Worst places to live in Alberta

Worst places to live in Alberta
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When you think of Alberta, you remember the Rocky Mountains, the badlands, the parks, the glistening glacier lakes, and of course, the large oil industries.

This province is one of the most beautiful provinces in Canada with its impressive scenery.

It parades some of the nicest places to live in Canada but even the haven has dangerous spots.

There are some not-so-good places in Alberta you may need to know before deciding where to live in this beautiful province.

When deciding where to live in Canada, several factors are usually considered depending on what works best for you—from the cost of living, job prospects, quality of life, and level of safety.

All these you can get in Alberta except for a few places.

This article looks at the worst places to live in Alberta and why these places are rated badly for residential purposes.

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We considered factors such as crime rates, unemployment rates, taxes, access to health care, serenity, and cost of living in these places in Alberta.

These places have continuously topped the crime index with Lethbridge occupying the 55th spot out of over 400 cities in the world.

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They also offer the least in terms of standard of living within the province, yet, have high tax rates.

Worst places to live in Alberta

The worst places to live in Alberta are

  • Lethbridge
  • Red Deer
  • Grande Prairie
  • Sylvan Lake
  • Drayton Valley, Alberta
  • Rocky Mountain House

These places occupy undesirable spots on the province’s crime index rating, unemployment level, tax rate, access to health care, serenity, and cost of living.

  • Lethbridge

Lethbridge, found in the southern part of Alberta tops our list of the worst places to live in Alberta.

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It is located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and is about an hour’s drive from Calgary.

Even though Lethbridge is a popular destination for tourists, as it offers a wide variety of activities and attractions.

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With Hiking and camping in the mountains, visiting the Waterton Lakes National Park, and enjoying the city’s many museums and art galleries as popular activities for tourists.

This city ranks highest in crime rate in Alberta, according to Numbeo, Lethbridge is the highest ranked crime-affected city in Canada.

Lethbridge crime rate

Lethbridge occupies the 55th position in crime rate out of over 453 cities in the world, scoring 63.89 with just 36.11 as its safety score.

According to Numbeo, cities with crime rates between 20 and 40 are considered to be low-crime cities.

The ones with crime rates between 40 and 60 are considered moderate, while cities with crime rates between 60 and 80 are high, and the crime rate beyond 80 is considered to be very high.

The crime rate in Lethbridge has become a menace in the city with drug abuse complementing other types of crime in the city.

For such a promising city, Lethbridge has joined the ranks of other cities plagued by crime and drug abuse.

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A safe injection site has been established in the formerly lovely downtown area, which has brought up many issues for the locals.

Due to theft, as well as the fact that customers don’t want to walk down the street to their once-favorite store, many businesses in the vicinity have closed while those who are still in operation pay heavily to secure themselves.

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The crime rate has affected not just business but jobs, the city’s economy, and the standard of living.

In addition to the crime rate in Lethbridge, the weather in Lethbridge isn’t favorable.

Because of the city’s closeness to the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Lethbridge experiences windy weather, warm summers, and mild winters.

From June through September, the warm season normally lasts four months and has a daily average temperature of 22 degrees Celsius..

The temperature drops to below zero between November and March, with a daily average of 5 degrees Celsius.

The issue of the wind is another one. In the summer, it can be quite windy and dry.

Uncertainty with lives due to crime, close of business, unfavorable weather conditions, and lack of admirable jobs place Lethbridge as one of the worst places to live in Alberta.

  • Red Deer

Just behind Lethbridge is Red Deer, located in central Alberta.

The city is known for its oil and gas industry, as well as its strong agricultural presence.

Red Deer is also home to a number of art galleries, museums, and historical sites.

Fortunately, there are plenty of things to do in Red Deer, whether you’re in the city for business or pleasure, you’ll never be bored except that you will be worried about getting robbed.

Red deer crime rate

Red deer has a crime rate score of 61.75 which is significantly higher than the national average, and it’s only getting worse.

The city sits comfortably in the 71st position in the global crime index.

In 2018, Red Deer had a crime rate that was nearly 50% higher than the average for all of Canada.

And it’s not just violent crime that’s on the rise – property crimes are also up significantly.

A Red Deer Advocate Magazine article shows that the city has recorded an increase in violent and property crime with an average Violent Crime Severity Index (VCSI) of 75.25%, which places it 10th in Canada for violent crimes.

