Archived – Program 3: Censuses

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Program description

The program's purpose is to provide statistical information, analyses and services that measure changes in the Canadian population, demographic characteristics, and the agricultural sector. It serves as a basis for public and private decision making, research and analysis in areas of concern to the people of Canada. The program includes the Censuses of Population and Agriculture. The Census of Population provides detailed information on population sub-groups and for small geographical levels required to assess the effects of specifically targeted policy initiatives and serves as a foundation for other statistical surveys. Population counts and estimates are used in determining electoral boundaries, distribution of federal transfer payments, and the transfer and allocation of funds among regional and municipal governments, school boards and other locally-based agencies within provinces. The Census of Agriculture provides a comprehensive picture of the agriculture sector at the national, provincial and sub-provincial levels and is mandated by the Statistics Act. The program meets statistical requirements specified constitutionally, and supports those in statutory requirements and regulatory instruments. All per capita measures in fiscal policies and arrangements and other economic analysis, and in program and service planning, come from this program's statistical information.

Table 1 Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2014/2015 Main Estimates 2014/2015 Planned Spending 2015/2016 Planned Spending 2016/2017 Planned Spending
3,263,305 3,263,305 435,413 435,413
Table 2 Human Resources (Full-time Equivalents)
2014/2015 2015/2016 2016/2017
36 4 4

The decrease in planned spending from 2014/15 is a result of the reduction in reference levels for the 2011 Census Programs as they conclude. Funding for the 2016 programs will be finalized and announced in due course.

Table 3 Performance Measurement
Table summary
This table displays the results of Performance Measurement. The information is grouped by Program
Expected Results
(appearing as row headers), Performance Indicators, Targets and Date to be Achieved (appearing as column headers).
Program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Date to be Achieved
Government policy makers use the Census of Population and the Census of Agriculture to make informed decisions Percentage of intended key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) using the data regularly 100% March 31, 2015
Percentage of intended key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) satisfied with the data 80% March 31, 2015

Planning highlights

Please refer to Sub-program 3.1 and Sub-program 3.2 for planning highlights.

Planned activity: Continue planning for the 2016 Census of Population Program and the Census of Agriculture

In 2012/2013, the Agency completed an exhaustive review and evaluation of alternate models currently in use, or in development, elsewhere in the world for the conduct of censuses of population and agriculture. Having determined which models are viable in Canada, Statistics Canada developed recommendations and options, for consideration by the government, for the 2016 round of censuses. Decisions on the form of the 2016 Censuses will be taken and likely announced in late 2013/2014. Consultations with data users and stakeholders on questionnaire content options for the two censuses will also be completed in 2013/2014. Content and method options for the 2016 Censuses will be tested in late 2013 and early 2014, which will lead to submission of proposed content for approval by the government in 2014.

Specifically
2014/2015

  • Continue to prepare for, and conduct, operational tests of methods and processes for the 2016 censuses; analyse the results and complete the evaluations.
  • Incorporate lessons learned from the tests into the questionnaires, systems and processes for collection and processing, which will include contingency and risk-mitigation plans.
  • Initiate the development of operational infrastructure and materials.
  • Investigate how administrative sources could improve the quality and efficiency of the 2016 Census of Population Program or reduce respondent burden.
  • Continue to investigate how administrative sources and technologies, such as remote sensing, could improve the quality and efficiency of the agriculture statistics program, as well as the Census of Agriculture.
  • Continue ongoing address-listing operations to expand and update the Address Register.
  • Delineate collection areas and create maps.
  • Seek government approval of content of 2016 Census of Population Program.
  • Develop national and regional public communications strategies.
  • Acquisition of census facilities and fit-up.

