Census 2016: It’s Not Too Late!


Why is the census important? 

  • The census collects demographic information on every man, woman and child living in Canada. 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.
  • Census information is important for your community and is used in planning services such as schools, public transportation, senior housing and police and fire services.
  • Population estimates obtained from the census are used to allocate transfer payments from the federal government to the provinces and territories, and from the provinces to municipalities.
  • The census data is used to inform decision-making for funding decisions that impact all the programs and services we offer to our participants.

In case your participants come to you with questions or concerns about completing their census forms, particularly if they are not fluent in English, here is the link to both the Census factsheet and the Census questions (short form and long form) translated into eleven different languages.

The Census homepage also has useful information for people to identify at what residence they should be enumerated (often a challenge for young people in transient accommodation) and who should be included in the census (it includes Canadian citizens, landed immigrants, people on work or study permits, people with refugee status, sons and daughters who are studying but return home to their parents address, people who were staying at an address overnight between May 9/May10 and who have no usual place of residence elsewhere in Canada, etc.).

To complete the census online, go to www.census.gc.ca. Enter your 16-digit secure access code and follow the instructions.If you received a census letter, your secure access code is located at top of the page.If you received a paper census questionnaire, your secure access code is located at the top right corner of the first page.

Alternatively, you can complete a paper copy and return it in the green envelope accompanying the questionnaire.

For more information and help, visit www.census.gc.ca or call 1-855-700-2016. [Respondents who use TTY (a telecommunications device for people who are hearing impaired) can call 1-866-753-7083.] These numbers can be used:

  • If you did not receive a census form, or if you are living in a secondary suite and the household only received one form, in which you were not included.
  • If you received a computer access code, but would prefer to receive a paper form.
  • If you would like to have an enumerator who speaks your first language contact you by phone to complete your census.

If you received a letter with an access code, or a census form was left at your address, and you have not yet completed it, enumerators will contact you by phone, mail, or at the door to assist you in completing your census, which is required by law.

That means that, come May 31, enumerators will be out in full force knocking on doors across the country for those who have not yet completed their questionnaire. While about 54 per cent of Canadians complete their census questionnaires online, many others choose to mail in paper copies and a small portion answer questions with an enumerator at the door.

To confirm the identity of the enumerator at your door, follow these three steps:

  • Check for an identification card. Every enumerator will have an ID that features the Statistics Canada image, along with his or her name, employment number and photo.
  • Only let enumerators inside your home if you feel comfortable doing so. No one is required to let an enumerator into their home. Remember to ask for ID first. If you have concerns, you can call the Census Help Line at 1-855-700-2016 to verify an enumerator’s identity, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends. The help line offers services in many languages.
  • Be prepared for a possible follow-up call. If a telephone follow-up call to a particular household is necessary, the enumerator will identify himself or herself clearly over the phone. If you are uncomfortable, call the help line for assistance.

Although some Canadians may be reluctant to answer the door for an enumerator, it is mandatory for all Canadians to complete the census. The information collected is completely confidential and secure, and your identity will never be shared with anyone.

Census information is translated into data that are used to drive improvements to every aspect of our society and economy, from roads and infrastructure to programs and services for all Canadians.