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County completes 2013 municipal census
July 9, 2013
Numbers show that more permanent and temporary residents rely on regional services
Lac La Biche, AB…Thanks to a municipal census conducted between mid-May to June 30, 2013, Lac La Biche County has confirmed that the population has grown. The local census shows that more people rely on services in the region than the numbers captured in Statistics Canada’s 2011 census.
The final population count for the County is 12,220, of which 9,094 are permanent residents and 3,126 are temporary residents. Statistics Canada’s 2011 numbers showed a population of 8,402 residents.
Census numbers matter because government grants are based on per-capita statistics and the population numbers help the County plan for future programs and services.
“We are very pleased with the results of this census,” says Mayor Aurel Langevin. “The significant difference from the federal numbers is good news for Lac La Biche County and may be reflected in future grant opportunities.”
County Council decided to conduct a local census following the release of the 2011 federal census, which showed a decrease in population between 2006 and 2011. However, County data determined an increase of private dwellings during that period, and after a request for review of the federal numbers was declined by Statistics Canada, County Council decided to proceed with the local census.
A unique feature of this census was the count of the shadow population. The County received approval from Alberta Municipal Affairs to count those people that live and work in the County for a minimum of 30 days within the census year. Counting these temporary residents was advantageous for the County, as it revealed that there are 582 people living in the populated region of the County and an additional 2,544 living in northern work camps. Lac La Biche County anticipates this number will increase in future years as camps currently under construction become occupied.
The census began with a volunteer mail-out to all households followed by census workers visiting home owners that did not respond to the mail survey. At the end of the census period, 99.5 per cent of households in the County were counted.
The findings of the census will be shared with Alberta Municipal Affairs for consideration.
To review the permanent resident counts by each County Ward, click here.
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