Census shows population down slightly

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July 31, 2015 8:15 AM

The 2015 municipal census is complete and the City of Lloydminster is starting its analysis.

So far it has been determined that, with 99 per cent of households responding, the population has dropped by 106 residents to 31,377, compared to 31,483 tallied in the 2013 census. Additionally, the number of residents on the Alberta side has dropped, while the number on the Saskatchewan side is up.

There are 19,740 residents on the Alberta side of the city and 11,637 on the Saskatchewan side. In 2013, these numbers were 20,011 and 11,472 respectively.

The number of Lloydminsterites who filled out the survey online has risen by three per cent to 40 per cent of respondents. This is the second year that residents have had an online option. When the report was presented during city council’s June 27 meeting, Coun. Larry Sauer challenged city administration to increase that number again in 2017.

“Every time we do the census it’s always a learning opportunity. We look forward to feedback from residents, feedback from our enumerator of how to get that information out there that you can compete it online,” said city clerk and legislative services general manager Amy Smart.

“There is definitely a cost savings. The more people that complete the census online, the less the enumerators have to go out, the less paper, the less followup overall, the less time that’s spent from administration’s point collecting that information. So we definitely encourage everybody to continue participating online as we move forward for future censuses ... 100 per cent online would be fantastic.”

The city uses census data to plan projects like residential zoning, roadways and school locations. Population data is also submitted to the Alberta government, which takes the findings into account and provides funding based on population.

See “Census,” Page 14

Although the number of residents has declined, city treasurer Nicole Reiniger says the population findings in the municipal census do not directly correlate to a significant, immediate impact in provincial grant funding, but there is the possibility of long-term risk if the decrease in population were to continue.

In 2013, Lloydminster received over $7 million from Alberta, at approximately $250 per person. By comparison, the cost of the census that year was almost $50,000.

The city budgeted $60,655 for the 2015 census, but due to efficiencies, such as the number of respondents who chose to complete the questionnaire online, the census came in under budget at approximately $46,049.00, with a total savings of around $14,600.

“So far all we’ve really analyzed is the population,” Smart said. “The planning department has all of our raw data and they’re in the process of going through and compiling that to see what it looks like. Their hope is to have something out in the fall similar to what our neighbourhood profiles were after the last census.”

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