By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Population has grown 26.5 per cent over the past five years according to federal census data released Feb. 8. Morinville’s population is recorded as 8,569 residents in 2011, an increase of 1,794 residents from the 6,775 recorded in the 2006 federal census.
The figures are not far off those of Morinville’s own census, conducted in the spring of 2011, concurrent with the federal census. Morinville’s own survey revealed 8,504 residents. The Town had conducted its own census because each resident carries with them approximately $325 in federal and provincial per capita grant monies.
Stats Canada’s census shows there were 3,261 private dwellings in Morinville in 2011, 3,078 of which were occupied. Morinville’s population density per square kilometre was 755.6 people.
Other communities show slower growth
While Morinville has seen its population increase by 26.5 per cent in five years according to the federal census and by 11 per cent in just two years according to the municipality’s own census, other municipalities in the region did not experience the same large increases.
Gibbons population also experienced some strong growth, rising from 2,642 residents in 2006 to 3,030 residents in 2011 for a five-year population growth rate of 14.7 per cent. Sturgeon County’s population rose by 5.5 per cent in the municipal district in the same period, rising from 18,566 in 2006 to 19,578 in 2011. St. Albert, Morinville’s neighbour to the south, experienced a 6.4 per cent growth rate from 57,764 residents in 2006 to 61,466 residents in 2011. Legal experienced a 2.8 per cent increase in population from 1,192 residents in 2006 to 1,225 in 2011.
Although many neighbouring communities experienced low to modest growth, Bon Accord actually experienced a 3 per cent decrease in its population over the past five years, falling from 1,534 residents in 2006 to just 1,488 in 2011.
New figures will benefit communities
In June, after Morinville’s municipal census figures were revealed, Morinville’s Chief Financial Officer Andy Isbister said each resident represents approximately $325 in grant funding. That figure includes $60 per resident for basic municipal transportation funding, $175 for Municipal Sustainability Initiatives and $20 for Family and Community Support Services. Additionally, the Town receives funding for policing, library services and capital infrastructure through the Federal Gas Tax program on a per head basis.
With the new federal census figures released, Morinville can anticipate approximately $2,784,000 in grant revenues in coming years.