Calgary is situated in southern Alberta near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. With a population of approximately 1.6 million, it is the fourth-largest census metropolitan area in Canada.
Calgary's economy is built on oil and gas development and is Canada’s centre for the energy industry. The city’s historic boom and bust cycles saw a significant upcycle expansion over a 10-year period from 1999 to 2009 during the development of the oil sands extraction and upgrading, followed by the development of shale/tight gas and shale/tight oil.
Low unemployment, high GDP per capita, and a measure of economic diversification accompanied this period of resource boom, which ended abruptly at the end of 2014 with the collapse of global oil prices. Calgary has since suffered some of the highest unemployment in Canada.
Calgary has the most head offices per capita in Canada. While oil and gas development remains Calgary's single largest contributor to GDP, the city’s economy is increasingly betting on other sectors for growth, including alternative energy, financial services, digital and creative technologies, aerospace, logistics, agribusiness, life sciences, and tourism.