capita).

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Avg. Household Salary

The average household in Wood Buffalo earns $189,458.20 annually. This is significantly higher than the provincial average.

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Annual Income

Nearly 66% of households in Wood Buffalo had an annual income over $100,000.

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Stay tuned for an updated outlook on household income when Statistics Canada releases the 2016 Census Program on Income, September 13, 2017.


Municipal Census 2015

The Municipal Census 2015 recorded a population count of 125,032 – 7.4 percent higher than the population counted in the Municipal Census of 2012.


According to the Municipal Census:

  • Children and youth have increased from 23% of the total population in 2012 to 24% of the population in 2015.
  • Work force decreased from 75.2% in 2012 to 73.8% in 2015.
  • Seniors have increased from 1.8% in 2012 to 2.1% in 2015.


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Census Profile, 2016 Census

According to the 2016 Stats Canada Household Survey (Census 2016), Wood Buffalo is constantly growing, with a population and growth rate over the past 15 years of more than 9%.

Census Release Schedule

Release Dates 2016 Census Program
February 8, 2017 Population and Dwelling counts
May 3, 2017 Age and Sex, Type of Dwelling
August 2, 2017 Families, Households and Marital status, Language
September 13, 2017 Income
October 25, 2017 Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity, Housing, Aboriginal People
November 29, 2017 Education, Labour, Journey to Work, Language of Work, Mobility and Migration


Shadow Population

The Wood Buffalo Region encompasses a large section of northeastern Alberta and is home to both rural and urban communities. Of the 125,032 people who call Wood Buffalo home, roughly 35% of the region’s population are considered a “shadow population” (those who live in Wood Buffalo temporarily) – many of whom are employed in the region’s oil sands.

Note: The 2016 Fort McMurray wildfires affected up to 10% of the Wood Buffalo Population.


Living in Wood Buffalo

For a single family home in Fort McMurray, the average January to June, 2015, selling price was $581,484.

This is higher than average home prices in other major Alberta cities like Calgary ($457,266) and Edmonton ($372,528).


According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), affordable dwellings cost less than 30 per cent of before-tax household income. 

Using the October 2015 average apartment rent of $1,841 per month, a person would have to make at least $73,640 annually for rent to be affordable.

Learn More:

For more information about housing, visit the Housing & Property Tax or the Rental & Real Estate section of this website.

For more information about the cost of living, such as household expenses and help with housing in Fort McMurray and area, visit the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo website


Community Resources

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Local Economy

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Moving Resources

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