Edmonton's official population rises to 972,223

· The Pulse

Edmonton’s official city population is 972,223 as of April 1, 2019, an increase of 72,776 over the last municipal census in 2016. The City of Edmonton said that represents an average growth rate of 2.6% annually.

"This is a great sign for Edmonton," said mayor Don Iveson as he announced the results of the 2019 Municipal Census at City Hall on Thursday, Sept. 5. "One of the highlights of our census is that we continue to have one of the youngest populations in Canada."

John Rose, the City’s chief economist said he is projecting a growth rate of 2.1% for 2019, which is still higher than Alberta’s 1.9% and Canada’s 1.3%. "Edmonton remains a centre of economic growth," he said. Rose is confident that Edmonton will hit the milestone of 1 million residents late next year.

Iain Mac Lean, director of elections and census at the City of Edmonton, said only 7,558 of the roughly 420,000 addresses in Edmonton failed to respond to the census. "We are proud of that number," he said. Using a mathematical formula similar to the one used by Statistics Canada, City officials extrapolated to account for households that did not respond to the census to arrive an unofficial total population of 992,812.

This year, 39.7% of households completed the census online, double what officials have seen in the past. Mac Lean projects the cost of the census will be just under $2.5 million.

This year’s census was the first to include gender options beyond male and female, with six choices total including an option for residents to choose their own term. “We all want to feel included in our communities – this means having a sense of belonging and feeling valued for your uniqueness,” Barb McLean, equity specialist with the City of Edmonton, told Global News back in March when the census launched. “Including more gender options in the census gives representation to residents in our city who have been invisible for a long time.”

The census "is a critical tool to advocate for our fair share," Iveson told reporters. "We are continuing to drive Alberta’s economy and these numbers are a very strong indicator of that."

An updated draft of the City Plan was also released today. That plan "includes bold recommendations on how we will grow and develop to a city of two million people." The update is scheduled to be presented to Urban Planning Committee on Sept. 17.

The most recent federal census, conducted in 2016, determined the population of the Edmonton metropolitan region to be 1,321,426 and the city itself to be 932,546.

The Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board’s Growth Plan projects a doubling of the regional population to 2.2 million people by 2044, "a significant transformation that will result in a complex metropolitan region requiring deliberate and determined collaboration and leadership."

"Over the past 40 years, the Region has doubled its population from 500,000 people to 1.2 million people, while tripling its urban development footprint from 22,260 hectares to 69,930 hectares," the plan says.

Calgary’s 2019 municipal census counted 1,285,711 residents as of April 2019, an increase of 1.45% over April 2018.

Full results of the 2019 Municipal Census are available at edmonton.ca and in the Open Data Catalogue. Edmonton’s next municipal census is scheduled for 2020, with another federal census scheduled for 2021.