(Black Press file photo)

More than 50 languages spoken in Lacombe, according to census

Number of languages among the community’s 1,235 immigrants an eye-opener

More than 50 languages are spoken by Lacombe residents whose mother tongue is not English or French, a diversity study has found.

“I think a lot of people were surprised at the fact there are 51 languages identified as being spoken by residents of Lacombe, which I think is a pretty substantial number, considering we’re around 14,000 (population),” said city planner Jennifer Kirchner.

“That was definitely something that I was surprised by, and members of council were interested in hearing about.

“It represents a pretty diverse group of people who have made Lacombe their home. I think it’s really interesting that all these people from these different places have made the choice to locate here.”

According to federal census results, of the 12,710 Lacombe respondents, 1,235 identified themselves as immigrants. Of those, 1,035 said their mother tongue was not English or French.

Almost all of those whose first language is foreign now understand English. Only 55 said they did not understand English, and five of those spoke the country’s other official language, French.

The language snapshot was part of a community diversity report Kirchner prepared for council using information culled from the 2016 federal census.

About six of 10 immigrants who made Lacombe their home were economic immigrants. About one-quarter were sponsored by family members. One in 10 of Lacombe’s immigrants came to Canada as refugees.

Nearly half had come to Canada since 2001.

The statistics indicate how Lacombe has benefitted from immigration, which studies have shown is necessary for Canada to meet its economic needs and maintain a stable population.

Canada’s birth rate of 1.54 births per woman is well below the 2.06 births needed to maintain a healthy population balance.

Kirchner says that Lacombe’s immigrant population could provide valuable insight into what makes it an attractive community to live in and what programs and services are appreciated.

“This knowledge would be incredibly valuable for not only assessing the strengths of services being provided, but could also be used to promote and market the community to the greater region, province and country,” says the report.

The diversity report is one of three created for council. A look at the demographics of the community of 13,985 (13,057 in the 2016 census) was presented last month and a report on the economic stability and education of residents will go to a future council meeting.

Kirchner said it is expected the city will use the information in future reviews of programs, services and other aspects of living in Lacombe. Getting a better handle on the community’s makeup was identified in council’s strategic plan.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fiat Chrysler in talks with Foxconn to develop electric cars

MILAN — Fiat Chrysler is in talks with the Chinese company Foxconn… Continue reading

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Canada’s chief public health officer says more children are being hospitalized this… Continue reading

Oil and gas industry applauds Supreme Court’s dismissal of B.C. TMX case

OTTAWA — The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers says it is pleased,… Continue reading

More than 16,000 people nabbed by RCMP between border crossings in 2019

OTTAWA — The number of people intercepted by the RCMP as they… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: Look your best this year

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Jan. 16 Red Deer Branch of the Alberta Genealogical Society monthly meeting… Continue reading

POLL: Have you had trouble starting your vehicle’s engine during this week’s cold snap?

Have you had trouble starting your vehicle’s engine during this week’s cold… Continue reading

Drury leads host Canadian ski cross team into chilly World Cup at Nakiska

NAKISKA, Alta. — It’s too cold for penguins, but not for ski… Continue reading

Olympic rings arrive in host city on barge into Tokyo Bay

TOKYO — The Olympic rings have arrived in Tokyo. They sailed into… Continue reading

Eminem drops surprise album, advocates changes to gun laws

Rapper Eminem once again dropped a surprise album, releasing “Music to Be… Continue reading

Royal rift: UK monarchy will look smaller when dust settles

LONDON — Prince Charles, the future king, has long been seen as… Continue reading

Rittich’s 35-save performance powers Flames past Leafs in a shootout

Flames 2 Leafs 1 (SO) TORONTO — Matthew Tkachuk scored the only… Continue reading

More than 16,000 people nabbed by RCMP between border crossings in 2019

OTTAWA — The number of people intercepted by the RCMP as they… Continue reading

Most Read