Edmonton’s population rises to 899,447

The results of Edmonton’s first ever paperless municipal census were released at City Hall today, revealing that Edmonton’s population has grown by 2.5% since 2014 from 877,926 to 899,447. That is much more modest growth than we saw in the period between 2012 and 2014 when our city’s population grew by 7.4%. From today’s news release:

“The impact of the recent economic slowdown and higher unemployment in Alberta and Edmonton is evident in the stable population growth figures recorded over the past two years,” said John Rose, Chief Economist for the City of Edmonton.

The slowdown mirrors to some extent what is happening provincially and federally. Estimates put Alberta’s growth rate at 3.9% from 2014 to 2016, down from 6.5% between 2012 to 2014, and Canada’s growth rate at 2.0% from 2014 to 2016, down from 2.3% between 2012 and 2014.

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The update to the Capital Region Board’s Growth Plan projects that Edmonton’s population will grow to at least 1.3 million people by 2044, which we’ll achieve if we can grow at an average of 1.8% per year.

“Although we saw more moderate growth these past two years, Edmonton’s population has increased by 117,000 since 2009. When you add to that the growth of neighbouring municipalities, it highlights the need for us to combine our efforts to ensure effective use of land and smart infrastructure planning.” said Mayor Iveson. “We need to work together and leverage our resources as well as those of the provincial and federal governments to ensure an ongoing strong and growing region, one that continues to attract and retain people and investments.”

Regional cooperation is especially important because it looks like Edmonton is getting even more suburban. Ward 6, which includes Downtown, Oliver, and other central neighbourhoods, saw its population decrease 5.0% from 2014 with a loss of 3,769 people. In fact, the centrally-located wards (6, 7, 8, 10, 11) all saw their populations decrease by anywhere from 2.2% to 5.0% while the outer wards (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 12) all saw their populations increase by anywhere from 1.1% to 12.1%. This is a big shift from the 2014 Municipal Census in which every ward grew.

2016 census by neighbourhood

It’s disappointing to me to see “population loss in a number of core and mature neighbourhoods” while the developing neighbourhoods like Walker, Laurel, Summerside, Chappelle, Windermere, and McConachie all show strong population gains. A decrease of 1,012 people in Oliver and 380 people in Downtown is cause for concern. Inglewood, Central McDougall, and Strathcona were some of the other central neighbourhoods that saw their populations decrease. We are continuing to grow out when we really need to be growing up.

You can see a comparison of census results from 2016, 2014, 2012, and 2009 in PDF here. There are 201 datasets related to Edmonton’s municipal census in the Open Data Catalogue with more to come. You can also access the latest results in PDF here. And here’s my post about the 2014 Municipal Census.

Edmonton’s population rises to 877,926

Mayor Don Iveson announced the results of the 2014 Municipal Census this morning, revealing that Edmonton’s population has grown by 7.39% since 2012 to a total of 877,926. That means we’ve added a population the size of St. Albert over the last two years, which is incredibly significant growth for a city of our size.

Edmonton Municipal Census 2014

Edmonton has grown by nearly 100,000 people over the last five years, and is on track to reach the 1 million mark by the end of the decade.

“Edmonton’s population growth indicates that we are a city of opportunity,” says Mayor Don Iveson. “Significant growth in the working-age population puts Edmonton in a good position for the long term. While our economic stability, educational opportunities and quality of life attract newcomers to Edmonton, we face pressure to manage our growth responsibly and effectively.”

In the last ten years, Edmonton has grown by more than 175,000 people, and the pace of growth seems to be accelerating.

2014 census growth

Edmonton is one of the youngest cities in North America, with an average age of about 35, the same as our Mayor. The single largest age group is 20-25, followed closely by 30-34, which account for a combined 17.2% of Edmonton’s population. “This is a population profile that any city would envy,” said John Rose, the City of Edmonton’s Chief Economist.

2014 census gender and age

We’re an evenly split city in terms of gender, with 49.5% of the population identified as female and 50.5% identified as male. Unfortunately, the census does not offer any options for transgender individuals.

2014 census marital status

We’re also fairly evenly split between single and married and Edmontonians.

Edmonton’s population is growing all across the city, but nine of the top ten fastest growing neighbourhoods over the last five years are in the south. Summerside, The Hamptons, Windermere, Ambleside, and Tamarack are all examples of fast growing neighbourhoods. Sixty mature neighbourhoods and forty-seven established neighbourhoods gained in population. A total of forty-four established neighbourhoods and thirty-nine mature neighbourhoods experienced a population loss over the last five years. Every ward gained in population, with Ward 9 and Ward 12 showing the strongest growth.

