Watch above: Here we grow again! Edmonton’s population is up more than 60,000 in the last two years. Vinesh Pratap finds out what the numbers mean.
EDMONTON – The municipal census shows Edmonton’s population has grown by more than 60,000 over the past two years, reaching a total of 877,926.
The latest census results shows a population increase of more than seven per cent since 2012.
“Looking at these numbers, it won’t be too long before we overtake Ottawa and become the fourth largest municipality in the country,” said Mayor Don Iveson.
“We’ll probably reach a million before the end of the decade, which is a big psychological milestone for us.”
Alberta’s capital also has one of the youngest populations in Canada, according to the census numbers. The largest single age group is 20 to 39-year-olds.
According to the city’s chief economist, those statistics put Edmonton in a good position.
“This is a population profile that any city would envy.”
“The significant growth in our working age population puts Edmonton in a very good labour-force position,” added John Rose. “The momentum of a growing population makes the city’s economy less vulnerable to external shocks. The census shows an increase in the number of young families, another major economic driver.”
Musician Paul Johnston recently moved to Edmonton.
“Coming here from Montreal, you feel like things could happen here. If you have an idea, people are willing to listen to it, and it might actually be doable.”
Daniel Martin is also new to Edmonton, moving here to take a job at MacEwan University.
“There seems to be markets everywhere throughout the city. There’s arts going on, the Fringe Festival, the Folk Fest. There seems to be a tremendous amount of energy all throughout the city.”
“Edmonton’s population growth indicates that we are a city of opportunity,” said Iveson. However, he admitted the growth also presents its set of challenges.
“Significant growth in the working-age population puts Edmonton in a good position for the long term. While our economic stability, educational opportunities and quality of life attract newcomers to Edmonton, we face pressure to manage our growth responsibly and effectively.”
Anticipating growth, the city has invested $9.3 billion in capital projects from 2004 to 2014, including recreation centres, LRT, and arterial roads.
Edmonton’s population is expected to top 2.1 million people in less than 50 years.