Edmonton Neighbourhood Census Data

For a long time I’ve wanted to get the City of Edmonton’s neighbourhood census data in CSV format (or really any usable format other than PDF). Recently, with the help of Laura (and Sandra) at the City’s Election & Census Services department, who I met at the Open City Workshop, I finally got it. And now you can have it too!

Download the Edmonton Neighbourhood Census Data in CSV

I’ve also emailed this to the City’s open data team, so hopefully they can get it in the data catalogue soon.

Visualizing the Data

Why is having the census data in a format like CSV useful? Well for one thing, it enables creatives to do stuff with that data through code or other tools. For instance, I was able to generate a heat map for the City of Edmonton:

The darker sections are more heavily populated, the lighter yellow regions are less populated.

Not all neighbourhoods are reflected, as the City does not release details for neighbourhoods with a population between 1 and 49. Here are some other things we can learn from the data set:

  • Total population in the data set is 777,811, which means there are 4628 individuals unaccounted for (total for 2009 was 782,439).
  • The average neighbourhood population is 2424, or 3039 if you exclude neighbourhoods with a reported population of 0.
  • The median neighbourhood population is 2216.
  • Oliver and Downtown are the only two neighbourhoods with a population greater than 10,000.
  • More dwellings are owned (192,171) than rented (121,953).


Another reason having this data in CSV is useful is because app developers can more easily integrate it into the things they are building. For example, all the census data is now available at ShareEdmonton! So when you view a neighbourhood, you’ll see the census data on the right side (see Alberta Avenue for example). You can also browse neighbourhoods by population. I’ve also fixed the neighbourhood search, so it works better now.

This is just the first of a few neighbourhood-related updates this month, so stay tuned for more!


Yesterday the City released more information on the Apps4Edmonton competition. The first phase, from now until May, is “accepting community ideas”. Basically they want you to tell them what data you want. Aside from the obvious “we don’t know what we don’t know” problem, I think the community has done a pretty good job of defining desired data sets already.

They City had a great start in January with the launch of the data catalogue, but we need more data. Especially data like the census data, which myself and many others have been asking for since the day the PDFs were released. There are clearly some internal issues that need to be worked out if I was able to acquire this before the open data team was. I hope they get everything resolved for the competition, because it’ll be a pretty boring one if we still only have twelve data sets (New York and other cities had dozens, maybe even hundreds, before their competitions).

That said, I know there are passionate, smart people working on it. Email opendata@edmonton.ca if you have data set requests or want to get involved in Apps4Edmonton.

31 thoughts on “Edmonton Neighbourhood Census Data

  1. Joel – Not currently. It takes quite a while to download and render that many polygons on a single page. I’m going to try to improve it, and will update if I get an interactive version online soon.

  2. My first thought was along the same line as Margaret’s.

    Between the suburbs and the core, there is a low-density ring that matches most of the area where the EPSB is currently conducting sector reviews.

    How do we get city hall and the school board to cooperate on a plan to create infill that would attract more families to these communities — saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in new school construction costs?

    We’ve thought of densification so far as bachelor suites in adult-only condominium towers. That doesn’t help schools which may be underpopulated. As values shift away from big homes on big lots, there is an opportunity to create green living for young families in established communities. Vancouver has done that very effectively, even opening new schools downtown to keep up with demand, but trustees and councillors in Edmonton prefer to blame each other as the source of the problem instead of working together to find solutions.

    Thanks for the map, Mack. Perhaps an elected official with a vision for a better future will look at the information and make the obvious connections.

  3. Mack, very cool. How hard would it be to create a map of population density based on neighbourhood area?

  4. Thanks Christopher. If you have other ideas on how I can help, let me know!

    Matthew – not hard, I have it in Excel, I’ll try to generate a map soon. Thanks!

  5. Is this a population map or a density map? It seems to be a population map. The darker areas seem to be in the neighbourhoods that cover a larger area.

    What would be interesting would be to convert this to a density map (people/sq km in each neighbourhood) and see how it changes.

  6. It’s a population map, not a density map. As I said to Matthew, I will work on a density map next.

    The two most populated neighbourhoods are Oliver and Downtown, which have areas of 1.71 km² and 2.28 km², respectively. The average neighbourhood area is 1.94 km².

  7. I guess doing a density map would be quite a challenge. I mean, how do you calculate it for downtown? Sure, downtown is 2.28km2, but most of it might be commercial space. The population is highly concentrated in certain areas, but over the entire area it might be as dense as a newer subdivision full of condos and townhouses.

  8. That’s true, I can do it for the neighbourhood level, but you’re right, it won’t differentiate between residential/commercial space within the neighbourhood.

  9. Do we have zoning in SHP file from the City? If so, I could do a density map based on residential zones for each neighbourhood in ArcGIS.

  10. Hello!

    I’m working on a project that lends itself well to walking tours (and is googlemap friendly), and I would love to be able to organize business locations and such into neighborhoods. You mentioned above that there was a way to access this data on Edmonton’s neighborhood borders, can you share this method?

  11. I made a couple of population density maps. You can see them on my blog at http://experimentingwithmaps.blogspot.com
    In order to make these maps I combined land use data showing residential parcels and census data showing neighborhood population to see how densely people are living in Edmonton neighborhoods. Unfortunately what is needed is density at a lot level. The first map shows Population Density by Residential Land Use Area (shows where people live and in what density) and the second shows Neighborhood Population Density by Residential Land Use Area. This shows how many people per residential ha aggregated to a neighborhood level. Zoning data could be used to map the maximum allowable density but not the actual density. I was trying to find out how many units were in each type of residential lot by cross referencing assessment data. If I could find out the number of units I could extrapolate the population of the residential lots in each neighbourhood thus allowing a more accurate heat map of high density residential areas. The population data extrapolated using this data could be controlled against the census population data for each neighbourhood. The other simpler way is to have actual numbers of people per household from census data, but due to FOIP will likely never happen. I have heard that robust extrapolations can be quite accurate though. Hope this made sense. If anyone has any questions I am happy to answer.

  12. Hi,

    How did you get this information? I am very interested in getting the numbers for neighbourhood population and density for Edmonton’s neighbourhoods and surrounding areas(if available)

  13. Hi,

    Please disregard my previous comment. I am looking for information on Edmonton’s “Urban Form”. Any idea where I can get this information?

  14. Hey there, I’m looking for a parcel map of the City of Edmonton that covers the whole boundary. Just curious if you’ve got access to City of Edmonton parcel data. I have lots of CAD experience working with parcels but limited GIS. I would like to design some interesting maps of Edmonton and publish them.

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