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 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.