With the city-wide census set to begin next month, city officials told council that there is an added benefit to residents completing the census which goes beyond gathering vital statistics on city growth that allows the City to better plan for its future; there's also a financial component. 

City Council received a presentation from Tammy Belsham of Legislative Services, enumerating what participation in the census may mean for city funding.  

"As the funding model and calculation method have changed since the last time the City conducted a census under a provincial regulation in 2019, the 2019 municipal census generated approximately $325 per capita in additional provincial grant funding and Administration would expect a similar amount under the new census regulation," a council agenda report stated.

The report added that, 'municipal census data will be collected electronically. After the repeal of the Determination of Population Regulation in 2019, the 2024 census year will see the return of a Municipal Census Regulation.'

"This is important as municipalities experiencing high population growth, such as the City of Airdrie, may now qualify for additional funding through provincial grants based on population count," city documents stated.

The census will begin on April 1 and run till May 16.

"Each household in Airdrie will receive a unique Secure Access Code (SAC) between April 1 and April 8. In 2023, 66 per cent of residents responded online. Administration is anticipating online responses to be higher in 2024. Residents will be encouraged to reply to the census questions online before the door-to-door collection begins on April 17."

This year, residents will be asked the following:

  • The usual number of residents in the household.
  • The age and gender of each of the residents in the household.
  • Whether the resident rents or owns the dwelling.

Between April 17 to May 16, a census enumerator will follow up personally at residences for which responses have not been received to collect the information being asked in the census.

Councillor Tina Petrow also queried Belsham whether there were added safety protocols in place for census enumerators, citing that there had been problems last year.

"We always working with communications and we're trying to [get out] good messaging to the public about why it's important to collect this information and being clear with the questions that we're going to be asking," she said. "We are trying to stress the importance and ensure people, we're not trying to intrude on your privacy - it's all anonymous - we're not collecting anything that is going to intrude on anybody's privacy or rights."

The population of Airdrie as of April 1, 2023, was 80,649 and reflected an increase of 14.29 per cent over the last census in 2019. City estimates show that in 2024, there may be more growth, with Airdrie adding over 3,000 more residents, signalling an approximate 4 per cent growth. 

Send your news tips, story ideas, pictures, and videos to news@discoverairdrie.com. You can also message and follow us on Twitter: @AIR1061FM

DiscoverAirdrie encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the DiscoverAirdrie app. For breaking news, weather and contest alerts click here.