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Why Calgary is losing its young adults?

Why Calgary is losing its young adults?

  • Too cold

    Votes: 1 4.3%
  • Not enough job opportunities

    Votes: 15 65.2%
  • Conservative nature of Province

    Votes: 12 52.2%
  • School in other cities

    Votes: 9 39.1%
  • All of the above

    Votes: 3 13.0%

  • Total voters
    23

Chinook Arch

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Look at the 3 year data. It’s shocking. 0-4 age group down over 9%. 20-24 down, 25-34 down. Older 60-70+ up. That young population is disappearing.
I think that's mostly due to economic reasons. People aren't having as many children lately, a good part of it is due to economic situation. The 25-34 age group has grown well over the past ten years, i haven't seen the last three years, but if it has dropped, it's also coinciding with a down turned economy
 

Patrick.1980

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Look at the 3 year data. It’s shocking. 0-4 age group down over 9%. 20-24 down, 25-34 down. Older 60-70+ up. That young population is disappearing.
Where are you getting the stats for the past three years from? I'm not disagreeing with you Sky of Blue, I was looking myself and couldn't find anything.

I think that's mostly due to economic reasons. People aren't having as many children lately, a good part of it is due to economic situation. The 25-34 age group has grown well over the past ten years, i haven't seen the last three years, but if it has dropped, it's also coinciding with a down turned economy
This is the 10 year graph so it's hard to know more recent trends, but judging by this graph over a 10 year period it's pretty obvious many are leaving to go to school somewhere else, as that is the demographic of the student population. The next group 25 to 34 increased rather well.

I'm not trying to downplay the whole conservative Alberta thing (I'm not conservative nor do I support the party), but the graph doesn't really support that being the reason for young people leaving. The graph indicates people leaving to go to school and moving back, over a period where the province hasn't changed much politically. If there was a drop in the 25-34 age group over the last 3 years as suggested by Sky of Blue, that would be more of a concern. Those would be people leaving who aren't students, but as far as the reason for leaving, if it's in the last three years that would also be during the time the Notley government was in power. Sure, I believe there are some people fed up enough with the conservatives to leave, but the number is probably negligible compared to those leaving looking for work.

Image16a.jpg
 
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Patrick.1980

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This chart's interesting, but to be honest it doesn't say much without having a chart for the next demographic up. Keep in mind, 20-24 years old demographic is a really small sample size, and is mainly indicative of students. Because it's such a small sample size it can easily be increased by 12-22% over a 10 year period by adding more capacity in the schools.

The discussion is good, but I also feel things are blown a bit out of proportion based on a very specific demographic that doesn't actually mean a whole lot. People in that age group leave town to go to school all the time, it's not often indicative of the city they're leaving or the city they're going to, usually it's tied to what they're studying. Where they go after they finish school is important.

This additional graph that Robson Fletcher posted on twitter (but which was left out of the original article) makes it seem even more dire (and not attributable to a fluctuation in the birth rate.


It's interesting to see how much growth Winnipeg is seeing, since Calgarians often use Winnipeg as the "doomsday" scenario of what might happen to our city if we follow O&G into permanent decline.
 

Sky of Blue

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When you lose your 20-34 year old, you start losing the children they would have had. This graph is 2016-2019.
 

Silence&Motion

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This chart's interesting, but to be honest it doesn't say much without having a chart for the next demographic up. Keep in mind, 20-24 years old demographic is a really small sample size, and is mainly indicative of students. Because it's such a small sample size it can easily be increased by 12-22% over a 10 year period by adding more capacity in the schools.
I think we're all agreed that one of the major (perhaps THE major) issues here is the small size of our university system relative to other provinces. I believe we have the lowest number of university students per capita of any province outside the Maritimes.

Also, the main thing the chart is saying is that the decline in this age group in Calgary is not due to some overall fluxuation in the birthrate during the 1990s - it's due to the distribution of 20-year-olds across the country.

The discussion is good, but I also feel things are blown a bit out of proportion based on a very specific demographic that doesn't actually mean a whole lot. People in that age group leave town to go to school all the time, it's not often indicative of the city they're leaving or the city they're going to, usually it's tied to what they're studying. Where they go after they finish school is important.
The demographic is important BECAUSE they are the most mobile. Once students leave to go to university, there is a good chance they stay there (especially if it's a big city). This is one of the big risks to Calgary. If we want to compete for tech jobs, we need a ready labour force of university educated young people that will attract (or start) tech companies.
 

Surrealplaces

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Some people of that age group will be leaving for another city for for education reasons, and Calgary needs improvement on that for sure. I also think there are a number of people in those young demographics who never had post secondary and are finding jobs tougher to come by. In the past there were plenty of jobs for students to come back to and for people who didn't continue with post secondary. Now it's tough all around. It's easier for older demographics to stay around, many are married where at least one spouse is working and they have kids already settled, in but Silence & Motion mentioned the younger folks can easily move anywhere, many don't have spouses, children or mortgages.

Increasing the capacity of our schools is a good start. At the end of the day Oil and Gas will be constant decline. There may be a boom or two still to go, but long term it's going to decline. Calgary does need to prepare for that.

This chart's interesting, but to be honest it doesn't say much without having a chart for the next demographic up. Keep in mind, 20-24 years old demographic is a really small sample size, and is mainly indicative of students. Because it's such a small sample size it can easily be increased by 12-22% over a 10 year period by adding more capacity in the schools.

The discussion is good, but I also feel things are blown a bit out of proportion based on a very specific demographic that doesn't actually mean a whole lot. People in that age group leave town to go to school all the time, it's not often indicative of the city they're leaving or the city they're going to, usually it's tied to what they're studying. Where they go after they finish school is important.
 

