Municipal census underway
Residents can go online for census or be enumerated in person in May
| Posted: Saturday, Apr 12, 2014 06:00 am
St. Albert residents: prepare to be counted.
’Tis the municipal census season and enumerators will hit the streets starting May 5 and continue until May 31.
But residents can help the city out and submit their information online until April 26. The online census survey was open as of April 7.
“We find it’s a cost-effective method of collecting the data from the residents,” said Mary Nordvedt, deputy city clerk and census manager.
The city started having an online census option in 2010, which got a 40 per cent response rate. That ticked up in 2012 to 44 per cent, and Nordvedt said they’re hopeful they might hit 50 per cent his year.
“We’re very pleased with the response rate and we encourage our residents to respond online because it is also a cost-saving measure for the city,” she said.
However, those who do not respond online will be counted in May when enumerators start.
This year’s census includes questions on the number of residents, their ages, employment status and locations, student status and locations, gender, whether or not the home is rented or owned and previous location of residence if in the current place for fewer than two years.
New this year is a question asking about the first language of each person in the household, Nordvedt said.
“We’re asking that question this year to basically determine the cultural diversity of our community,” she said.
It’s hoped the information gathered from that question will help serve two purposes: aid the schools in getting a sense of some of the cultural diversity in the community and show how the community’s demographics shift over time.
Several city departments use the municipal census data gathered every two years.
“This is very key data for us to determine trends in our community,” she said.
In addition to the information gathered, the city’s population can play a part in grant funding.
Nordvedt said there are a few different grants that have a per capita factor, like the policing grant, the library grant and others.
Those who’d like to fill out the census online can do so by heading to http://stalbert.ca/census then follow the links.
To fill out the census online, a unique access code is required. Nordvedt said those were mailed out April 4, so if a residence has not received one by the beginning of the week of April 14, contact legislative services at city hall for help getting a new one.