Sub-program 3.1: Census of Population

Program description

This program plans, develops and implements all collection, data processing and dissemination of the periodic decennial and quinquennial censuses of population, Canada's national inventory of key socio-economic phenomena. The census provides a statistical portrait of Canada and its people. This program is the only reliable source of detailed data for small groups (such as lone-parent families, ethnic groups, industrial and occupational categories and immigrants) and for areas as small as a city neighbourhood or as large as the country itself. Because the Canadian census is collected every five years and the questions are similar, it is possible to compare changes that have occurred in the make-up of Canada's population over time. The census includes every person living in Canada on Census Day, as well as Canadians who are abroad, either on a military base, attached to a diplomatic mission, at sea or in port aboard Canadian-registered merchant vessels. Persons in Canada including those holding a temporary resident permit, study permit or work permit, and their dependents, are also part of the census. This program is mandated in many statutes and acts including the Statistics Act, Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act, Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Regulations, Canada Council for the Arts Act, Provincial Subsidies Act, Railway Relocation and Crossing Act, Industrial and Regional Development Act, Constitutional Amendments, Income Tax Regulations, Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security Act, and the War Veterans Allowance Act.

Table 4 Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2014/2015 Planned Spending 2015/2016 Planned Spending 2016/2017 Planned Spending
3,263,304 435,412 435,412
Table 5 Human Resources (Full-time Equivalents)
2014/2015 2015/2016 2016/2017
36 4 4
Table 6 Performance Measurement
Table summary
This table displays the results of Performance Measurement. The information is grouped by Sub-program
Expected Results (appearing as row headers), Performance Indicators, Targets and Date to be Achieved (appearing as column headers).
Sub-program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Date to be Achieved
Government policy makers use Census of Population data to make informed decisions Percentage of key policy makers that have been consulted to understand their evolving data needs 100% March 31, 2015
Percentage of major statistical outputs publicly released as planned 100% March 31, 2015
Percentage of intended key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) using the data regularly 100% March 31, 2015

Planning highlights

Decennial Census of Population data are constitutionally required for determining the number and boundaries of federal electoral districts. Determining electoral boundaries still depends on decennial Census of Population data; however, recent changes to the Constitution Act and the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act mean that determining the number of electoral seats among the provinces now depends on the population estimates program. The population estimates, in turn, depend on the results of a quinquennial census program.

Further, the demographic, social and economic data that the census program collects on the Canadian population are needed to meet the priority information needs of all levels of government and the private sector. The census program provides unique and essential data to support:

  • analysis of populations that are key targets of government policy (e.g., recent immigrants; visible minorities; Aboriginal people, including First Nations communities; ethnic, religious and language minorities; seniors; and youth)
  • provincial, territorial and local government planning and program delivery, by providing detailed small-area information to monitor progress on issues such as rural population decline, infrastructure investments by all levels of government and the changing make-up of neighbourhoods
  • Statistics Canada's ongoing household survey program
  • analysis of social and economic issues, such as the skills shortage and the integration and settlement of recent immigrants
  • federal legislation.

The Census of Population provides basic information on population and dwelling counts, which are the basis of the population estimates used in determining electoral boundaries, distributing federal transfer payments and transferring and allocating funds among regional and municipal governments, school boards and other local agencies within the provinces and territories. This data is supplemented by socio-economic characteristics provided by the complimentary survey, in 2011 called the National Household Survey.

Planned activity: Continue planning for the 2016 Census of Population Program

For the 2016 program, interim funding was required to plan, design, develop and test systems and processes before 2016 as well as to maintain essential infrastructure. Starting in 2013, Statistics Canada conducted a series of live tests to validate key planning assumptions, processes and systems. Options regarding the size and scope of the 2016 program were developed. Content and method options will be tested in late 2013 and in early 2014. Content options will be submitted to the government in 2014.

Specifically
2014/2015

  • Continue to prepare for, and conduct, operational tests, analyze the results and complete evaluation.
  • Incorporate lessons learned from the tests into the questionnaires, systems and processes for collection and processing, including development of contingencies and mitigation plans for risks.
  • Initiate the development of operational infrastructure and materials.
  • Continue ongoing address listing operations to expand and update the Address Register.
  • Delineate collection areas and create maps.
  • Seek government approval of content of 2016 Census of Population Program.
  • Develop national and regional public communications strategies.
  • Acquisition of all census facilities and fit-up.

