The 2021 census will soon be underway, to learn about Canadians and the places they live and work – as well as what they grow.
The purpose of the census is to give Canadians access to timely, relevant and quality information on Canada’s economy and society for debate, research and decision-making, according to Statistics Canada.
There are two censuses being conducted this year: the 2021 Census of Population and the 2021 Census of Agriculture.
Statistic Canada conducts a Census of Population census every five years. This year, the census will be conducted in May, and Statistics Canada is working on plans to deliver a “contactless census” if COVID-19 remains a threat.
The 2021 census obtains income information from personal income tax and benefit data files provided by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and, starting this year, immigration information (i.e., status, year of immigration) from administrative files from Immigration, Refugees and Citizen Canada (IRCC). This is done to reduce the burden on Canadians and improve data quality, according to Statistics Canada.
The 2021 Census of Agriculture is also being conducted to provide information about Canada’s producers and farmland. Its questionnaire features 74 questions about business structure, labour, equipment, technology and products (e.g., crops and livestock), among other topics.
All agricultural operations in Canada are legally required to complete the census questionnaire which provides nationally comparable data supporting complete farm analysis.
Population and dwelling counts will be released in early 2022, followed by several major census data releases later in that year. Agricultural information will start to be released in May 2022.
The 2016 census showed that while three in five Canadians live in Quebec and Ontario, Canadians are increasingly moving west. It also showed Canada having an increasingly urbanized populace, with 12.5 million living in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, out of about 35.2 million Canadians.
To help conduct the survey, Statistic Canada is currently hiring 32,000 Census enumerators, as well as crew leaders, across the country. Enumerators are responsible for door-to-door footwork, including collecting questionnaires, capturing addresses, dropping off letters, following up with respondents and shipping completed questionnaires. To be eligible, you must be 18 years or older and a Canadian citizen or eligible to work in Canada.
Sean Feagan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times