Population and incorporation data accuracy

The federal census, municipal census, and incorporation data on AltaPop has been extracted from mostly hard copy publications produced by Statistics Canada, Alberta Municipal Affairs, or other sources. Every effort has been made to ensure that all data compiled from hard copy and digital formats are presented accurately on AltaPop. However, it is recognized that data entry errors may have occured and gone unnoticed.

  Determining official population: federal and municipal counts from the same year

Where both a federal census result and a municipal census result for a municipality or community are available for the same year, the higher of the two counts supercedes the lower count as the official population for that year, regardless of whether the count performed earlier in the year is higher than the count performed later in the year.

  Applicability of municipal census counts

Municipalities have the right to perform a municipal census and adopt the resulting count as its official population without submitting the census to Alberta Municipal Affairs for acceptance by its Minister. For example, Red Deer County and the Town of Okotoks performed municipal censuses in 2003 and 2004 respectively, but decided not to submit the results to Alberta Municipal Affairs. As a result, the counts from these censuses were not included in the Ministry’s annual Official Population List (OPL) publication.

Since AltaPop uses the OPL publication as its official source for municipal census results for years prior to the current year, AltaPop does not present non-Ministry accepted census counts as official municipal counts in its Population Profiles. However, the non-Ministry accepted counts may be presented within the Notes portion of the applicable Population Profiles.

  Repetitive official population counts

Federal censuses since 1951 have been performed every five years. Municipalities may perform censuses during some or each of the four years between federal censuses, or may opt to not count its population whatsoever during this time period. As a result, where a municipal/community has no federal or municipal census result for any given year, its official population count from its more recent census year is carried forward annually until its next federal or municipal census year.

  Upcoming federal census results

Since federal census results are not published by Statistics Canada until the following year or later, the annual OPLs are unable to present a federal census count as a municipality’s official population until the following year's edition. AltaPop reverts the federal counts to the year in which that census was performed for the purpose of present accurate historical official population counts for Alberta's municipalities/communities. As a result, the official population counts for upcoming federal census years (2006, 2011, etc) will not be official until the following year (2007, 2012, etc).

To address the year-long wait for the results, temporary unofficial population counts will be presented for each municipality/community. The unofficial count will be the municipal census result for that year if one was performed. If a municipal census was not performed that year, the count from the most recently performed municipal or federal census will be presented.