City around the corner from population one million

If things go as conceived, Edmonton will become a city of one million people some time around December 2020. 

That’s an admittedly unscientific takeaway from the announcement today of Edmonton’s official population, based on 2019 Census results. 

The big number now: 972,223.imageLikeEmbed

There are a few stories in that number.

Steady as we grow

The population number represents an increase of 72,776 people, and an average growth rate of 2.6 per cent a year, since the last municipal census in 2016. This year, Edmonton’s growth rate is pegged to be at 2.1 per cent, which is higher than Alberta’s (1.9) and Canada’s (1.3).

We’re still young

More than half of Edmonton’s population is under the age of 39. And fully 15 per cent of us (146,274) are in the 30-39 age range, the cohort where people typically establish careers and start families.

Mayor Iveson and Director MacLean with the big number at census media conference
Mayor Iveson and Director MacLean with the big number at census media conference

Add it up, and….

“This is a great sign for Edmonton,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “Edmonton’s growing and young population presents a number of economic benefits for our city. It speaks to our vibrancy and strengthens our local business community’s ability to attract and retain new investment.”

Chief Economist John Rose said: “We’re benefiting from strong international immigration and solid natural population growth. We’re also seeing renewed immigration from other provinces in Canada. Together, these factors have helped maintain Edmonton as a centre for economic progress.”

Everyone counts

In this year’s census, Edmonton became the first city in Canada to offer expanded gender identity options, including trans woman, trans man, non-binary and two-spirit. 

“We want residents to feel valued for their uniqueness,” said Barb McLean, Equity Specialist with the City of Edmonton. “Every Edmontonian has something to contribute to our community, and including more gender options in the census gives representation to those who might not have felt valued before.” 

Breaking it down

Man/boy: 434,426
Woman/girl: 441,545
Trans man: 310
Trans woman: 337
Two-spirit: 284
Non-binary: 717
Identified as another gender: 289
Prefer not to answer: 94,315

The ward goes to…..

The three most populous wards are Ward 12 (111,550), Ward 9 (106,724) and Ward 4 (84,971) 

Screen Shot 2019-09-05 at 1.11.39 PM

The big picture

Info collected during a census helps the City and organizations adapt to change and make decisions based on updated demographics. This leads to better use of resources. 

The City receives federal and provincial grants based on population count. Accurate data mean  accurate grants, which, big picture, help make real Edmonton’s goal to be a healthy, climate-resilient city animated by urban places in a prosperous region. 

MacLean and his number, and an even bigger number in mind
MacLean and his number, and an even bigger number in mind

The bigger number, though unofficial

The census number—972,223—is the number of residents who completed the survey questionnaire, either online or in person, earlier this year. Iain MacLean, the City of Edmonton’s Director of Elections and Census, said his experts use an industry-recognized formula to get even closer to the real number of Edmontonians, including those who did not participate in the census. 

That number, as of April 1, is 992,812.

Dig in