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Results of study show significant local economic impact from non-Lethbridge residents

Oct 6, 2016

Lethbridge - Economic Development Lethbridge, with support from key sponsors and supporters, led a research study to identify how non-Lethbridge residents engage in commercial activity in the city and to determine the overall value of this activity. The catchment area as defined in the study includes 249,380 people from Medicine Hat in the east to Kimberly in the West and from the US border in the South to Brooks and Nanton to the North (excluding Lethbridge residents). The results show that annual consumer spending in Lethbridge from the catchment area is $473 million.

“While we track several Lethbridge-based economic indicators such as population growth, building permit value and new developments to analyze current trends and help local businesses make informed decisions, we also know the importance of understanding how the city serves as a consumer hub for the region,” says EDL CEO Trevor Lewington. ‘When you combine the catchment area (249,380) with the Lethbridge household population (91,800), we have 341,180 consumers contributing towards the economic prosperity in the city.”

The ‘Lethbridge Trade Area and Commercial Catchment Basin Study Report’, conducted by Environics Research, was sponsored by the Lethbridge Lodging Association with support from the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce, Lethbridge and District Association of Realtors and Select Recruiting Solutions/Teamworks Training Institute.

“We are pleased to support this project which will help us better understand the people that travel to the city,” says LLA Board President Sacha Johnson. “Since a recent Government of Alberta study noted that 86.4% of visits to southern Alberta were by other Albertans we have a tremendous opportunity to encourage and enhance the tourism and hospitality offerings to the many Albertans who are already familiar with Lethbridge.”

While the report is available at the end of this article, a few key points include:

  • 6 in 10 catchment area residents shopped in Lethbridge
  • $473 million is spent on goods and services in Lethbridge each year by non-Lethbridge catchment area residents, with the highest expenditures in grocery ($128 million) and restaurants ($41.6 million)
  • 17,735 people come into Lethbridge to work every day, which computes to a daytime population of 109,535 people (daytime population does not include students, shoppers or visitors)
  • The Lethbridge trading area is calculated at 341,180 people (previously estimated at 275,000)


“We have always recognized the tremendous value that comes from regional collaboration and these results demonstrate just how interconnected we are,” adds Lewington. “As Lethbridge approaches 100,000 people there is research and planning underway to ensure we continue to serve as a regional hub and we are happy to contribute this value-added information to further inform this process.”

As part of this project, Economic Development Lethbridge will be hosting Environics Research to present the findings and provide opportunity for Q&A. The November 16 presentation is open to the public and free of charge. However an RSVP is required by November 10. Event and RSVP details can be found at


For the purpose of this study: Trading Area is used to refer to the city of Lethbridge as well as the catchment area.
Catchment Area is used to refer to the areas outside of Lethbridge from which regular commercial activity is drawn to the city.  

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