2014 census neighbourhoods

The population of Downtown now stands at 13,148, an increase of 7.8%. That signals significantly faster growth than the neighbourhood was experiencing previously, as it grew just 5.4% between 2009 and 2012.

2014 census employment status

Edmonton continues to have low unemployment, with 54.2% of Edmontonians employed, 25.0% in some sort of schooling, and 12.2% retired. Just 3% reported being unemployed.

2014 census transportation

A smaller percentage of Edmontonians are driving to work than in 2012, with carpooling and transit use seeing modest increases. The caveat is that groups aged between 12 and 18 and over 65 were included in the 2014 census and were not included in the 2012 census, so the difference is probably smaller than the numbers would suggest. Edmontonians continue to primarily drive to work.

We continue to live primarily in single detached houses, with 59.8% of Edmontonians reporting that as their dwelling type. As for the primary language spoken in homes across the city? Overwhelmingly, it’s English. The next most common languages are French, Tagalog, Cantonese, and Punjabi.

2014 census language

The City also asked how households access information regarding City services. More than 25% use the City website, with newspapers, radio, and 311 as the next most popular methods.

2014 census resource access

This year, the census was conducted online as well as door-to-door. The City says about a third of respondents used the web-based option. Those individuals had the opportunity to answer one extra question, which was which additional sources or channels they’d like to use to receive information about City services. Overwhelming, email was the most popular response.

I’ll be digging into the results further over the next couple of days, and you can too – the City has made 58 datasets available in the Open Data Catalog. You can read my post about the 2012 Municipal Census here.

The next municipal census will take place in April 2016.

Edmonton’s 2014 Municipal Census goes online

The City of Edmonton is conducting its biennial census this year, and for the first time, you can participate online! The census is an important tool for collecting up-to-date demographic information that is used in decision-making and also for per-capita grants. Completing the census online is optional, so if you do nothing, a census worker will come to your door as in years past.

Here’s how it works. Over the next couple days, every household will be receiving a letter with information on how to complete the census online. That letter will include a PIN that you’ll use to access the online questions. The questions being asked online and in person are the same, except for one extra question that only online respondents will get to answer:

“In the future, what additional channels or sources would your household like added to receive information regarding City services?”

The idea is for the City to get an idea of citizen expectations for getting information out about services. The reason that question is only being asked online is because it requires a written response (presumably it would be too slow for door-to-door collection). If you’re wondering how to answer it, my suggestion would be to write “open data”!

The online census is powered by Dominion Voting Systems, a Denver-based company that sells electronic voting machines (it was founded in Toronto in 2002). Their solution for Canadian municipalities is also being used by Lethbridge this year.

In an effort to help people complete the census online, the City of Edmonton is hosting a series of outreach events over the next couple of weeks:

“The staff will be there offering guidance and support to individuals who wish to complete their census online using computers available at the various venues. Any one who would like information on the online census option, or assistance with completing their census online, are welcome to attend.”

The online portion of the census starts tomorrow, April 10 at 8am and will run until 8pm on April 27. Door-to-door collection will begin on May 10, which will enable workers to avoid visiting any household that has already participated online. Census workers present City-issued identification so you can ensure they are legitimate workers before answering any questions. If you’re interested in being a census worker, you can apply here.

I was disappointed when Council voted last year against adopting online voting, so I’m quite pleased to see the City taking another step in the online direction with this year’s census. I hope it is a success and builds confidence for future online endeavours!

You can see my post on the results of the 2012 Municipal Census here. If you’re curious, here’s Policy C520B, the Municipal Census Policy.

Edmonton’s new official population is 817,498

This morning the results of the 2012 Municipal Census were released, and Edmonton’s new official population is 817,498. That represents annual average growth of about 12,000 since 2009 when the last census was conducted.

Mayor Mandel seized on the numbers related to age – the largest proportion of residents are in the 25-34 demographic (about 14.5%):

“The growth in population indicates that Edmonton is a city of opportunity,” said Mayor Stephen Mandel. “It is gratifying and exciting to know that so many young people are calling Edmonton their home. This reinforces the appeal of Edmonton, and the value of what our City has to offer; opportunity, culture and quality of life.”

