History of Vital Statistics

1605 Priests enumerate 44 settlers in the colony of New France.

1608 Québec City is founded by Samuel de Champlain.

1617 Louis Hébert and his family, the first colonists, settle in Québec.

1665-66 Jean Talon enumerates 3,215 inhabitants in the first census of the colony of New France.

1847 The Census and Statistics Act of 1847 is passed, providing for a decennial census and the registration of births and deaths in the United Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada.

1851 The first decennial census is taken.

1864-1905 Legislation enforcing the registration of births, marriages and deaths with the civil authorities is passed by various provinces.

1867 The British North America Act creates the Dominion of Canada through the union of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

1871 The first census of the Dominion of Canada is conducted. Published results include the compilation of vital statistics on the French Roman Catholic population of Quebec from 1608 to 1871.

1879 The Dominion of Canada's first Census and Statistics Act provides for the decennial Census of 1881, and for the collection, abstraction and tabulation of vital, agricultural, commercial and other statistics.

1881 Census takers are required to take an oath of secrecy.

1898 An American Public Health Association meeting in Ottawa recommends the adoption of the International Classification of Causes of Death by registrars of Canada, the United States and Mexico.

1905 Canada's first permanent Census and Statistics office is established.

1915 The Office of the Dominion Statistician is created.

1918 The Statistics Act of 1918 is passed, creating the Dominion Bureau of Statistics.

1919 An Order-in-Council detailing the establishment of a national system of vital statistics is approved by the dominion government.

1921 The first detailed report on vital statistics is published by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, covering eight provinces.

1926 A national vital statistics report covering all of Canada (i.e., nine provinces plus the Yukon and Northwest Territories) is published.

1935 Improvements are made to registration techniques and procedures (e.g., revision of the medical certificate of death).

1941 The fifth revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-5) is adopted as the national mortality classification standard in Canada.

1944 National tabulations on births and deaths begin to be reported by place of residence, in addition to place of event. The impact of the proposed social legislation for family allowance is discussed at a special vital statistics meeting.

1945 The national scheme of Family Allowances is implemented on July 1.

1945 The original Dominion Provincial Agreement of 1918 is revised.

1945 The Vital Statistics Council of Canada is created.

1946 Record linkage is discussed at the Vital Statistics Council.

1946-47 Development of the National Index is discussed at the Vital Statistics Council's meetings.

1949 Uniform Vital Statistics (Model) Act is adopted. The principles found within this new Model Act then become the basis for provincial vital statistics legislation.

1949 Newfoundland enters Confederation, and statistics for that province are assumed by the national system of vital statistics.

1950 The sixth revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Injuries and Causes of Death (ICD-6) is adopted as the national mortality classification standard in Canada.

1956 First quinquennial census. Previously, censuses had been conducted every ten years since 1871.

1958 The seventh revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-7) is adopted as the national mortality classification standard in Canada.

1960 The Dominion Bureau of Statistics receives its first in house computer.

1965 The Standard Geographic Code (SGC) becomes the Bureau's standard geographical classification system.

1966 Canadian life tables are produced by computer for the first time.

1969 The eighth revision of the International Classification of Diseases-Adapted (ICDA-8) is adopted as the national mortality classification standard in Canada.

1969 The Divorce database is created at the Dominion Bureau of Statistics.

1971 The Statistics Act is revised.

1971 The Dominion Bureau of Statistics is renamed Statistics Canada.

1973 The United Nations publication, Principles and Recommendations for a Vital Statistics System, makes reference to Canada's national vital statistics.

1973 Vital Statistics Council meeting is held in Quebec City, starting the routine of holding every second annual meeting outside of Ottawa.

1973 Statement of Policy Governing Access to and Release of information from vital statistics records for research and statistical purposes was adopted by the Vital Statistics Council.

1974 Computerization leads to a major redesign of the vital statistics processing system at Statistics Canada.

1979 The ninth revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9) is implemented in Canada.

1980 Principles of vital statistics registration were discussed by the Vital Statistics Council.

1988 Creation of the National Health Information Council (NHIC).

1989 Health Division becomes the Canadian Centre for Health Information (CCHI) at Statistics Canada.

1989 Health Reports, a Statistics Canada Quarterly, is launched.

1990 National Health Information Council (NHIC) commissions a National Task Force on Health Information.

1993 Incorporation of the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).

1994 Canadian Centre for Health Information (CCHI) becomes the Health Statistics Division at Statistics Canada.

2003 Following provincial court rulings in 2003, vital statistics registries in Ontario and British Columbia started registering marriages of same-sex couples.

2004 Subsequent rulings by courts in Quebec, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador and the Yukon expanded the number of jurisdictions registering same-sex marriages.

2005 A court ruling in New Brunswick allowed same-sex marriages, a month before federal legislation legalized same-sex marriages across Canada, on July 20th, 2005.

2010 Marriages and divorces programs cancelled by Statistics Canada.

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