Nearly one-third of Edmonton households complete online census

Nearly one third of Edmonton households participated in the first ever online census, exceeding the City’s expectations, officials said.

About 30 per cent of Edmonton households participate in inaugural online survey, officials said.

For the first time, Edmontonians were able to fill out their municipal census information using an online survey. (CBC News)

Nearly one third of Edmonton households participated in the City of Edmonton's inaugural online census, exceeding expectations, officials said.

Laura Kennedy, director of elections and census services for the City of Edmonton, had anticipated 25 per cent of Edmonton households would participate in the survey. She was pleasantly surprised to find out 106,949 Edmonton households opted to fill in the online civic census, or approximately 30 per cent.

The survey opened on April 10 and closed on Sunday.

The Oliver neighbourhood led the way in terms of participation, with 3,330 households filling out the online survey. Downtown had 2,319 households participate, followed by Rutherford (1,502), Strathcona (1,390) and Garneau (1,196).

Kennedy expects the city to benefit from some cost savings thanks to the online census but exactly how much money was saved won’t be known until later in the year.

The city decided to try out the online census - a change from the typical door-to-door data collection - after many Edmontonians suggested they wanted to complete the survey at their own convenience, said Kennedy.

Kennedy hopes online census is here to stay. She says the digital survey allows the city to collect additional information the traditional door-to-door census doesn’t.

“We were able to have an open question where they could provide us with other options for how they wanted the city to contact them,” said Kennedy. “That is an option we can’t do on the streets when we door knock.”

City officials will begin conducting door-to-door data collection on May 10.

“We need the census not only for population based grants from other levels of government but also for planning purposes,” said Kennedy. “The city, as well as businesses thinking about coming to the city, use this information to inform their decisions.”