ALBERTA

Calgarians Happy With Quality Of Life, Flood Disaster Can't Drown Optimism: Vital Signs Survey

10/02/2013 04:55 EDT
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While Calgary is still not an A-student, the marks are improving and residents give the city a passing grade.

The city earned a B+ on this year's Calgary Foundation Vital Signs report card, despite weathering one of the largest natural disasters the province has seen.

“The Vital Signs survey ran during the middle of the flood period and we were interested to see that there was virtually no change in grades from the pre-flood to post-flood respondents,” Kerry Longpré, vice president communications at The Calgary Foundation, told CTV News.

The 2013 report card measures the vitality of the city and identifies trends and assigns grades to key issues by measuring perceptions from 846 residents and combining it with expert research.

And while the assigned overall grade of B+ is the same as 2012, several key areas, including health and wellness, safety, and sports and recreation all saw improvements over last year.

Ninety-one per cent of respondents described themselves as happy and 80 per cent describe their metal well-being as high.

According to the study, unemployment is down, from 5.8 per cent in 2011 to 4.7 in 2012, and the city continues to attract plenty of newcomers, with 26 per cent of Calgary's population in 2011 identifying as immigrants.

Concerning, however, is Calgarians access to food. Twenty-three per cent of single-parent families remain below the poverty line and 12 per cent of Alberta families experience food shortages due to financial constraints -- the highest rate since 2005.

"People are spending a lot of money on rent and don't have a lot of money left over to spend on food, transportation and clothing," Lorna Curran of the Calgary Urban Project Society told the Calgary Herald.

For more highlights from the Vital Signs Report Card click through the slideshow below.

Vital Signs Calgary Highlights 2013