Canadians' overwhelming response enables 'best ever' Census in 2016

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August 29, 2016

OTTAWA — The willing participation of Canadians has enabled Statistics Canada to achieve the 'best Census ever,' the agency announced today.

"The 2016 Census will provide high-quality information for virtually all communities across Canada," said Chief Statistician Wayne R. Smith. "We thank Canadians for making this the best census since 1666."

The overall collection response rate of 98.4 per cent for the 2016 Census of Population is higher than for both the 2011 and 2006 Census programs.

Canadians' response to the 2016 long form was simply outstanding. In 2016, the collection response rate for the long form was 97.8 per cent, the best ever recorded. This response rate will enable the provision of high-quality information for virtually all communities.

The 2016 Census also stood out in two other regards: self-response and Internet response. Almost 9 in 10 Canadian households completed their long or short form questionnaire without any assistance from Statistics Canada staff. The rate of 88.8 per cent makes this the most efficient among traditional censuses conducted in the world.

Response rates to individual questions are also high and very uniform throughout the questionnaire, further improving data quality.

As for the Internet response, Canadians delivered a gold medal performance with an Internet response rate of 68.3 per cent, surpassing the ambitious initial objective of 65 per cent and setting yet again another world record.

High rates of self-response and Internet response contribute to both the efficiency of data collection and exceptional data quality.

Statistics Canada will now turn its focus to providing high quality Census information. An accelerated release schedule is planned to provide Canadians with results in a more timely fashion than for any previous census. First results from the 2016 Census will be published on February 8, 2017, with the release of data on population and dwelling counts.

As well, Statistics Canada continues to plan for future censuses. Consultations on census content for 2021 will take place in 2017. The agency will seek to further refine collection processes, with a view to ensuring the 2021 Census continues to improve inclusiveness, data quality and efficiency.

For more information, contact Media Relations at 613-951-4636 or

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