CARSTAIRS - A 20.1 per cent jump in total population over the past five years is good news for Carstairs, including for the business community, says mayor Lance Colby.
According to census profile information released by Statistics Canada last week, the town’s population increased from 4,077 in 2016 to 4,898 in 2021.
The total number of dwellings in the town stood at 1,883 in 2021, including 1,837 private dwellings occupied by usual residents, which refers to a private dwelling where a person or persons is permanently residing.
Colby says having more people moving to town should help attract new businesses keen on serving the growing population.
“We are keeping good, steady growth,” said Colby. “I think the bigger population is going to afford us the opportunity to attract different businesses that require population to support the employee situation.
“Some employers don’t think we are big enough to handle a business and supply the people to work in them. It’s a positive sign.”
Work undertaken over the past number of years to improve and enhance infrastructure and amenities in town has proven worthwhile, he said.
“I think we are doing something right that is attracting people here,” he said. “We have great parks and walking paths and we do try to keep things family-orientated.”
Asked if he sees any downside to the recent population growth, he said, “No, not really. I think it is positive all the way around. We still provide the level of service that people like to see in our town.”
Didsbury saw a population decrease of 3.8 per cent, from 5,268 to 5,070. Mayor Rhonda Hunter said she was “surprised” by the new statistics.
“The survey was done during the pandemic and census takers were out and we got the survey in the mail, so whether or not we lost some people to not filling the survey, what were the circumstances around that? We will never know who didn’t fill it in,” she said.
“I don’t know where 200 people could have gone. I was surprised, that would be the best I could say right now.”
Didsbury is “thriving” and is “very successful” in 2022, she said.
There were 2,157 private dwellings in town in 2021, including 2,047 occupied by usual residents.
Mountain View County’s population dropped from 13,074 in 2016 to 12,981 in 2021, a decrease of 0.7 per cent.
There were 5,743 dwellings in the county in 2021, with 5,014 occupied by usual residents.
The village of Cremona saw a population drop of 1.6 per cent, from 444 in 2016 to 437 last year. There were 210 dwellings in 2021, with 194 occupied by usual residents.