Online response rate to census questionnaire hits new high, Statistics Canada says

·1 min read

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says about 84 per cent of completed census questionnaires were filled out online.

The agency beat its goal to of having 80 per cent of census questionnaires completed online — an option made available for the first time to all regions of the country.

Having more online responses makes life easier for agency analysts, and safer for workers who will have fewer paper replied to input manually at a processing centre in the National Capital Region.

The national response rate to the census was 98 per cent, while the response to the long-form questionnaire was about 97 per cent, both of which were down ever so slightly from the last census cycle in 2016.

The agency plans the first of seven major releases to happen in February when it details population and dwelling counts, and more releases on other themes and findings in the census data are also being considered.

The census, which takes place once every five years, provides a detailed look at Canadians that leaves a wealth of information for demographers on how the country is changing.

For policy-makers, the census provides a foundation for local decisions on where to build new schools and hospitals, and how much the federal government sends to provinces and territories in transfers payments to pay for health-care systems.

Chief statistician Anil Arora says in a statement that information from the 2021 census will be particularly crucial to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 18, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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