Just shy of 90,000

So close, Red Deer. This year’s municipal census shows the city grew by 2.4 per cent to 89,891 people — just 109 shy of reaching 90,000.

So close, Red Deer.

This year’s municipal census shows the city grew by 2.4 per cent to 89,891 people — just 109 shy of reaching 90,000.

Red Deer is now home to 2,075 more residents than last year’s head count of 87,816 people.

“It’s a positive sign to see a population increase in a year of economic pressure,” said city manager Craig Curtis.

Population growth appears to be leveling off, with Red Deer achieving a 2.5 per cent increase in 2008 over the previous year after a 3.3 per cent rise in 2007 over 2006. Red Deer saw a 4.9 per cent population increase in 2006, the highest rate in 11 years.

The strongest growth occurred in the southeast neighbourhood of Vanier Woods, with 682 new residents. The northwest neighbourhood of Johnstone Park followed with a 421 new residents. Inglewood in the southeast and Oriole Park in the northwest each gained 290 people.

In total, 27 out of 44 areas realized some growth or stayed the same.

Slight declines in population were experienced in other areas, which tabulators believe may indicate children have grown up and left, or residents have moved to another area and their previous residence is still vacant. Neighbourhoods with the greatest declines were Highland Green, which lost 113 residents, and downtown/South Hill, which has 100 fewer residents.

The count began in April.

Census workers asked residents about the number of people living in the household, plus the sex and year of birth for each person.

The average age in Red Deer is 35.

And there are slightly more females in the city — 50.1 per cent.

The census also reports the types of housing people live in — the most being single family homes at 20,075. Other housing includes: apartments (7,603), townhouses/rowhouses (3,604), duplexes/semi-detached (2,921), fourplex/triplex (1,247), manufactured homes (1,157), suites in single detached (879), other (132) and collective dwellings (62).

The information is used to calculate grants and to help the city plan any future needs.

“It helps us decide things like when and where to build swimming pool, parks, trails, roads and schools,” said projects co-ordinator Jackie Kurylo.

A municipal census has been conducted every year since 1999. The city plans to hold another census in 2010 if council gives approval.

Results of the 2009 census are found online at www.reddeer.ca/census or by phoning 403-342-8132.

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