Sub-program 3.2: Census of Agriculture

Program description

This program conducts the quinquennial Census of Agriculture, and produces and publishes economic series on the agriculture sector that flow to the System of National Accounts (SNA) to form the agriculture component of the gross domestic product (GDP) and thereby satisfy requirements of the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Regulations. Information from this program is used to improve the register of farms for the purpose of conducting surveys and censuses to ensure proper survey coverage using samples that are as small as statistically possible and thereby minimizing response burden. This program provides a comprehensive picture of the agriculture sector at the national, provincial and sub-provincial levels and is mandated by the Statistics Act. Small area and benchmarking data produced quinquennially from the Census of Agriculture are critical to industry structural analysis, crisis management, environmental programs, pesticide management, carbon credits, water-use planning and protection, rural development and traceability. No other comprehensive source of these data currently exists and coverage of farms of all sizes is important. In some sectors and regions, small farms are significant to the economy and data are required for policy and program development.

Table 7 Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2014/2015 Planned Spending 2015/2016 Planned Spending 2016/2017 Planned Spending
0 0 0
Table 8 Human Resources (Full-time Equivalents)
2014/2015 2015/2016 2016/2017
0 0 0
Table 9 Performance Measurement
Table summary
This table displays the results of Performance Measurement. The information is grouped by Sub-program
Expected Results (appearing as row headers), Performance Indicators, Targets and Date to be Achieved (appearing as column headers).
Sub-program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Date to be Achieved
Government policy makers use Census of Agriculture data to make informed decisions Percentage of key policy makers that have been consulted to understand their evolving data needs 100% March 31, 2015
Percentage of major statistical outputs publicly released as planned 100% March 31, 2015
Percentage of intended key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) using the data regularly 100% March 31, 2015

Planning highlights

The Census of Agriculture provides a comprehensive picture of the agriculture sector at the national, provincial, territorial and subprovincial levels, and is mandated by the Statistics Act. Economic data series derived from this census serve as a benchmark for the annual estimates required by the SNA to form the GDP agriculture component required by the Fiscal Arrangements Act.

Departments such as Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, Environment Canada, Health Canada, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada require agricultural data to support objectives contained in their respective legislation or regulations and to craft policies to meet their mandates. On an international level, Canada is a member of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN). FAO is primarily the organization through which the international agriculture commitments Canada makes are carried out, as with several recent G20 initiatives. The FAO requires each country to produce and share agricultural data. Canada also participates in several bi- and multi-lateral trade agreements. When these are drafted, they require sound agriculture statistics for continued participation in trade, and for settling trade disputes when they arise. The World Trade Organization Agreement on Agriculture requires Canada to adhere to certain standards for international trade, and identifies how trade disputes are handled. These standards require the use of agricultural data, particularly during trade disputes.

The Census of Agriculture is critical to developing and evaluating programs and policies related to food supply and safety, the environment, renewal, science and innovation as well as business risk management. It contributes both directly, with data, and indirectly by supporting the annual Agricultural Statistics Program. The Census of Agriculture provides a comprehensive source of data that is the foundation for the analysis of the agriculture and agri-food industry by federal and provincial departments.

Census of Agriculture data are used by provincial, territorial and municipal governments, local-level organizations and agencies (e.g., conservation authorities), farmers' associations (e.g., the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and the National Farmers Union), academics (e.g., sociologists, economists and agronomists), specialized agricultural media and the general media.

The publication, on November 27, 2013, of the results from the Census of Agriculture/National Household Survey linkage was the final major data release for the 2011 Census of Agriculture. Following extensive consultations on content for the 2016 Census of Agriculture during 2012/2013, several rounds of testing were conducted during 2013/2014. The planning for the 2016 cycle continued; progress was made on developing data processing and follow-up systems. Approval was then sought both for the approach and for final funding.

Planned activity: Continue planning for the 2016 Census of Agriculture

For the 2016 program, interim funding was required to plan, design, develop and test systems and processes before 2016 as well as to maintain essential infrastructure. Starting in 2013, Statistics Canada conducted a series of live tests to validate key planning assumptions, processes and systems. Options regarding the size and scope of the 2016 program were developed. Content and method options were tested in late 2013 and early 2014. Results will be incorporated into content options to be submitted to the government in 2014/2015.

Specifically
2014/2015

  • Complete the project planning for the 2016 Census of Agriculture.
  • Prepare and submit to the government the proposal for the content of the 2016 Census of Agriculture.
  • Continue development of processing and follow-up systems.
  • Prepare specifications and begin development of dissemination systems.
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