Red Deer County surrounds the city.
The city takes its name from Scottish immigrants who, seeing both White Tail and Mule Deer, mistook them for the deer of their ancestral home. Thus a river flowing through this area would be called the Red Deer River, and may have been originally called was-ka-soo which means "elk river" in the Cree aboriginal language. Waskasoo is a tributary creek of the Red Deer River and is also a neighborhood overlooking the Red Deer River.
Red Deer is the hometown of several famous people, including former NHLer Ron Anderson, ex-NHLer Glen Wesley, Trent Hunter and Mark Trinordi, and Olympic gold medalist Jamie Salé. Olympic medallist speed skater Jeremy Wotherspoon also spent most of his childhood in Red Deer after being born in Saskatchewan. Olympic bronze medallist Deidra Dion grew up in Red Deer.
Red Deer Transit provides local bus service throughout the city.
Nearly 90% of residents spoke English as a first language while 1.7% spoke Spanish and 1.6% spoke French. The next most common languages were Tagalog (Filipino) at 1.1%, German at 1.0%, and Chinese at 0.8%, followed by Dutch at 0.6%, Ukrainian at 0.4%, and Vietnamese at 0.3%.
About 4.4% of residents identified as aboriginal at the time of the 2006 census.
Red Deer is home to almost 1,800 recent immigrants (arriving between 2001 and 2006) who now make up just more than 2% of the population. About 16% of these immigrants came from the Philippines, while about 14% came from Colombia, 8% came from India, 7% came from the United States, and about 5% from each of South Africa and the United Kingdom, and about 4% from El Salvador.
Almost 72% of the residents are identified as Christian and over 26% said they had no religious affiliation for the 2001 Census. For specific denominations Statistics Canada counted 14,660 Roman Catholics (22%), and 10,970 United Church (16.5%), 3,720 Anglicans (5.6%), 3,065 Lutherans (4.6%), as well as about 1,305 Baptists (2%), and about 1,200 Pentecostals (1.8%), about 1,060 Presbyterians (1.6%), about 905 for the Christian and Missionary Alliance (1.5%), and about 650 Jehovah's Witnesses (1.0%), as well as about 585 for the Evangelical Missionary Church (0.9%) and 455 Mormons (0.7%).
In a July 2007 analysis of demographic information from the 2006 Federal Census prepared by Environics Analytics, Red Deer was the city most closely resembling the country as a whole.
Isolation and characterisation of a ruminant alphaherpesvirus closely related to bovine herpesvirus 1 in a free-ranging red deer.(Research article)
Sep 28, 2007; Authors: Julien Thiry ; Frederik Widén ; Fabien Grégoire ; Annick Linden ; Sándor Belák ; Etienne Thiry...