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DECEMBER 21, 2008
  59 censuses accepted by Municipal Affairs in 2008
    Alberta Municipal Affairs (AMA) released the latest edition of its Official Population List (OPL) in the second week of December this year. The 2008 OPL recognizes censuses performed by 59 municipalities. This is down from the 69 censuses recognized in the 2007 OPL, but far greater than the 27 recognized two years ago.

Of the 59 censuses in the 2008 OPL, 10 were performed by Cities, 23 by Towns, 13 by Villages, one by a Summer Village, two by Specialized Municipalities, and 10 by Municipal Districts. The following is a brief summary of other observations from this year's round of municipal censuses:

  • the Village of Stirling surpassed the 1,000 mark, thereby making it eligible for Town status in accordance with the Municipal Government Act (MGA);
  • the Town of Beaumont surpassed the 10,000 mark, thereby making it eligble for City status in accordance with the MGA;
  • Lac Ste. Anne County surpassed the 10,000 mark;
  • the City of Leduc surpassed the 20,000 mark;
  • the City of Medicine Hat surpassed the 60,000 mark;
  • Okotoks, Alberta’s largest Town, is a mere four people shy of the 20,000 mark;
  • the Summer Village of Point Alison and the Town of Westlock were the only two municipalities that submitted census results to AMA that recorded population losses;
  • Westlock’s loss in population dipped it back under the 5,000 mark;
  • revised federal census counts for the County of Athabasca No. 12, the M.D. of Bighorn No. 8, the M.D. of Fairview No. 136 and the County of Warner No. 5 were incorporated; and
  • the Municipality of Jasper, Clear Hills County and Northern Sunrise County submitted shadow population counts in 2008.
Although not presented in the 2008 OPL, AltaPop is aware of at least seven other municipalities that performed municipal censuses this year, including the City of Spruce Grove; the Towns of Canmore, Drumheller, Hanna and Stony Plain; the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo; and Woodlands County.

The fact that they were not presented in the 2008 OPL may be due to the censuses showing less population than in previous censuses, whether by actual population decrease or low participation rates, or AMA not accepting the census counts as submitted.

OCTOBER 14, 2008
  AltaPop recaps 10 census results
    AltaPop has accumulated numerous municipal census results through official municipal websites and local online newspapers over the past two months but has yet to formally report the results. This article briefly presents the results for 10 municipalities across the Province.

Under the Town category, Canmore posted 406 and 749 resident increases in its permanent and shadow populations respectively since its previous municipal census in 2006. Canmore is home to 12,005 full-time and 5,567 part-time residents.

In Drumheller, the Town's municipal census recorded a decrease of 399 people over the past two years, or an annual growth rate of -2.5%, to a new population of 7,533. Its previous population was 7,932 per the 2006 federal census.

The Town of Morinville experienced an increase of 453 people since the 2006 federal census. Its 2008 municipal census showed its population grew at an annual rate of 3.3% from 6,775 to 7,228. Morinville’s previous annual growth rate between 2001 and 2006 was 0.7%

The Town of Stony Plain was disappointed its municipal census attempt came up 859 people shorter than its 2006 population due to non-participation from some of its residents. Stony Plain expected a population between 13,000 and 14,000, but unfortunately only 11,504 chose to answer the Town's enumerators.

Three Hills' second municipal census in as many years reported a modest increase of 18 citizens, or growth of 0.5%, over the 3,304 counted in 2007. The Town is now home to 3,322 people.

Finally, the Town of Turner Valley officially joined the 2,000 club by counting 2,022 residents. The Town grew by 114 people over the past two years, which equals an annual growth rate of 3.0%.

Under the Municipal District category, Lacombe County regained 56 of the 200 residents lost between the 2001 and 2006 federal censuses. The County's municipal census recorded a population of 10,507.

Sturgeon County experienced an increase of 546 rural dwellers, or an annual growth rate of 1.5%, between 2006 and 2008. The County's population was pegged at 19,167 this year.

After posting a loss of 134 people between 2001 and 2006, Camrose County posted a gain of 417 people between 2006 and 2008. The County's population now sits at 7,577.