Here’s what our growth curve looks like:

Here’s a look at the population by age group:

One of the new questions asked this year was about mode of transportation from home to work. The results are not incredibly surprising – roughly 80% of Edmontonians get to work by automobile:

You can see all of the results here, including PDFs for each ward and neighbourhood. Unfortunately I can’t do a detailed comparison by neighbourhood, because the open data catalogue has not been updated and I’m not going to sift through 375 PDFs to get the data I need. A note on the website reads: “2012 results will be added to the Open Data Catalogue in early August.” While I suppose it’s a positive that the data will in fact be uploaded to the catalogue, there’s absolutely no excuse for it not already be in there. I feel like I’m fighting the same fight, three years later.

I was most interested in Downtown however, so I did look at the PDF. The population increased far less than I had anticipated, rising to 12,199 from 11,572 (growth of about 5.4%). In other words, just 1.8% of the city-wide population growth occurred in the Downtown neighbourhood. Clearly we still have work to do (perhaps surrounding neighbourhoods grew more, will wait for the open data to analyze that).

Last year City Council passed a new Municipal Census Policy which states that a census will be conducted every two years starting in 2012. Throughout the month of April, census workers knocked on doors asking Edmontonians a variety of demographic questions. The results are important because many grants from other orders of government are calculated on a per capita basis. Additionally, the City needs updated numbers to effectively plan services, and to ensure ward boundaries result in fair representation by population.

The next Municipal Census will be held in April 2014.

Edmonton’s population is up 12.1% according to the 2011 Federal Census

Statistics Canada today released the first set of information for the 2011 Federal Census, focused on population and dwelling counts. The population of Canada has increased 5.9% since the 2006 census, compared with 5.4% for the previous five-year period.

Canada’s population increased at a faster rate than the population of any other member of the G8 group of industrialized nations between 2006 and 2011. This was also the case between 2001 and 2006.

Canada’s population now sits at 33,476,688. Looking at the provinces, Alberta leads the country in growth with an increase of 10.8%, taking our population up to 3,645,257, which is about 11% of the country.

Increasingly we are an urban country. A total of 69.1% of the population lives in one of Canada’s 33 census metropolitan areas (CMAs), and that number is going up:

The rate of growth between 2006 and 2011 was 7.4% in CMAs as a group, above the national average of 5.9%. The two fastest growing CMAs were both in Alberta: Calgary, where the population rose 12.6%, and Edmonton, where it increased 12.1%.

Here’s a look at the fastest growing CMAs in the country:

Looking at federal electoral districts in the Edmonton region, Edmonton-Leduc was the fastest growing with 28% growth since 2006 census, followed by Edmonton-Mill Woods-Beaumont at 22%.

Looking at Edmonton more generally, the population of the city now sits at 812,201 while the population of the CMA is now 1,159,869. Here’s the population for the City and the CMA over the last fifteen years:

And here’s the percentage increase over that same time period:

Edmonton is now the sixth largest CMA in the country, and we’re growing more quickly than anticipated.

We’ll have to wait until May 29 to learn more about the age and gender breakdown, September 19 to learn more about households, marital status, and structure types, and October 24 to learn more about language.

The City of Edmonton is conducting another municipal census in April this year, and is looking for 1400 people to act as census workers. You can apply in person at City Hall. You can learn more about the municipal census here.

You can learn more about the 2011 Federal Census here, and also check out The Daily for today.

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).

ShareEdmonton

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!

Apps4Edmonton

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.

In Edmonton, we like to drive

Statistics Canada has released some new data from the last census that shouldn’t shock anyone who lives in Alberta’s capital city. Nearly 80% of us get to work in a vehicle:

The new data from the 2006 census found that 12.7 per cent of workers in the city of Edmonton get to work using public transit, while 79 per cent either drive or travel in a vehicle as a passenger.

Statistics Canada said the reliance on cars seems to increase with the age of the commuter. While those under the age of 25 travelled by vehicle 70.7 per cent of the time, that rate increased to 81.6 per cent for those aged 25 to 34. The rate was even higher for those aged over 35, at 87.2 per cent.

Cheap Gas?

The average Alberta commuter takes a car 84% of the time, so we’re slightly better than the rest of the province.

I guess Bob Boutilier, our city’s Transportation Department GM, wasn’t kidding at the ETS conference a few weeks ago when he said a big challenge is the “pickup truck and two car” mentality of most Albertans. Thanks to the census data, I now have a number to attach to that statement.

Some people like to suggest that we’ll never improve our public transit system until everyone experiences just how bad it is right now. Maybe there’s some truth to that after all. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the majority of that 80% have never been on a bus or LRT car.

That needs to change.