A new census report from Statistics Canada looks at the proportion of people aged 65 and older in 2021. (Advocate file photo)

A new census report from Statistics Canada looks at the proportion of people aged 65 and older in 2021. (Advocate file photo)

Red Deer and other prairie cities have younger populations

Alberta is one of three provinces where children under the age of 15 still outnumber seniors

Red Deer is among Canada’s prairie communities with the lowest percentages of seniors.

2021 census data from Statistics Canada show Red Deer, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina and Saskatoon had the lowest proportions of people aged 65 and older.

Seniors in Red Deer make up 15.1 per cent of the city’s population. Seniors were 13.5 per cent of Calgary’s population, 14.4 per cent in Edmonton, 15.4 per cent in Regina, 15.8 per cent in Saskatoon.

Seniors make up 19 per cent of the national population, 17 per cent of census metropolitan areas, and 23.1 per cent outside of metropolitan areas.

The city’s chief financial officer Ray MacIntosh said a younger population helps the local economy and employment so a more youthful community is good news.

The 2021 census showed Red Deer had regained its position as the third largest city in Alberta with a population of 100,844.

That’s an increase of 462 people since the 2016 national census reported Red Deer had 100,418 residents, and a decrease of 158 people based on the 2019 municipal census that pegged the city’s population at 101,002.

“Alberta could take off again. There’s a lot of good indicators that the economy is going to be improving. That means job creation and you could see a big influx back into the province. In that case, then Red Deer is growing again,” MacIntosh said.

Related:

Red Deer Alberta’s third largest city: StatsCan 2021 census

Statistics Canada’s demographics report said in the midst of high job vacancies and historically low unemployment, Canada faces record retirements from an aging labour force.

“A population has different needs depending on whether its age structure is younger or older, and changes to this structure can have significant effects on the economy and society as a whole. Population aging shifts the balance of services needed in some areas of the country and puts additional pressure on a number of sectors, including health care and labour,” the report said.

The report went on to say that a person’s age is also closely related to the goods they consume and the services they need.

For example, a young adult may be thinking about buying their first home or purchasing goods and services to meet the needs of their young family, such as daycare. Meanwhile, an older, retired person may seek out other goods and services, such as those related to recreation and health, and may even buy a smaller home or a car after their children have moved out.

Related:

Criminal activity an issue in Red Deer compared to other Alberta communities, says founder of crime-tracking app

Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta are the only provinces in the country where children under the age of 15 still outnumber persons aged 65 and older.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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