by Colin Smith
April 1 is Census Day in Morinville.
Council approved the official date for its 2020 municipal census at its regular meeting Tuesday.
Enumeration will begin that day and carry on until June 30.
As in past censuses, the Town will be using a “hybrid” enumeration system, combining both online and door-to-door methods.
The online census will take place from April 1 to May 15, while door-to-door enumerating will go on from May 15 to June 30.
The cost of the census, $50,000, is included in the approved 2020 Operating Budget.
“Municipalities conduct a census to obtain a current, reliable population count which enables informed decision-making about delivery of services,” stated Town Legislative Officer Melodie Steele, who was appointed the 2020 Census Coordinator by Council.
Morinville’s most recent census was done in 2016. It resulted in an official population figure of 9,893. The census also highlighted the growth of the Town. There were 491 more residents that year than in 2014, a 5.23% increase.
Long-term census results showed a 16% population increase over five years and a 46% increase over 10 years.
Doing an online census is considered to cut administration and door-to-door enumeration costs, when combined with the use of electronic tablets by enumerators.
Direct entry of census responses through tablets reduces potential for error and increases data quality, as well as enabling real-time management of census operations.
It also makes the census virtually paperless.
The 2020 Census begins with a letter circulated to every home in Morinville. It will contain a personal identification number and a link to the census database.
Residents can then complete the census online, a process of only a couple of minutes, with the responses automatically transferred to a central census database.
Door-to-door interviews will only take place at those homes where the census has not been done online. Enumerators will use tablets to collect the information, which will go directly to the census database.