Cochrane residents will be asked two basic questions in the town's first municipal census since 2019 that's being conducted from Apr. 2 to May 31.

Door hangers with a unique pin number and QR code will be delivered to each household and will only take moments to complete. The town simply wants to know how many people live in your home and how many are under the age of 18.

Brett Hawkin, manager of Legislative Services, says the town has resumed the practice of conducting a census following a decision by the provincial government in 2023 to once again utilize the data collected by municipalities. In 2020, it had decided to rely upon numbers from the federal census, which is only conducted every five years.

"Due to all the growth that's happening, we want to make sure we have an accurate reflection of the population," says Hawkin.

The last federal census in 2021 pegged Cochrane's population at 32,199. Since then, the town has been estimating the population. At the end of 2023, it was believed to about 35,024.

While it will work to the town's benefit when applying for provincial grants, the census has other tangible benefits. It will assist in planning for future social and infrastructure projects, like school sites or transit routes, explains Hawkin.

"It allows us to better meet specific needs of individual communities because if certain communities have more or less people than what we think, then we can tailor make services to make sure it is meeting the level of service that we require."

The data will be valuable for municipal emergency planning for fire, ambulance, and evacuations.

"It also helps us internally to clean up our accounting and our GIS systems so then we can have more accurate data when we have to hand it over to the provincial government, 911 services or anything like that."

People will be able to respond online by punching in their unique pin number or using the QR code on the door hanger. They will also be able to complete the census in person at either the town offices in the Cochrane RancheHouse and The Station.

To add some fun to the exercise, the town is adding the finishing touches to a guessing contest. A cool prize will be up for grabs for the person who comes closest to guessing the correct number.

"It's another way for people to get a little excited to be part of the census and have a little fun with it."

The town anticipates announcing the new official population sometime in July.

Enumerators are currently being recruited for the census. Those interested can email