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Edmonton population grows by 2.5% but fewer people completed census

Edmonton’s population expanding despite economic slump
WATCH ABOVE: The numbers are in and Edmonton's population continues to grow. Growth has slowed since 2014 but as Kent Morrison reports, it looks like Alberta's capital continues to be somewhat protected from the economic hardship being felt elsewhere in the province.

The latest census shows Edmonton’s population grew by 2.5 per cent between 2014 and 2016 to reach 899,447.

“The impact of the recent economic slowdown and higher unemployment in Alberta and Edmonton is evident in the stable population growth figures recorded over the past two years,” Edmonton’s chief economist John Rose said.

The 2016 census revealed 33,224 Edmonton residents – or 3.7 per cent – listed themselves as unemployed.

Rose predicted the next two years will see the unemployment rate decrease.

Census results showed continued growth in developing neighbourhoods, especially those in the south, including Windermere, Chappelle, Laurel and Walker.

“While growth is occurring in developing neighbourhoods, we also want to encourage density in mature and core neighbourhoods to ensure efficient use of infrastructure,” city planner Peter Ohm said, adding Edmonton is planning sustainable infrastructure for all neighbourhoods.

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READ MORE: Edmonton’s population climbs to 877,926 in 2014 census 

The mayor said, as the region grows, it puts pressure on the city to use land wisely and plan infrastructure smartly.

“Although we saw more moderate growth these past two years, Edmonton’s population has increased by 117,000 since 2009,” Don Iveson said. “We need to work together and leverage our resources as well as those of the provincial and federal governments to ensure an ongoing strong and growing region, one that continues to attract and retain people and investments.”

Iveson said participation rates for the 2016 census were down. He stressed how important it is that Edmonton residents complete the census, explaining it translates to about $300 per person.

For more detailed city-wide census results, visit the city’s website.