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Canada 2016 Census

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Country  Canada
Percent change  1.7 Million or 5.0%
Most populous province/territory  Ontario (13,448,494)
Total population  35,151,728
Annual percent change  1.0%

Date taken  May 10, 2016 (official census day)

The Canada 2016 Census is a currently ongoing detailed enumeration of the Canadian population, ongoing as of May 2016. The census, to be conducted by Statistics Canada is Canada's seventh quinquennial census. Statistics Canada has identified May 10, 2016, as the official census day and census web access codes began arriving in the mail on May 2, 2016. The 2016 census marked the reinstatement of the mandatory long-form census, which had been dropped in favour of the voluntary National Household Survey for the 2011 census.


By its response rate of 98.4%, this census is said to be the best one ever recorded since 1666 census of New France.


Consultation with census data users, clients, stakeholders and other interested parties closed in November 2012. Qualitative content testing, which involved soliciting feedback regarding the questionnaire and tests responses to its questions, was scheduled for the fall of 2013, with more extensive testing occurring in May 2014. Statistics Canada was scheduled to submit its census content recommendations for review by the Parliament of Canada in December 2014 for subsequent final approval by the Cabinet of Canada.

On November 5, 2015, during the first Liberal caucus meeting after forming a majority government, the party announced that it would reinstate the mandatory long-form census, starting in 2016. By early January 2016, Statistics Canada had announced a need for 35,000 people to complete this survey to commence in May.


Portions of Canada's three territories and remote areas within Alberta, Labrador, Manitoba, Quebec and Saskatchewan were subject to early enumeration between February 1, 2016, and March 31, 2016. Enumeration of the balance of Canada began on May 2, 2016, with the unveiling of the online census questionnaire, eight days prior to the official census day of May 10, 2016. Because of a wildfire in early May in northeast Alberta, Statistics Canada suspended enumeration efforts in the Fort McMurray area with alternate means to collect data from its evacuated residents to be determined at a later date. Shortly after re-entry, residents were encouraged to complete their census form online or over the phone; however door-to-door enumeration continues to be suspended.

Public response

Non-binary activists expressed concern that the choice between "male" and "female" on the "sex" question left them with no valid options. In response, Statistics Canada stated that "Respondents who cannot select one category ... can leave the question blank and indicate, in the Comments section at the end of the questionnaire, the reason(s) for which they’ve chosen to leave this question unanswered." Statistics Canada stated that they intend to analyze these comments but that because of the technical difficulties of analyzing free-form text, this analysis will not be released on the same schedule as the binary gender data.


The 2016 population was found to be 35,151,728 (as compared with 33,476,688 in 2011).


Canada 2016 Census Wikipedia

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