More residents between the age of 25 and 29 waved goodbye to Red Deer in 2016 compared to any other age group, according to the city’s latest census.
And it’s true for both sexes.
This year there were 478 fewer men in their mid to late-20s, with their numbers falling from 3,742 men in 2015 to 3,264 this spring. Red Deer had 352 less women in the same age range, dropping from 3,469 to 3,117.
The average age of residents this year is 38 compared to 37 in 2015. The average has climbed from 31 in 2014 and 32 in 2013.
Red Deer’s total population of permanent residents shrunk by 975 people, or one per cent, to 99,832 this year after surpassing the 100,000 milestone by climbing to 100,807 in 2015.
Leonie Becker, project co-ordinator with the city’s legislative services department, said there are all sorts of reasons why populations change.
“There is a lot of things it may be tied to. But the census is really just a count. We don’t look into the background research on why these things are happening. We just present the raw data,” Becker said on Thursday.
New to the census this year was data on occupancy rates.
This year 55 dwellings were under construction compared to 82 last year. Vacant dwellings increased from 1,746 last year to 2,521 this year. Occupied dwellings fell from 40,288 last year to 39,808.
Becker said because of the drop in population, it was decided that vacancy information would be useful to include in the census.
“It’s just something we wanted to give pro-actively because in all likelihood it would be asked for anyways,” Becker said.
Strongest growth was seen in Vanier Woods where there were 583 more residents, followed by Timberlands, which grew by 381 people.
Inglewood West/Ironstone lost the most residents — 252.
To read the full report, visit reddeer.ca/census.