2021 Canadian census

The 2021 Canadian census is a current detailed enumeration of the Canadian population with a reference date of May 11, 2021.[1] It follows the 2016 Canadian census, which recorded a population of 35,151,728.[2] (For the history and other facts about the census in earlier years, see Census in Canada.)

2021 Canadian census

 2016 May 11, 2021 (2021-05-11) 2026  

General information


Consultation on census program content was from September 11 to December 8, 2017.[3] The census will be conducted by Statistics Canada, and will be contactless as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada.[4] The agency had considered delaying the census until 2022.[5]

About 900 supervisors and 31,000 field enumerators will be hired to conduct the door-to-door survey of individuals and households who have not completed the census questionnaire by late May or early June.[1] Canvassing agents will wear masks and maintain a physical distance to comply with COVID-19 safety regulations.[6]


In early May, Statistics Canada began sending mailings to households throughout Canada containing instructions for completing the census questionnaire.[7] The questionnaires could be completed by returning the paper questionnaire, or by phone or online by using an access code provided in the mailing.[7] Statistics Canada expects about 80% of households to complete the questionnaire online.[7] It is also available in large-print, braille, audio, and video formats.[8] The questionnaire questions are available in a number of immigrant languages (Arabic, simplified and traditional Chinese, Italian, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese) and indigenous languages (Atikamekw, Denesuline, Nunavik and Nunavut Inuktitut, Mohawk, Montagnais, Naskapi, Northern Quebec Cree, Ojibwe, Oji-Cree, Plains Cree, Swampy Cree, and Tłı̨chǫ), but the questionnaire must be completed in English or French.[8]

The standard short-form questionnaire will be completed by 75% of households.[7] The other 25% will complete a long-form questionnaire that collects data about the household's economic and social state, information about the occupied dwelling, and other data in addition to age, languages spoken, marital status, and other basic data collected in the short-form questionnaire.[7]

Those who complete the census questionnaire online can listen to a number of soundtracks on Spotify and YouTube prepared by Statistics Canada.[7]

Completing the questionnaire is a legal requirement, and those who refuse to do so may be fined up to $500.[7] It must be completed by citizens of Canada, permanent residents, refugee claimants, and those with a study or work permit.[9]

Data release schedule

The release dates for data by release topic from the 2021 Census are:[10]

  • February 9, 2022, for population and dwelling counts;
  • April 27, 2022, for age, sex at birth, and gender, type of dwelling;
  • July 13, 2022, for families, households, and marital status, Canadian military experience, and income;
  • August 17, 2022, for language;
  • September 21, 2022, for indigenous peoples, and housing;
  • October 26, 2022, for immigration, place of birth, and citizenship, ethnocultural and religious diversity, and mobility and migration; and
  • November 30, 2022, for education, labour, language of work, commuting and instruction in the official minority language.


Statistics Canada will link income and related information obtained from the Canada Revenue Agency, and immigration status obtained from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, to the census responses.[11]

The 2021 Canadian census includes new questions "critical to measuring equity, diversity and inclusivity".[7] For the first time, questions will ask about commuting methods and the census will count people of non-binary gender.

See also


  1. Jones, Ryan (April 4, 2021). "StatsCan says it's ready to conduct census despite pandemic's resurgence". CBC News. Retrieved April 4, 2021.
  2. "Census Profile, 2016 Census: Canada". Statistics Canada. August 25, 2017. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  3. "2021 Census of Population Content Consultation". Statistics Canada. September 6, 2017. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  4. Rabson, Mia (July 17, 2020). "StatsCan plans 'contactless' census for 2021 in response to COVID-19". CBC News. Retrieved April 4, 2021.
  5. Press, Jordan (March 8, 2021). "Statistics Canada considered delaying 2021 census over pandemic concerns". Global News. The Canadian Press. Retrieved April 4, 2021.
  6. "2021 census arriving amid pandemic". CBC News. May 4, 2021. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  7. Sandri, Emma (April 29, 2021). "'A sense of civic pride': People across Canada look forward to the 2021 census". National Post. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  8. "Frequently asked questions—Accessibility, alternate formats and non-official languages". Statistics Canada. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  9. Desjardins, Lynn (May 3, 2021). "In pandemic, Canadians urged to complete census online". Radio Canada International. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  10. "2021 Census Program release schedule". Statistics Canada. February 23, 2016. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  11. Feagan, Sean (February 4, 2021). "2021 census a few months away". Toronto Star. Retrieved April 4, 2021.