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Canada Census

Canada Census

Data source: Canada Census, 2016

Measurement, sampling and limitations

Every five years Statistics Canada carries out a census of the people of Canada. On May 10, 2016 a census was performed. All Canadian citizens and landed immigrants with a usual place of residence in Canada were counted. As well, non-permanent residents were counted. This includes: refugee claimants and their family living in Canada, as well as, permit holders (work or study permits) and members of their family living with them.

One member of each household is asked to complete the census in consultation with all other members of the household.

Respondents could complete the questionnaire in either French or English, or one of 11 Aboriginal languages or 11 immigrant languages.

Respondents completed the questionnaire either by mail or online. An increased number of households submitted their responses online, 68% of private dwellings.

Most were asked to complete the short-form of the census, but one-quarter were asked to complete the long form.  (This long form replaced the National Household Survey, the NHS, used the previous census.) Thus, most reported counts are based on the entire population, but some statistics such as unemployment rate or population by highest level of education, are based on this sample alone. The weighted response rate for the long form was quite high, 97%. This compares to the 2011 rate of 69% for the NHS.

Respondents were not asked for income information. Nevertheless, their financial information from their income tax return was retrieved by Statistics Canada and associated with their file using social insurance numbers.


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