Airdrie's Census is complete and the city has released the census numbers
File Photo/Rocky View Publishing
The results are in and Airdrie is now home to 54,891 residents, according to the 2014 Census.
Sharon Pollyck, manager of Legislative Services, presented the results of the 2014 Census to Airdrie City council on Aug. 5.
The number of new residents amounts to a 10.76 per cent increase over 2013.
In addition, a total of 1,773 new dwellings have sprung up in Airdrie. This reflects a 9.73 per cent increase over 2013.
Mayor Peter Brown's initial reaction to the results was that it was “great news and not so great news with (the city) growing this quickly.”
Brown said he wasn't surprised by the increase in population given the number of construction projects and permits that had been issued.
“Did I think it would surpass 10 per cent? Probably not,” he said.
“There's great things that come with growth. There are great shopping opportunities. You see all these new commercial opportunities coming into Airdrie and the only reason it's here is because of our growth,” he added.
“Where it hits us the most is on service levels. Every time we grow we need more schools, we need more police officers, we need more fire engines. We're going to need an overpass or an underpass over one of our rail crossings sooner rather than later. Rush hour traffic is a little more challenging to get in and out of Airdrie.”
Pollyck indicated she was very pleased with the number of residents who completed the survey on the census website. Before the door-to-door census collection commenced on May 12, 49.56 per cent of residents had completed the census online. After the door-to-door collection began, a further 9.28 per cent, for a total of 58.84 per cent, visited the website to complete their census.
A total of 99.76 per cent of homeowners responded to the census. Only 47 homeowners did not respond to either the request to complete the survey online or to the door-to-door census collection.
Pollyck said completion of the census is important for the city for a variety of reasons. It helps with planning and development and provides the City with access to grants. Each person counted on the census amounts to $274 in grant revenue. Based on a population of 54,891, this equates to $1.4 million in increased revenue.
The greatest increases were seen in King's Heights (781 new residents), Windsong (669 new residents), and in Airdrie's downtown (559 new residents.) The greatest decrease was seen in Woodside where the neighbourhood lost 50 residents.
The average population per dwelling is now 2.74, up slightly from 2.72 in 2013.
Brenda Hume, executive director of North Rocky View Community Links, said her organization is definitely feeling the stress of all the new residents.
“For the fifth year in a row, Community Links has supported 22 per cent of Airdrie's population in some way,” she explained. “People are definitely accessing and needing additional supports. It is putting a strain on our workloads. Our waitlists for counseling are running between six and eight weeks.”
“We are continually trying to meet the current need, as well as anticipating what we'll need for future needs. It's a complex situation.”
The census was conducted from April 5 through June 30, at a total cost of $52,000.
The City was also able to provide access to the online census collection system to 20 municipalities for a fee, resulting in $140,000 in revenue.
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