Red Deer’s immigration population has increased

The City has seen over 5,000 immigrants arrive in last five years

The latest Statistics Canada information suggests that Red Deer’s immigration population has increased significantly in the last five years. Of our 14,685 immigrant population, 5235 (35.6 per cent) have arrived in the last five years. Of the 5235 people immigrating to Red Deer since 2011, 2,900 came from the Philippines, 325 from the Ukraine, 270 from India, 175 from Syria and 100 came from Nigeria. At 15.5 per cent, Red Deer’s population belonging to a visible minority remains lower than Alberta (23.5 per cent) and Canada (22.3 per cent).

In 2016, there were 5,185 Aboriginal people in Red Deer, making up 5.3 per cent of the population, similar to the 5.2 per cent in 2011. Between 2011 and 2016 there was a 13 per cent increase in the Aboriginal population compared to an 11 per cent increase in Red Deer’s overall population. This mirrors the faster rate of growth of the Aboriginal population in Alberta as a whole (11.5 per cent growth in all population, 17.2 per cent growth in Aboriginal population). Red Deer’s most common Aboriginal mother tongue is Cree.

There were nearly 40,000 households in Red Deer in 2016, of which 65.7 per cent were owned, down slightly from the 67.5 per cent of owned households in 2011. The average value of dwellings in Red Deer was $370,299 in 2016 compared to $328,127 in 2011.

In 2016, 22 per cent of Red Deer households spent over the affordability threshold, where at least 30 per cent of income goes toward shelter-related costs. More significantly, 38 per cent of renters spent over the threshold; however, that has declined from the 43.4 per cent reported in 2011.

Last month, Statistics Canada released income information for Red Deer. In 2015, the median household income was $85,794, an increase of 15 per cent from $74,591 in 2005. The decade was one of significant growth, and does not account for the oil price slowdown of recent years. By comparison, the Canadian median household income was $70,336, a 10 per cent increase in a decade. The median individual income in Red Deer in 2015 was $41,109 before tax, less than the $43,349 Canadian median income.

More Statistics Canada 2016 Census information will be released in stages later this year, including information on housing and education.

—Connolly

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