Population drops in Rocky Mountain House

The oilpatch downturn is showing up in Rocky Mountain House’s latest census. The town’s population as of April 1 dropped by 76 people, to 7,155 residents, according to the latest tally.

The oilpatch downturn is showing up in Rocky Mountain House’s latest census.

The town’s population as of April 1 dropped by 76 people, to 7,155 residents, according to the latest tally.

“We’re not really surprised,” said Mayor Jim Bague.

“About two years ago, every hotel was booked solid. People were living in hotels because there was no accommodation.”

While census takers don’t count visitors, they do count people who have moved into hotels because of a lack of rental space.

When the oilpatch cooled off and jobs disappeared, workers left.

Bague is not concerned about the health of the community.

“We’ve issued a substantial number of building permits.

“Overall, the permanent population is still going in the right direction.”

The town does not intend to pass its latest census figures on to the province so as not to lose any per capital funding.

The province typically bases its funding on the federal census, which is conducted every five years.

The last federal census was in 2006.

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