Lac Ste. Anne County's municipal census reported a 340 resident increase, or a growth rate of 1.7% annum, since the 2006 federal census. The census placed the County past the 10,000 person milestone with an official population that now sits at 10,220.

AltaPop has asked all four of these Counties to provide a population breakdown of its hamlets. To date, only Camrose County and Lac Ste. Anne County have provided breakdowns, although it is hoped the others will as well. Sturgeon County previously provided a breakdown for its municipal census conducted in 2005.

According to the Camrose County population breakdown by hamlet, there were 135 people in Ohaton, 120 in Round Hill, 99 in Tillicum Beach, 79 in Kingman, 31 in both Armena and Duhamel, 30 in Meeting Creek, 23 in Pelican Point, and 14 in Kelsey.

According to the Lac Ste. Anne County population breakdown by hamlet, there were 368 people in Sangudo, 154 in Gunn, 71 in Rochfort Bridge, 60 in Cherhill, 51 in Green Court, 49 in Glenevis, 32 in Rich Valley, and 28 in Darwell.

SEPTEMBER 21, 2008
  Strathcona census puts Sherwood Park ahead of St. Albert
    Earlier this month, the results of Strathcona County's census were released, revealing the County is home to 3,010 more than the 82,511 people it had two years ago. The census also showed that Sherwood Park pulled ahead of St. Albert this year as Edmonton's largest bedroom community for the first time in over 30 years.

The population of the County as a whole now sits at 85,521. Of this population, 26,112 residents live in the County’s Rural Service Area while 59,409 residents live in the Urban Service Area of Sherwood Park. The Rural Service Area and Sherwood Park grew by 446 and 2,564 over the past two years respectively.

With the City of St. Albert’s census this year counting 58,501 people, 2008 stands as the first time Sherwood Park has been larger than St. Albert since the mid 1970’s. Sherwood Park last held the bragging rights for seven years between 1971 and 1977.

Within the Rural Service Area, Ardrossan (382) and Collingwood Cove (335) both increased in population while Antler Lake (355), Half Moon Lake (215), Hastings Lake (78), Josephburg (212), North Cooking Lake (49) and South Cooking Lake (263) experienced declines when compared to the County’s previous census in 2005.

2008 Census Results News Release

  Slight declines in Hanna, Westlock
    The Towns of Hanna and Westlock both performed municipal censuses this year that reported slight loses in population. Their censuses counted 2,828 and 4,964 people respectively, which amounted to a loss of 19 people for Hanna and 44 for Westlock.

The decline in Hanna is a continuation of a trend previously recorded by Statistics Canada. With a population of 2,986 in 2001, Hanna decreased by 139 people over five years to a population of 2,847 in 2006.

On the other hand, Westlock's decline is a somewhat of a reversal of its previous growth. According to Westlock's 2003 census, its population was 4,820. By the 2006 federal census, the Town had grown by 188 people to 5,008.

AUGUST 30, 2008
  Leduc surpasses 20,000
    Alberta has a new member in the 20,000 club. During its recent celebrations of 25 years as a City, Leduc revealed it has grown to 20,529 people. The City of Leduc's population has increased by 3,562 people over the past two years, or at an annual rate of 10.5%, since the 2006 federal census.

Leduc's recent growth is similar to those of other Alberta bedroom communities such as Airdrie, Okotoks, Chestermere and nearby Beaumont. By contrast, the City grew at an annual rate of 2.8% from 15,630 in 2003 to 16,957 in 2006 - a difference of 1,327 people over three years.

AUGUST 30, 2008
  Another year of four-digit growth in Chestermere
    According to its 2008 municipal census count, the Town of Chestermere has increased its population by over a thousand people for a fifth consecutive year. The Town's population is now 12,477, which is 1,215 people or 10.8% more than its population recorded last year.

Although Chestermere's new annual growth rate is high, it is actually smaller than the rate it posted last year. Its previous municipal census showed the Town grew by 1,698 people or 17.8% from 9,564 in 2006 to 11,262 in 2007.

AUGUST 23, 2008
  Pincher Creek finds it is home to over 3,700
    The Town of Pincher Creek took a head count this summer suspecting the recent 2006 federal census had shortchanged its population. It turns out the Town's suspicion may have been correct as its census recorded 3,712 residents this year.

