While the City of Red Deer released total figures back in June there are new details in the more recent report.
The population is now up to 97,109 and it’s possible the next census will put the City over the 100,000 mark, said Mayor Morris Flewwelling.
“It could be over, or close. What strikes me is our young age, an average of 32, with slightly more males than females. This was also the first time we collected census information online and we had a huge response. Census takers only had to go to the homes that didn’t respond.”
Mayor Flewwelling noted how the City’s population is changing.
“Red Deer is no longer the old guard. When I go to an event there are fewer people my age and more in their 30s, 40s and 50s. Sometimes I don’t know most of them. The other big change is diversity. I remember when we were all Herefords, white-faced. Now we have a wonderful diversity of faces of many colours. You really see it on Canada Day and how recent immigrants from more dangerous parts of the world are so thankful to be here, away from the poverty and violence. Many are amazed that we take peace and prosperity for granted.”
Flewwelling describes Red Deer as a “growth hotspot,” along with all of Central Alberta.
Blackfalds is the fastest growing community in Canada. Retail outlets, like Costco in Gasoline Alley, are often the top sellers in their company because the outlet is the single distribution centre for 300,000 Central Albertans.
The City’s population increased by 5.7 % from 2011 (there was no civic census in 2012) and that is an impressive increase over two years.
But other population increases in Red Deer’s history are far more impressive, even if the actual number of people is smaller.
In 1906 the population was 1,710, up a dramatic 429 % from the 323 souls counted in 1901, albeit spread over five years. And 1958 registered an even more impressive increase of 21.5 % over 1957 when you consider the number of people involved. The population went from 13,580 to 16,501.
Grow in new neighbourhoods is also impressive. For example, in Sunnybrook South there were only two (that’s right, two) people counted in 2008. In 2013 there are 856 people living there. Timberlands, a new neighbourhood in Red Deer’s northeast only had 61 people as recently as 2010. Now 864 people call it home.
Older neighbourhoods are relatively stable. For example, Parkvale, just east of downtown counted 801 people in 2008, got up to 848 in 2010 and now has 813 residents.
The census indicates there are 40,893 dwelling units in the City. More than 50% of those (21,480) are single detached homes. There are 3,284 duplexes or semi-attached, 1,519 fourplexes or triplexes and 8,580 apartments.