Q: Is City spending out of control?

FACT: The City’s operational spending growth has been less than population growth plus municipal inflation. Inflation plus population growth totalled 29.8% from 2011 to 2016, while municipal operating spending increased only 26.9%.


Calgary’s population increased from 1,090,936 in 2011 to 1,235,171 in 2016: a 13.2% increase. This means we had an additional 144,000 people to serve.

Inflation as measured by the Municipal Price Index (MPI), the most accurate gauge of inflation at the municipal level, increased by 16.6% from 2011 - 2016 according to the City’s Corporate Economics business unit. MPI is different than the Consumer Price Index - which is how inflation is calculated for households - because municipalities have different expenses to account for. Things like wages and benefits, materials for construction projects, and maintenance of equipment.

Taken together, population growth plus municipal inflation totals 29.8%.

Looking at The City’s annual reports:

  • The City’s operating budget increased from $2.91 Billion in 2011 to $3.69 Billion in 2016, a 26.9% increase.
  • Operational spending growth has been less than population growth plus inflation.
Re-elect Naheed Nenshi for Mayor - 2017