The new population shows Pincher Creek has grown by 87 people or 1.2% annually since the 2006 census counted 3,625. Comparatively, Statistics Canada reported it has declined by 41 people between 2001 and 2006. Pincher Creek's population was 3,666 in 2001.

AUGUST 21, 2008
  Whitecourt matches previous growth rate
    Whitecourt came into this year’s municipal census on the momentum of a 1.3% annual growth rate recorded between its last municipal census held in 2004 and the 2006 federal census. The Town’s 2008 count of 9,202 shows Whitecourt has matched its previous annual growth rate, signifying stable, consistent growth.

Whitecourt’s municipal census shows the Town is 231 people stronger than it was in 2006. Statistics Canada tallied 8,971 people in 2006, while the Town’s 2004 municipal census unveiled a population of 8,747. Whitecourt welcomed 224 new residents over this previous two-year period.

Should Whitecourt’s annual growth rate of 1.3% remain constant, the Town would surpass 9,500 by 2011 and 10,000 by 2015. Currently, Whitecourt is Alberta’s second largest urban community under 10,000 people. The nearby Town of Hinton is home to 9,749 as of 2006 and is expected to perform its own census in 2009.

Related Link: 2008 Municipal Census Update

AUGUST 17, 2008
  Population swells by 3.6% in Sylvan Lake
    The Town of Sylvan Lake’s second municipal census in as many years has produced a new official population count of 11,115. The census shows that Sylvan Lake grew by 3.6% or 386 residents over the past year. Last year, the Town counted 10,729 people.

Although this recent growth is strong, it is slightly slower than the growth recorded between last year’s municipal census and the 2006 federal census. With Statistics Canada assigning a population of 10,208 in 2006, Sylvan Lake’s previous annual growth rate was 5.1% or a net increase of 521 people.

Related Link: 2008 Municipal Census Summary

AUGUST 10, 2008
  Cochrane counts nearly 900 more heads
    The Town of Cochrane will be unveiling its first municipal census count in four years at a Council Meeting tomorrow. The meeting agenda shows 14,653 people now live in the Town, which is 893 more than its 2006 population of 13,760 from the latest federal census. This translates into an annual growth rate of 3.2%.

Comparitively, Cochrane grew at an annual growth rate of 4.2% between 2004 and 2006. The Town’s previous municipal census tallied 12,688 residents, which was followed by an influx of 1,072 more people over the next two years according to the 2006 federal census.

Related Link: 2008 Census News Release

AUGUST 9, 2008
  County of Vermilion River closes in on 8,000
    The County of Vermilion River decided to give a municipal census a shot this year, which turned out counting exactly 7,900 rural residents. This shows an increase of 433 people or 2.9% per annum since Statistics Canada tallied 7,467 two years ago.

One of the reasons the County decided to perform a head count was it felt Statistics Canada may have short-changed them in the 2006 federal census. It showed an unexpected yearly decline of -0.8% or a total loss of 57 residents compared to the previous federal census count of 7,524 in 2001.

The County has also provided AltaPop with a population breakdown of its hamlets from its census. In order from largest to smallest, the population of each is: 253 in Blackfoot; 219 in Islay; 134 in Clandonald; 40 in McLaughlin; 21 in Streamstown; 16 in Rivercourse; and 15 in Tulliby Lake.

Related Link: County of Vermilion River Census Results

AUGUST 3, 2008
  233 more in Strathmore
    The results of Strathmore’s 20th consecutive annual census will be unveiled at its Town Council meeting on August 6. The meeting agenda shows this year’s tally recorded 11,335 residents in Strathmore � an increase of 233 or a growth rate of 2.1% � compared to its 2007 population of 11,102.

The Town of Strathmore’s new growth rate is nearly one quarter of what it was a year ago. Strathmore registered a growth rate of 7.9% in 2007. This was formulated based on its growth of 766 people from the 2006 municipal census count of 10,336 to its 2007 population.

JULY 31, 2008
  Airdrie adds another 2,600
    The City of Airdrie’s annual census shows it is 2,604 people stronger than last year. Airdrie’s 2008 population is now 34,116 according to the census. The new figure shows that the City grew by 8.3% over the past year from its 2007 census tally of 31,512.

