Survey of Financial Security (SFS)

The purpose of the survey is to collect information from a sample of Canadian households on their assets and debts. The Survey of Financial Security provides a comprehensive picture of the financial health of Canadians.

The results from the survey provide policymakers and academics with indicators to learn more about highly-indebted Canadians, the financial well-being of seniors, the prevalence of wealth inequality and the impact of these issues on our society. It also provides the public and non-governmental organizations with the opportunity to undertake their own research on wealth dynamics in Canada and keep governments accountable for their actions taken to help Canadians improve their financial well-being.

Your information may also be used by Statistics Canada for other statistical and research purposes.

Collection period:

From April 21 to August 30, 2023

Collection methods:

Electronic questionnaire, telephone interview, and personal interview

Survey participation:


Your participation in the Survey of Financial Security is voluntary. However, since each household can represent up to 1,200 similar households depending on the province, it is important that all the selected households participate. This ensures that accurate information is available.

For statistical reasons, we cannot replace your household with another one. Every household that does not participate reduces the amount of collected data.


Data are collected under the authority of the Statistics Act, Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985, Chapter S-19. Your information will be kept strictly confidential.

Data sharing agreements and record linkage

Record linkage

To enhance the data from this survey and to reduce the response burden, Statistics Canada will combine the information you provide with data from personal tax data. Statistics Canada may also combine the information you provide with data from other surveys or administrative sources.

Topics covered in the survey

The survey asks a variety of questions on assets, debts, employment, income and education. Information is collected on the value of all major financial and non-financial assets and on the money owing on mortgages, vehicles, credit cards, student loans and other debts.

Published data

Statistics Canada publishes the results of its surveys in many formats. To find all the documents related to this survey, follow the links below and type the name of the survey in the search engine located at the left of your screen to filter the results.

Data: You will find tables, profiles of a community or region, thematic maps, public use microdata files, and data visualization tools.

Analysis: You will have direct access to Stats in brief (e.g., releases from The Daily, fact sheets), articles and reports, and journals and periodicals.

Survey-specific questions

What is the purpose of this survey?

The purpose of the survey is to collect information from a sample of Canadian households on their assets, debts, employment, income and education. The SFS provides a comprehensive picture of the net worth (or financial health) of Canadians. Information is collected on the value of all major financial and non-financial assets and on the money owing on mortgages, vehicles, credit cards, student loans and other debts.

Who is surveyed?

About 39,500 households are surveyed across Canada.

How was my household selected to participate in this survey?

Your household was selected randomly for participation in this survey by Statistics Canada. Once a household has been selected, it cannot be replaced with another household because the survey sample would no longer be random. To ensure that the sample is an accurate reflection of the population as a whole, it is important that all selected households participate.

Is my information safe and private?

Yes, Statistics Canada takes the privacy of Canadians very seriously. All information collected is anonymized. It is never possible to connect data that is made public to you or to your household.

Statistics Canada uses state-of-the-art tools, software and processes that prevent disclosure and ensure the confidentiality and privacy of individual data. By law, Statistics Canada cannot hand over anyone's personal information – not to the police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Revenue Agency or even the courts.

All information collected is strictly protected. For more information, visit Statistics Canada's Trust Centre.

What can I expect during the survey?

The interviewer will ask you about the value or amount of assets and debts for all members of your household. The interviewer will never ask you for your social insurance number, the names of financial institutions you bank with, or any account details. While you may find using your financial statements helpful in answering the questions, you do not have to show any of these documents to the interviewer.

How long does it take to complete the questionnaire?

It will take approximately 25 to 45 minutes to complete the questionnaire.

Who uses this information? Why is it important?

Your responses will help to create accurate statistics about how households in all parts of Canada are adapting to economic changes. By taking part in this survey you are helping:

  • Social planning councils and welfare agencies use it to identify the needs of groups such as single parent families and seniors;
  • Federal, provincial and municipal governments use it to review and improve policies on earnings, employment insurance, social assistance and pensions;
  • Advocacy groups use it to assess the impact of changes in policies and programs.

When will the results be available?

The Survey results are scheduled to be released by mid-2024 on the Statistics Canada's web site (e.g. Daily, data tables, etc).

Where can I get more information about the survey?

For more information on the Survey of Financial Security, contact us.

Resources for respondents

For more information about this survey

Survey number 2620