Calgary's Population in 1906 vs 1911
Elizabeth Rodier posed an interesting comment in an e-mail to me yesterday. She’s looking at some of the 1911 census images for Calgary pages and notes that the population must have grown substantially.
Well – to a demographer like me, that’s just a challenge to support/deny her comment! And, since there may be broader interest, here’s some demographic stuff for all:
1. Population change over time in Canada
To really get a hang of “population aging” or the impact of the baby boom, you need to view a “population pyramid”. It’s a two-sided graphical chart (males left; females right generally) of population numbers that has the population size plotted against the bottom and the age groups up the middle.
Statistics Canada (yeah – I know many view them as the devil, but they do work-to-death the data that they collect and honestly try to use it to inform Canadian policy decisions – the secondary role of the census after political representation of the population) has posted an animated view of the Canadian population pyramid at: http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/products/analytic/companion/age/cda01pymd.cfm
Bit by bit, this animation shows the growth of population in Canada , the relative sizes of the age groups and how the baby boom presses its way through the ages. Demographers often liken the baby boom movement as watching a mouse being swallowed whole by a snake and watching it pass through the length of the snake’s body.
If you watch the animation, you’ll see that it concludes in 2001. And, in that year, you’ll see that at about age 55, the width of the blue/red areas increase dramatically – that’s the start of the baby boom. Then it drops off substantially at the late 30s ages. That’s the end of the boom.
The Baby bust is the years after that where the volume of population is markedly decreased – bottoming out in the late 20 ages.
You may also have heard of the Baby Boomlet. That refers to the population surge (growth) that happened when the baby boomers were having children. It’s not nearly as pronounced, but you can see it at about age 22 and lower. It’s a little harder to “read” on such a graph, because there’s always an influx of immigration in the 20-29 age group as well. That’s the decade generally when persons have most to gain and least to lose (socially, economically, etc.) from emigrating/immigrating (or moving from one city to another for that matter).
2. Alberta ’s population
Alberta’s animated population pyramid: www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/products/analytic/companion/age/ab01pymd.cfm
Alberta hasn’t been as affected by the baby boom / bust / boomlet experience because we keep adding population by immigration (and in-movement from other provinces) in a way that stabilizes our population age distribution.
For a population density map of western Canada – you can zoom into Calgary – see http://atlas.gc.ca/site/english/maps/archives/2ndedition/peopleandsociety/population/page29_30
3. Calgary ’s population
I haven’t been able to find a parallel animated pyramid for Calgary , But Max Foran’s book ( Calgary : an Illustrated history) appears online. You can look at a scanned page at http://www.nosracines.ca/f/viewpage.asp?ID=862924&size=2 to see that the Calgary population skyrocketed from 4,398 in 1901 to 11,967 in 1906 (173% increase!) and to 43,704 in 1911 (another 265% increase!).
Or for a more comprehensive view, see this one-page population history that’s current to 2005 as well: www.altapop.ca/cities/calga.pdf
So, if you thought it took a lot of work and time to transcribe the Calgary census data…
4. Occupations in 1911, Canada
The following table is taken directly from a StatCan webpage (www.statcan.ca/english/edu/power/ch1/examples/examples.htm). Unfortunately, it is only a selected set of occupations – not all reported occupations. I suspect that “farmers” would be the largest category. But, that would be reported completely in a print publication by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics (precursor of Statistics Canada) available at the U of C government publications library shelves.
This is a table of statistical information about the types of occupations available in Canada in the last century. It shows the number of Canadians who had particular occupations at the time of the 1911 Census. Note how some occupations were referred to at that time!
Selected occupations, Canada: 1911 Census
Bridge and gate tenders
Launderers and laundresses
Coachmen and grooms
Sailors and seamen
Stenographers and typists
Actors and theatrical employees
Musicians and teachers of music
Hucksters and peddlers
1906 & 1911 Census of Canada Transcription Project, AFHS
Alberta Family Histories Society
Library & Archives Coordinator, MHSA
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Does anyone have a 1911 street map showing east Calgary? Some of the 1911
street addresses do not match up with modern Calgary maps or my 1891 rolled
Statistics are interesting but I was thinking of the simple increase in
number of sub-districts for "downtown" Calgary census from 4 to many. There
was a big increase in land area of Calgary after 1906.
Small homes on large downtown Calgary lots with a few cows and horses were
replaced by larger homes, businesses and rooming houses with many boarders.
Some of the street names and house numbers changed after the publication of
early city directories. Sub-district 54 starts off with a hotel that appears
to have the address 931-12 St. E which might be near the present 12th Street
entrance to the Calgary zoo.
The side of the street will make a difference to the census sub-districts
which are divided by BLOCKS. Thus #54 is the south side of 9th Ave and east
of the Elbow River. Most of Calgary had named streets & avenues on the 1891
map with the block numbers.
14th Street and 17th Avenue SW intersection manhole is still a marker for
survey references according to a retired street construction engineer. That
was the SW corner of Calgary in 1906. Bow River was the north edge of the
city in 1906. Remember what a time we had finding names of those who lived
north of the Bow River in 1906? -- Elizabeth