Airdrie’s new growth rate is pretty much on par with the growth rate it recorded last year. After counting a popultion of 29,035 people in its 2006 municipal census, the City grew by 8.5% according to its 2007 population. The increase in actual residents between 2006 and 2007 was 2,477.

Related Link: 2008 Census News Release

JULY 29, 2008
  Over 750,000 Edmontonians counted
    The City of Edmonton released its 2008 municipal census count today. As of April 1, the City was home to 752,412 residents, up 40,021 people from its last municipal census tally in 2005. Edmonton grew at an annual rate of 1.9% since recording 712,391 people three years ago.

The census also indicates that the City has grown at a higher rate since 2005 than it did between 2001 and 2005. After Statistics Canada counted 666,104 in the 2001 federal census, Edmonton experienced a 1.7% growth rate per annum over the next four years. The 2006 federal census pegged the City’s population at 730,372.

Related Links: 2008 Census News Release and 2008 Census Summary

JULY 23, 2008
  Didsbury and Wainwright each up by over 300
    The Towns of Didsbury and Wainwright each performed its first municipal census this year since Statistics Canada counted each of its residents in 2006. Both Towns� tallies resulted in an increase of over 300 people in two years.

In Didsbury, the Town has grown by 324 people or 3.8% per annum to 4,599. Over the previous five-year period, Didsbury grew by a total of 343 residents or 1.7% annually from 3,932 in 2001 to 4,275 in 2006.

On the other hand, Wainwright has increased by 349 residents or 3.2% per year to 5,775. Between 2001 and 2006, the Town’s increase was a much smaller 61 people or 0.2% annually from 5,365 to 5,426.

Related Link: 2008 Municipal Census Results

JULY 22, 2008
  Medicine Hat surpasses 60,000 mark
    The high growth the City of Medicine Hat has experienced over the past two years has resulted in its population topping 60,000. The City’s 2008 census counted 60,426 people � 3,429 more than it had in 2006.

Medicine Hat has grown by 3.0% per year since recorded 56,997 people in 2006. Prior to that, the City grew by 949 people or 1.7% in the year following its 2005 municipal census tally of 56,048.

Related Link: 2008 Census Final Report

JULY 21, 2008
  Calgary adds nearly another 23,000 people in the past year
    The City of Calgary posted its annual census results on its website today. Calgary has grown by 22,950 or 2.3% over the past year to 1,042,892. This growth is greater than adding the entire population of Okotoks � Alberta’s largest town � in a single year.

Calgary’s growth rate has declined slightly for the second year in a row however. The City’s 2006 and 2007 growth rates were 3.7% and 2.8% respectively. Calgary grew by 35,681 in a single year to a population of 991,759 in 2006 and then by 28,183 to 1,019,942 in 2007.

Related Link: 2008 Civic Census Information

JULY 20, 2008
  Censuses for both Tabers show growth
    Both the Municipal District of Taber and the Town of Taber have released their 2008 census results. The populations recorded were 7,821 in the Town and 6,714 in the Municipal District.

For the Town, the new tally shows it has grown by 230 people or 1.5% annually since 2006. Its population was 7,591 in 2006, down 80 people from its 2001 count of 7,671.

The Municipal District grew at a faster rate of 3.5% per annum or by 434 residents over the same two-year period. Its population was 6,280 in 2006, up 268 residents from its population of 6,012 recorded in 2001.

The Municipal District has also unveiled the population of its hamlets as part of its census release. In order from largest to smallest, the population of each is: 596 in Grassy Lake; 205 in Enchant; 140 in Hays; 101 in Johnson’s Addition; and 34 in Purple Springs.

Related Link: M.D. of Taber 2008 Census Summary

JULY 17, 2008
  Fort Saskatchewan growth cools slightly
    Fort Saskatchewan has just released the population count of its second municipal census in as many years. The City saw an increase of 647 residents over the past year to a population of 16,796 � a growth of 4.0% over last year’s tally.

