Red Deer is growing and getting younger at the same time.
The city’s population is 98,585, with an average age of 31, according to the recently released 2014 Municipal Census Report.
A total of 1,476 new residents called Red Deer home in 2014, a 1.5 per cent increase over 2013.
Of the respondents who indicated their gender, 48.3 per cent (47,650) were female and 48.7 per cent (47,966) were male. The average age was 31.
The numbers changed slightly from 2013 when the average age was 32. Females then made up 49.4 per cent of the population and males 50.1 per cent, with the remainder not answering this question.
As for growth areas in neighbourhoods, Vanier Woods with 603 new residents and Timberlands with 441 new residents continue to come out on top. In Vanier Woods, there are 2,622 residents and in Timberlands there are 1,305.
There were slight declines in population in older areas, such as Mountview, Morrisroe and Oriole Park, which may indicate children in those areas have grown up and left the family home, or residents have relocated to other areas in the city and their old residence is still vacant.
Paul Goranson, director of Red Deer’s Corporate Services Division, said the growth actually slowed down a little over the last year.
He said the overall the average growth rate in Red Deer is hovering around the three per cent mark.
“It’s a healthy number,” he said. “It does indicate the community continues to grow, which is a positive thing.”
One of the reasons the city conducts an annual census is to access more government grant funding. The city receives roughly $184 per person in grant funding.
“Even though the growth wasn’t huge this year, it more than covered the cost of actually doing the census,” said Goranson.
For the last two years, the city collected census data online. The response rate for the online portion was 31 per cent in 2013 and 40 per cent this year.
A basic census will be conducted in 2015.