This guide provides you with an overview of the 2016 Census of Population long-form questionnaire. It explains how to complete the questionnaire, why we ask the questions, and why your participation is important. Information about how to answer the questions is available at: www.census.gc.ca
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To complete the questionnaire online:
- go to www.census.gc.ca and follow the link to the online questionnaire
- enter your secure access code and follow the step-by-step instructions.
To complete the questionnaire on paper:
- print clearly using CAPITAL LETTERS
- mark circles with an “X”.
Visit www.census.gc.ca or call the Census Help Line at 1-855-700-2016, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., or Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., if:
- you need help completing your questionnaire or want information about the census
- someone in your household would prefer to complete a separate questionnaire
- you need more than one questionnaire for your household
- you want a new questionnaire, or a questionnaire in French
- you want a copy of the questions in a language other than English or French.
For TTY (a telecommunications device for people who are deaf) service, call 1-866-753-7083.
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What is the Census?
The census provides a statistical portrait of the country and its people. In Canada, it is mandatory for all residents to participate in the census.
Statistics Canada has reinstated the mandatory long- form census in time for the 2016 Census of Population.
To expedite this change, Statistics Canada is providing respondents with the paper questionnaire originally designed for the National Household Survey (NHS), as the 2016 Census long-form questionnaire.
The long-form census will collect information on the demographic, social and economic situation of people across Canada, and the dwellings they live in.
In 2016, a sample of 25% of Canadian households will receive a long-form questionnaire. The other households will receive a short-form questionnaire.
Why is the Census of population program important?
Information from the census will be used by governments, businesses, associations, community organizations and many others to make important decisions for your community, your province or territory, and the entire country.
What happens to the information you provide?
The information you provide will be kept confidential, in accordance with the Statistics Act. Your information may be used by Statistics Canada in support of our other surveys or for analysis. No one outside of Statistics Canada can have access to information that identifies individuals.
The information you provide will help ensure that the 2016 Census accurately reflects Canada’s changing society. Your responses will ensure that your community has the information it needs for planning services such as child care, schooling, family services, housing, and skills training for employment.
Your participation is important. Please complete your questionnaire today
Why we ask the short-form questions
Step A – We need your telephone number to contact you in case there is information missing on your questionnaire. An email address provides an alternative method of communication with your household. We need your address, as well as your mailing address, to ensure that all dwellings are counted.
Steps B and C – These steps help you decide who should be included and who should not be included on your questionnaire. They help us ensure everyone we need to count is counted, and that no one is counted twice.
Step D – This step tells us if someone in your household operates a farm. It also ensures that we count all farms for the Census of Agriculture.
Step E – The spaces provided in Question 1 at the top of page 4 allow you to copy the names from step B.
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The information you provide throughout the questionnaire should reflect each person’s situation on May 10, 2016, unless the questions specify otherwise. This reference date ensures that the information collected in the questionnaire provides an accurate snapshot of Canada’s society at this point in time in our history.
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Basic population informationQuestions 2 to 6 provide information about the living arrangements of people in Canada, the family size, the number of children living with one parent or two parents, and the number of people who live alone. This information is used for planning social programs, such as Old Age Security and the Canada child tax benefit. It is also used by communities to plan a variety of services such as daycare centres, schools, police, fire protection and residences for senior citizens.
Questions 7 to 9 are used to provide a profile of the linguistic diversity of Canada’s population. This information is used to estimate the need for services in English and French, and to better understand the current status and the evolution of Canada’s various language groups.
Access to personal Census information 92 years after the Census
Question 10 provides each person with the opportunity to make an informed decision about what happens to his or her personal short-form information in 92 years. Consenting to the release of this information in 92 years will help future generations better understand the Canada of today, and will benefit historical, academic and genealogical research.
Why we ask the long-form questions
Some households have been selected to answer the Census of Population long-form questionnaire.
Complementing the data collected by the short-form questionnaire, the long-form questionnaire is designed to provide information about people in Canada based on their demographic, social and economic characteristics. This information is important for your community and is vital for planning services such as child care, schooling, family services, and skills training for employment.
Activities of daily living
Question 11 provides information on the number of people in Canada who have difficulties with their daily activities, and whose activities are reduced because of a long-term physical, mental or other health condition. This information is used to identify people who are likely to have a disability. Statistics Canada may then follow up with a more detailed survey.
Question 12 provides information on the diversity of Canada’s population, and tells us about movements of people within Canada and from other countries to Canada.
Question 13 provides the citizenship status of Canada’s population. The information is used to plan citizenship classes and programs.
Questions 14 and 15 provide information about immigrants and non-permanent residents in Canada, and the year people immigrated. This information is used to compare the situation of immigrants over time, to evaluate immigration and employment policies and programs, and to plan education, health and other services.
Question 16 is used to provide a profile of the linguistic diversity of Canada’s population. This information is used to better understand the current status and the evolution of Canada’s various language groups.
Question 17 provides information about ethnic and cultural diversity in Canada. This information is used by associations, agencies and researchers for activities such as health promotion, communications and marketing.
Questions 18, 20 and 21 provide information used by governments, including Aboriginal governments and organizations, to develop programs and services for Aboriginal peoples.
Question 19 tells us about the visible minority population in Canada. This information is required for programs under the Employment Equity Act, which promote equal opportunity for everyone.
Questions 22 and 23 tell us where residents of Canada are moving to and where they are moving from. This information is used to look at the characteristics of people who move, and to help identify the needs for housing, education, transportation and social services.
Place of birth of parents
Question 24 is used to assess the social and economic conditions of second-generation Canadians, and helps us understand Canada’s immigration history.
Questions 25 to 29 provide information on the education, training and recent school attendance of residents of Canada. Governments use this information to develop training and other programs to meet the changing needs of our workforce and of specific groups such as immigrants, Aboriginal peoples, and youth.
Labour market activities
Questions 30 to 41 and 45 to 47 provide information on Canada’s workforce, including the industries and occupations in which people work, as well as the language(s) used at work. Employment information is used to assess the economic conditions of communities and specific populations, such as Aboriginal peoples and immigrants. Industry and occupation information is used to forecast job opportunities.
Questions 42 to 44 tell us where people work and how they get to work. This information is used to assess commuting patterns, public transit needs and energy use.
Commuting information also helps to identify locations for new hospitals, schools, daycare and recreational facilities, and the need for roads and transit services.
Questions 48 and 49 provide information on expenses related to child care and support payments. Along with the information on income obtained from personal income tax and benefit records, these questions help provide more precise measures of disposable income.
Step F: Housing
Questions F1 to F10 provide information to develop housing communities and projects.
Information on the number of rooms and bedrooms in homes and on housing costs is used to assess the economic situation of families. Governments use this information to measure levels of crowding within households and to develop housing programs.
Information on the age of dwellings and the need for repairs is used by municipalities to develop neighbourhood improvement programs.
Step G: Access to personal NHS information 92 years after the NHS
Question G1 provides each person with the opportunity to make an informed decision about what happens to his or her personal long-form information in 92 years. Consenting to the release of this information in 92 years will help future generations better understand the Canada of today, and will benefit historical, academic and genealogical research.
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Your participation is important. Please complete your questionnaire today.
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