LETHRBIDGE: The City's latest census shows 90,417 people now live in Lethbridge. That
translates into a 1.5% increase, or a jump of 1343 people since last year. More
than three-quarters of the population increase was added on the west side.
By comparison, Red Deer is still the province's third largest city, with a
population of 97,109.
While our northern neighbour has a higher population, Lethbridge tends to
have a much more steady and gradual increase in population. In the past seven
years, Lethbridge has seen an average annual population increase of about 1.5% a
year. Deputy City Clerk David Sarsfield, says officials are very happy with the
slow and steady growth rate, "It means you have appropriate planning for roads,
infrastructure, parks, schools - it's just easy to plan".
Lethbridge, along with many other communities now does a census every year.
Sarsfield, says it's needed for a variety of reasons, but there's one reason
that stands out, "Number one, it's about the money. The province, and the
federal government, give us grants base on population - if we expect an
increase, that allows Lethbridge to get its fair share of the funds. The second
reason is just ofr planning purposes, so we know where the growth is and what's
happening, in terms of the population, and can plan for it."
That planning becomes crucial, when you consider that The strongest growth
occurred in West Lethbridge with 1,141 new residents added there in 2012.
Last year for the first time, West Lethbridge had more people than the South
side. Sarsfield notes that Copperwood on the west side, has seen the majority of
the over-all increase. In 2007 there was no one living in Copperwood. Now,
there are 3200 people in the sub division.
In an interesting contrast, South Lethbridge has actually seen a drop in
population. While homes have not disappeared in the south, Sarsfield explains
the drop can be attributed to some home owners renting out basement suites which
are now empty and homes that once housed older children or extended families are
now seeing family members move on.
The following statistics show population distriubtion by the numbers:
South Lethbridge 30,655 (2013) 30,795 (2012) 0.45% drop
North Lethbridge 25,774 (2013) 25,432 (2012) 1.34% increase
West Lethbridge 33,988 (2013) 32,847 (2012) 3.47% increase
Total: 90,417 (2013) 89,074 (2012) 1.51% increase
Taking a closer look at increases in specific areas of the city:
In South Lethbridge - Six Mile Coulee increased from 459 to
609 people, or an addition 150 people or a 33% increase.
In North Lethbridge - Legacy Ridge Area increased from
2,292 to 2,438 people, or an addition of 146 people or a 6% increase.
In West Lethbridge, there are two areas of growth - Copperwood Area increased
from 2360 to 3020 people, or an addition of 660 people, for a*28% increase.
And, the SunRidge Area increased from 1515 to 1754 people, for an addition of
239 people, or a
Detailed Census Information is available on the City of Lethbridge
website at: www.lethbridge.ca/census.