This year’s growth rate is half of that recorded between Statistics Canada’s 2006 federal census and the City’s 2007 municipal census. Fort Saskatchewan grew by 1,189 people or 7.9% from 14,957 in 2006 to 16,146 in 2007.

Related Link: 2008 Census News Release

JULY 14, 2008
  Four people shy of 20,000 in Okotoks
    The Town of Okotoks unveiled its 2008 municipal census count of 19,996 at its regular council meeting today. The Calgary bedroom community has grown at an annual rate of 8.3% or by 2,851 residents since 2006 and is now more than half way to its self-imposed population cap of 35,000 people.

By comparison, Statistics Canada reported Okotoks� population of 11,664 and 17,145 as a result of its 2001 and 2006 federal censuses respectively. The Town experienced a growth of 5,481 people, or a growth rate of 9.4% per annum, over this five-year period.

JULY 7, 2008
  Another year of record growth in Beaumont
Article revised July 27, 2008.

  The Town of Beaumont surpassed the 10,000 milestone with great ease over the past year. The Town's 2008 census results show a record one-year increase of 1,071 people to a total of 10,820. In terms of a growth rate, its population has increased by 11.0% since posting 9,749 residents last year.

In 2007, Beaumont's growth rate was a slightly smaller yet significant 8.9% when compared back to its 2006 census count of 8,951. Prior to that, the Town's annual growth rate has seen a steady climb. From 2.0% in 2002, the growth rate increased to 7.1% by 2006.

Related Link: 2008 Census Profile

JULY 3, 2008
  2.5% more residents in Red Deer this year
    The City of Red Deer has just released the results of its 10th municipal census in 10 years. With a population of 85,705 in 2007, Red Deer grew by 2,111 people to a new tally of 87,816 this year. This translates into a growth rate of 2.5%.

Like in other Alberta cities this year, such as Lethbridge and St. Albert, Red Deer's growth rate has slipped a bit compared with past census results. The City's previous annual growth rate was pegged at 3.3% between 2006 and 2007. Red Deer was home to 82,971 people in 2006.

Related Link: 2008 Census News Release

JUNE 29, 2008
  St. Albert sees surprisingly slowdown in growth
    The Capital Region's largest bedroom community has grown by less than expected over the past two years. The census performed by the City of St. Albert this year produced a population count of 58,501 - an increase of 782 or 0.7% annually since 2006.

By comparison, St. Albert's 2005 municipal census tallied 56,310 people while Statistics Canada's 2006 federal census enumerated 57,719 individuals. This totaled a one-year population increase of 1,409 residents or 2.5% between 2005 and 2006.

Related Link: 2008 Census News Release

JUNE 26, 2008
  Stettler up 425 residents
    Stettler is one of the first towns in the Province to release its 2008 census results this year. The Town's first municipal census since 2002 counted 5,843 residents. This is an increase of 425 people or 3.9% per annum over its 2006 population of 5,418 recorded by Statistics Canada.

The latest census results show that Stettler has seen stronger growth in the past two years compared to the growth it registered between 2002 and 2006. At a population of 5,226 in 2002, the Town grew by 192 residents or 0.9% per annum over the following four years.

Related Link: 2008 Census Results

JUNE 22, 2008
  Over 2,000 more in Lethbridge for 2nd straight year
    The fourth municipal census in as many years for the City of Lethbridge has shown it has grown by over 2,000 people in a single year for the second time in as many years. With a population of 78,713 in 2006, Lethbridge grew by 2,979 to 81,692 in 2007 and now by an additional 2,268 to 83,960 in 2008.

In terms of annual growth, the recent census results show the City has grown by 2.8% over the past year. Although this is 1.0% lower than the 3.8% growth rate registered between its 2006 and 2007 censuses, this shows Lethbridge’s growth continues to be steady yet more balanced and manageable.

Related Link: 2008 Census News Release

JUNE 15, 2008
  Camrose grows, census shows
    The City of Camrose appears to be the first municipality to release its municipal census count this year. According to a June 12, 2008 article by Nicole Madu in the Camrose Canadian, its 2008 population is 16,543 as of April 3, 2008. This is an increase of 693 people or 1.5% per annum since Camrose’s 2005 municipal census.

