The City of Lacombe now has 14,258 people, up 273 from 2019, according to a recent census. (Black Press file photo)

The City of Lacombe now has 14,258 people, up 273 from 2019, according to a recent census. (Black Press file photo)

Lacombe’s population hits 14,258

Since 2019 273 more people calling Lacombe home

The City of Lacombe’s latest census shows 14,256 people call the city home.

That’s up 273 people from the last municipal census in 2019 when 13,985 residents were counted. That represents a two per cent increase in population over the last four years.

The last federal count, which is done every five years, counted 13,396 people in 2021.

“I would have thought, perhaps, it would be a little higher. I guess it is what it is,” said Coun. Reuben Konnik, who asked what the participation rate was in the municipal census.

Diane Piché, Lacombe’s corporate services director, said participation was 100 per cent.

“In 2019, we only missed one house,” said Piché. “The federal census is done differently.”

“I don’t recall the last time we had 100 per cent participation. That may be the first. That’s good to know that those numbers are, in fact, accurate,” said Mayor Grant Creasey.

Lacombe conducted its head count from April 4 to June 30, using city staff and externally hired enumerators.

Census data was compiled using software developed by the City of Airdrie. The software allows people to provide their household counts online or by speaking to enumerators at the door.

Lacombe uses census data to help assess community needs and direct future growth and development. Some grant funding is also received on a per-capita basis, so the new count will mean about $28,000 more coming the city’s way, raising per-capita grants to $1.46 million.

Federal censuses collect more information and the data is standardized among communities, which makes it a more detailed source of information for planning purposes, says the city.

Lacombe administrators and city council were skeptical of the federal numbers.

In 2021, 5,552 private dwellings were counted, yet only 5,194 were listed by enumerators as being private dwellings occupied by the usual residents. The 358 not counted were vacant, under construction or residents refused census takers.

By comparison, the city counted 6,218 private dwellings, including various forms of houses, secondary suites, multiplex suites, condominiums and apartments. From 2019 to 2022, another 317 new developments were built, bringing the number of private dwellings up to 6,535 by the city’s count.

Using StatsCan’s standard of 2.6 people per household, Lacombe’s population coud have topped 15,000.

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