Gender and sexual diversity statistical metadata standards

Consultation objectives

In recent years, there has been an increase in public awareness and sensitivity in Canada towards the LGBTQ2+ communities. However, existing Canadian data and information on this subpopulation are limited. Statistics Canada is updating and developing new statistical metadata standards to better respond to the information needs of Canada's LGBTQ2+ communities. This consultation will ensure that Canadians have a say in the gender and sexual diversity statistical metadata standards.

Statistics Canada released new sex at birth and gender standards in April 2018 to better reflect how Canadians describe themselves. In order to ensure relevance and to be meaningful to the communities it is measuring, Statistics Canada is improving and refining its gender standard with expert and data user feedback. In addition, Statistics Canada is currently developing new sexual orientation and LGBTQ2+ status standards to support information needs about the LGBTQ2+ communities.

These standards are part of the statistical infrastructure that helps ensure diverse population groups are measured comparably across statistical programs. To provide information and insights on diverse population groups, data must first be collected in a standardized way to allow for meaningful comparisons. These standards will enable Statistics Canada to improve data collection, publication and analyses to support evidence-based policy planning and evaluation.

The next steps involve collecting feedback from the general public on (1) the proposed updates to the standard on gender of person and (2) the proposed new standards on sexual orientation and LGBTQ2+ status of person.

How to get involved

This consultation is now closed.

This consultation is open to all interested parties. Individuals and organizations are invited to review and provide feedback on the measure, definitions and classifications for the new standards: Participate in the consultation on gender and sexual diversity statistical metadata standards.

General feedback can be provided by email in English or French at All feedback must contain the name of the respondent(s) and the name of the organization (when respondents are proposing changes on behalf of an organization). Feedback that does not contain this information will not be included in the analysis of responses. Should additional information or clarification to the proposal be required, participants might be contacted.

Statistics Canada is committed to respecting the privacy of consultation participants. All personal information created, held or collected by the agency is protected by the Privacy Act. For more information on Statistics Canada's privacy policies, please consult the privacy notice.

Statistics Canada thanks all respondents for their interest and participation in this consultation on the update and the development of statistical metadata standards for gender and sexual diversity in Canada.

Closing date

This consultation is open from February 2, 2021 to March 12, 2021.