Comparatively, Camrose’s growth rate has nearly tripled since it recorded a slower 0.5% annual growth between 2003 and 2005. The City grew by 181 residents from 15,669 in 2003 to 15,850 in 2005. Statistics Canada tagged Camrose’s population at 15,620 in the 2006 federal census.

MAY 31, 2008
  Whitecourt & Woodlands censuses go nuclear
    The Town of Whitecourt and Woodlands County are going nuclear � that is when it comes to performing their municipal censuses this year. Recent articles in the Whitecourt Star advise they have begun their censuses to count population and collect other demographics during a time of rapid growth in the town and county. However, the censuses also have a nuclear twist.

The two municipalities are using their censuses as an opportunity for its residents to express how they feel about the possibility of hosting nuclear power in the region. Not only does gauging public opinion through a census save the municipalities from holding a plebiscite on the matter, it enables citizens over the age of 18 an opportunity to achieve a 100% participation rate on the poll.

As usual, AltaPop will report back on final population counts currently being tabulated in the Whitecourt and Woodlands County 2008 municipal censuses as they come available. Further, the overall public opinion on hosting nuclear power by each municipality will be presented.

Sources include a May 21, 2008 article by Gina Racine and the May 21, 2008 Ask the Mayor feature in the Whitecourt Star and an April 22, 2008 article by Chris Eakin in the Fairview Post.

Related Link: 2008 Town of Whitecourt Census Advertisement

JANUARY 20, 2008
  Past six months sees amalgamation, dissolution, and a status change
    The municipal landscape of Alberta has changed over the past few months, which has reduced the number of towns by two from 111 to 109, decreased the number of villages by one from 100 to 99, and added a fifth specialized municipality.

The changes started on August 1, 2007 when an Order in Council (O.C. 332/2007) was passed to amalgamate the Town of Lac La Biche with Lakeland County to form a new entity named Lac La Biche County. To learn more about the amalgamation, visit the Municipal Amalgamation Information page on the Lac La Biche County website.

Effective September 16, 2007, the Village of Sangudo no longer formally existed. An Order in Council (O.C. 395/2007) passed September 12, 2007 dissolved the Village of Sangudo in favour of becoming a hamlet under the jurisdiction of Lac Ste. Anne County. This was Sangudo’s second attempt to dissolve in recent years.

The January 16, 2008 Order in Council (O.C. 1/2008) changed the status of the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass from a town to a specialized municipality. The new status appears more appropriate as Crowsnest Pass, similar to the other four specialized municipalities, is truly unique. It was originally formed by the amalgamation of Bellevue, Blairmore, Coleman, Frank, and I.D. No. 5 in 1979 and then amalgamated again with I.D. No. 6 in 1996.

JANUARY 20, 2008
  No dissolution for Caroline, no amalgamation for Black Diamond/Turner Valley
    Other municipalities in Alberta considered dissolution and amalgamation over the past year. Like Sangudo, the Village of Caroline was studying dissolution in 2007. However, a plebiscite in the summer showed overwhelming opposition to dissolution. Of those who voted, 79% opposed dissolving the village in favour of becoming a hamlet within Clearwater County. The Minister of Municipal Affairs recognized the opposition of the residents and decided to not recommend dissolution.

Since at least 2001, the Towns of Black Diamond and Turner Valley have been considering the amalgamation of their two municipalities. The debate resulted in a plebiscite held within both communities held at the same time as the recent municipal elections held on October 15, 2007. The plebiscite resulted in the majority of Turner Valley residents voting in favour of merging and the majority of Black Diamond residents voted against. As a result, the two towns have since decided to close amalgamation discussions.

JANUARY 20, 2008
  Amalgamation or dissolution in the cards for Two Hills area?
    It appears five municipalities northeast of Edmonton are investigating their governance options, including amalgamation and dissolution. Austrom Consulting, which facilitated the amalgamation study for Black Diamond and Turner Valley, has been retained by the County of Two Hills No. 21, the Town of Two Hills, and the Villages of Derwent, Myrnam, and Willingdon to review their options for more effective governance.

For more information on the governance review and to monitor the progress of the review, frequently visit Austrom Consulting’s website.


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