Sky of Blue

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Some people of that age group will be leaving for another city for for education reasons, and Calgary needs improvement on that for sure. I also think there are a number of people in those young demographics who never had post secondary and are finding jobs tougher to come by. In the past there were plenty of jobs for students to come back to and for people who didn't continue with post secondary. Now it's tough all around. It's easier for older demographics to stay around, many are married where at least one spouse is working and they have kids already settled, in but Silence & Motion mentioned the younger folks can easily move anywhere, many don't have spouses, children or mortgages.

Increasing the capacity of our schools is a good start. At the end of the day Oil and Gas will be constant decline. There may be a boom or two still to go, but long term it's going to decline. Calgary does need to prepare for that.
I’ve seen recent articles suggesting close to 20% youth unemployment currently. This is a mobile group who will move to find the work they seek. Particularly when facing competition from skilled and experienced workers seeking the same employment. Much like the generations that moved west when it was booming here.
 

UrbanWarrior

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I'm part of that 20%. Can't find f*cking anything, and student loans are almost drained. It's getting scary, cause you can't get welfare or EI as a student. It's truly terrifying for me personally right now.
 

gsunnyg

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Interestingly, this issue was discussed in a published journal by the City of Calgary in 2018. Outside of the economy, some other challenges presented in the journal include;
-Students and young professionals (aged 20 to 40) in Calgary are more likely to move away when compared to other major cities. They may be seeking more urban lifestyles
-Perceptions research suggest people do not see downtown as a livable, caring and thriving place
-Many Canadians do not believe Calgary offers arts and culture comparable to their current home city

https://calgaryeconomicdevelopment....-Economy/Calgary-in-the-New-Economy-Final.pdf

I for one fit into both categories of economic opportunity and entertainment/culture. Im currently temporarily residing in Metro Vancouver due to career opportunities, I'd love to move back to Calgary ASAP but somedays seeing the lack of vibrancy, entertainment, and culture provided in the City compared to Vancouver can get a little discouraging. Especially when you see both municipal and provincial governments making decisions that aren't favourable for younger adults. Calgary is a great city for families, not so much if you're in your 20's when you want a city that matches your energy levels.
 

Surrealplaces

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Calgary is a great city for families, not so much if you're in your 20's when you want a city that matches your energy levels.
I have known quite a few people who have moved away, and later moved back when they started families. It must be something fairly common.

I've sen the culture of young people change over the years. When I was in my 20's most people I knew had bought a house and were settling down, most of my friends had kids before they were 30. Also I think housing was easier to get into back then. The group fro 20-24 was always pretty mobile, but seems more mobile today. The group fro 25-34 is definitely more mobile today, as many are without children or mortgages. A week economy can cause changes in large numbers to those demographics fairly easily.

I think the points about the culture, etc.. are fair points, bit I should point out that Calgary has always had that issue, and actually a lot worse 20 years ago, and people stayed, but the economy was much better.. A good part of it is economic related, but things like the conservative nature of the province/city doesn't help.
 

UrbanWarrior

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The conservative thing is really out of hand. Anecdotally, I have had friends say they want to visit me from back home or from Seattle (two different people) and both were like "Yeah, last time I was in Calgary, I was literally called a n*gger on the street, so no I'm not gonna go there", and other friends who say they've seen so much anti-indigenous racism here that they were scared for themselves just for being southern European (olive skinned) and said they won't be coming back probably ever.

As a gay man, I'd never shy away from holding my partners hand on the street, but almost every other gay dude I know is afraid to do so. I'm about 220 lbs and fairly muscular and bearded so I never see the homophobia here, but some gay acquaintances I know say they get harassed (called a f*ggot from passing cars, groups of breeder douchebags on the street, etc) on a regular basis. It's actually shocking how few gay couples I've seen holding hands in Calgary in my 8 years here. I could probably count the total amount on both hands, not including my own "daring" ventures of doing so of course. Even though I'm not afraid to do it, the fact that there's always something in the back of my mind terrified of what I would do to a person who called me or my hypothetical love a faggot or anything else homophobic. The fear that I could black out and send some dumb piece of shit to the hospital and then go to jail just for being a free person in the free world is not something anyone should have to go through, especially anywhere in Canada of all places.

I always believed our conservatism was just of a fiscal nature, but over the past year I've come to realize we really are no better than most American cities here, and in a Canadian context, that's both horrifying and pathetic.

This is the kind of bullshit that is driving the young people of the 21st century away. No one wants to live in a place where they or there friends can't live free.
 
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gsunnyg

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I do think as well that Calgarys rapid economic success helped retain a lot of younger adults earlier on but once we lost that advantageous perk we had over other cities, Calgary sort of just started feeling like a city of 1 million+ with not much other to offer in terms of urban living, something quite important to young adults. I mean as beautiful as our downtown is, it doesn't nearly provide the complete urban experience that Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver do. Which is why I'm hoping the entertainment district and full build out of East village will be a game changer for future generations.
 

AJX

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I'm one of those whose moved away due to economic reasons. I'm enjoying certain things out o the coast, but would gladly move back to Calgary. I guess I would if I had the opportunity, but as @UrbanWarrior pointed out, there's not much out there at the moment.

Regarding the conservatism and politics, etc.. It's the one thing I don't care for. I can live with it, but I don't like it much, and one wonders if it'll ever change. It felt lie we turned a corner when Notley got elected, and then wham, we go the other way to a group even more conservative than past PC governments. I hold hope that a lot of the votes were purely economical, and that if the economy does;t pick up, maybe they'll be ousted.
 

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