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The city is also ranked 37th in terms of killings committed, 77th in sexual assaults, 8th in crimes involving illegal firearm possession, 6th in armed robberies, 24th in crimes involving assault, 4th in burglary thefts, 21st in drug sales and trafficking, and 8th in crimes involving fraud.

So, if you’re looking for a safe place to live in Alberta, you might want to cross Red Deer off your list.

Several factors contribute to Red Deer’s high crime rate, including a lack of befitting jobs, drug addiction, and a lack of opportunities for youth.

While it’s not the safest place to live, Red Deer does have some redeeming qualities.

It’s close to nature and has several parks and trails. It also has a growing arts and culture scene.

So, if you’re willing to take the risk, Red Deer might be worth considering but who wants to risk life?


  • Grande Prairie

Nicknamed the “Swan City”, Grande Prairie was one of Canada’s fastest-growing cities between 2001 and 2006.

It is a city in northwestern Alberta within the southern portion of an area known as the Peace River Country.

Grande Prairie lies at the junction of Highway 43 and Highway 40, about 456 km (283 mi) northwest of Edmonton and 260 km (160 mi) north of Calgary.

The city has everything it needs to be great with agriculture, forestry industry, and oil and gas driving its growth.

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Grande Prairie has everything working for it except for its undesirable position in Alberta’s crime chat.

It sits comfortably well in numerous crime and drug-related chats.

Grande Prairie has a relatively very high rate of violent crime, which contributes to its high crime rate score.

Crime rate in Grande Prairie
Data from numbeo.com

As well as property crime, which makes it very hard to live comfortably in the city.

And just like many other cities in the country, the tax rate here in Grande Prairie is quite high.

Grande Prairie’s non-residential municipal mill rate for 2021 was 17.1%, up 6.67% from 16.1 in 2020.

  •  Sylvan Lake

Located on the north shore of Sylvan Lake in the Municipal District of Sylvan Lake, Sylvan Lake is a town in central Alberta.

The town is known for its proximity to Red Deer, as well as its many beaches and lakes.

Sylvan Lake is also home to several businesses and industries, including several oil and gas companies.

While these companies should be a blessing for Sylvan Lake, the reality is not the case.

The crime rate in Sylvan Lake isn’t telling a positive story about the industries in the town.

In 2017, 1,691 crimes were committed in Sylvan Lake.

18.7% more crimes were committed in Sylvan Lake last year than the year before, and 28.4% more crimes were committed there in the prior five years.

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These crimes affect negatively the growth and standard of living in Sylvan Lake.

Though the cost of living is low in Sylvan Lake, residents aren’t comfortable moving freely on the road due to fear of robbery and attacks.

  • Drayton Valley, Alberta

Dratyon Valleynas is a town in central Alberta, known for its oil and gas production.

The town is situated in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

There are numerous hiking and biking trails in the area, as well as several provincial parks.

Drayton Valley is also home to several museums and historical sites.

There are so many things amazing about this town except for security, the crime rate of Dratyon Valley is quite high.

The standard of living is also low when compared to other small towns that are just as sophisticated as Dratyon Valley.

In addition to the crime rate in Dratyon Valley, Over the past 15 years, from 2001 to 2016, the unemployment rate in Drayton Valley has increased at a rate of 0.31% per year.

Furthermore, Drayton Valley’s non-residential municipal mill rate for 2021 was 13.4%, up 4.33% from 12.8 in 2020.

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The non-residential sector saw the biggest growth over the previous year, rising by 4.33% to 13.4.

Even though Drayton Valley is quite cool for outdoor activities, it is still one of the worst places to live in Alberta.

Conclusion of worst places to live in Alberta

There are several factors to consider when choosing a place to live.

These include the cost of living, the quality of life, the crime rate, and the job market.

Each person has different priorities, and what may be the perfect place for one person may not be ideal for another.

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For example, a young professional may prioritize a place with a good job market, while someone with a family may prioritize a place with a low crime rate.

But in all, the cost of living, the quality of life, the crime rate, and the job market are all important factors that differentiate the best place to live and the worst places to live.

Judging by these factors, Lethbridge, Red Deer, Grande Prairie, Sylvan Lake, Drayton Valley, Alberta, and Rocky Mountain House have the worst ratings and are therefore among the worst places to live in Alberta.

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