Census of Population

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Once every five years, the Census of Population provides a detailed and comprehensive statistical portrait of Canada and its population. The census is the only data source that provides consistent statistics for both small geographic areas and small population groups across Canada. Census information is central to planning at all levels. Whether starting a business, monitoring a government program, planning transportation needs or choosing the location for a school, Canadians use census data every day to inform their decisions.

By law, your household must complete a 2021 Census questionnaire. Your answers are collected under the authority of the Statistics Act and will be kept strictly confidential.

Statistics Canada employs a number of mechanisms to manage the response burden on Canadians by using existing administrative data sources such as immigration records and personal income tax and benefit data. For more information, please visit our website at About the census.

The information that you provide will be used by Statistics Canada for statistical purposes.

Collection periods:
From May 3 to July 29, 2021 for most collection operations (with some exceptions in April 2021 for Collective Dwellings enumeration)
Collection methods:
Electronic questionnaire, paper questionnaire (mail-out/mail-back), telephone interview and enumerator-led
Survey participation:
Mandatory under the Statistics Act
  • Block Information Confidentiality


    The Census of Population is mandated by law in the Constitution Act (1867) and the Statistics Act (1985) to determine the population of Canada and its' provinces and territories, every five years.

    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.

    By law, Statistics Canada is prohibited from releasing any information it collects that could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent, or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Statistics Canada will use the information from this survey for statistical purposes only.

  • Block Information on Record linkage

    Record linkage

    To enhance the data from this survey and reduce response burden, Statistics Canada will combine the information provided with data from immigration records, and personal income tax and benefit data. Statistics Canada may also combine the information provided with data from other surveys or administrative sources.

  • Block Information on Topics covered in the survey

    Topics covered in the survey

    The survey asks questions about

    • aboriginal peoples
    • commuting to work
    • education
    • training and learning
    • ethnic diversity and immigration
    • families
    • households and housing
    • income
    • pensions
    • spending and wealth
    • industries
    • labour
    • languages
    • occupations
    • population and demography
    • population estimates and projections
    • religion
    • society and community.
  • Block Information on Published data

    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.

  • For more information about this survey (questionnaires, definitions, data sources and methods used): survey number 3901
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