Red Deer census goes online
Red Deer’s head count is going virtual.
Starting on March 25, a census letter will be hand-delivered to every house in Red Deer.
In the letter there’s a PIN specific to each address that will allow residents to fill out questions on a secure website linked to the city’s site.
Residents will need that PIN to access the online census.
“When they enter that PIN along with their address, it will take them to an area where they are able to answer the questions,” said Erin Stuart, deputy city clerk. “That information is submitted to the city.”
The online census portion will be offered April 2 to 16.
Enumerators will start door knocking on houses that did not respond online on April 19.
“We are really encouraging people to go online and use the new tool,” said Stuart. “We’re really hoping for a significant show online.”
The city skipped the census in 2012 because a lower growth rate meant the process would not end up being cost neutral. In 2011, the city’s population was sitting at 91,877.
Stuart said they hope it will save the city some money and be more environmentally friendly but it’s difficult to gauge the benefits this year.
“We really encourage people to use the online portion,” said Stuart. “It’s really easy and convenient. We’ve tested it out within the office here. It’s a great way to save paper, reduce clutter and help the environment out.”
There are no additional questions this year. The city will ask the standard questions including the number of people living at the residence, the genders, year of birth and whether or not they are Canadian citizens.
The census conducted to help with infrastructure and program planning, determine grant funding and also provides useful demographic information to community agencies.
Last week the city put out a call for census takers and all the positions have been filled.