High River is sitting steady in Moneysense magazine’s annual ranking of Canadian communities, scoring high on jobs but showing some surprising weakness on population growth.
The town came in 79 out of the 200 communities analyzed in the widely publicized rankings, released Wednesday.
High River finished 71 overall last year, ranking sixth in highest discretionary income –its highest score in any individual category.
According to the magazine’s figures, High River has the second lowest unemployment rate in the country at just over 2.5 per cent but saw its population drop by roughly 3.5 per cent in 2012.
However, Town Coun. Jamie Kinghorn says the growth figures do not correspond with what he has heard from local relators.
“I would agree with the unemployment rate but disagree with the population stats. My understanding is our rental vacancy rate is around 1.5% and a number of realtors have commented to me there is very little for sale around town. That would indicate to me that we are growing,” he said.
The data for the rankings comes from Environics Analytics’ demographic estimates and projections for 2012.
Moneysense says the average household income in the community is roughly $92,000, and the typical home is priced at $300,076.
High River posted middle of the road numbers on people employed in the arts and new car purchases.
However, the Town fared very poorly on number of doctors serving the community.
High River finished 192 in this category, at just over one doctor for every 1,000 people. According to these stats, there are roughly 13 doctors working in the town.
Brooks was last in this metric, with less than one doctor for every 1,000 people.
Calgary finished first overall, while the suburban Edmonton region city of St. Albert topped the best small cities list.
Okotoks was ranked as the 36 best place to live in the country.