Reasons why the NHS questions are asked

Step A

We need your telephone number and address in case we need to contact you to clarify some of your answers. Statistics Canada may also use some of the answers from the National Household Survey to randomly select participants for other important surveys. Your address and phone number are confidential and will not be shared. No one outside of Statistics Canada can have access to any information that identifies an individual.

Steps B and C

These steps help you decide who you should include and who you should not include on your questionnaire.

Basic demographic information

Questions 2 to 6 provide information about the living arrangements of people in Canada, family size, the number of children living with one parent or two parents, and the number of people who live alone. This information is used for planning social programs. It is also used by communities to plan services such as daycare centres, schools and senior citizens' residences.

Activities of daily living

Questions 7 and 8 provide information on the number of people in Canada who have difficulties with daily activities, and whose activities are reduced because of a physical or mental condition or a health problem. This information is used to plan services relating to accessibility, support and health care.

Sociocultural information

Questions 9 to 22 provide a social and cultural profile of Canada's population.

Question 9 provides information on the diversity of Canada's population, and tells us about movements of people within Canada and from other countries to Canada.

Question 10 provides the citizenship status of Canada's population. The information is used to plan citizenship classes and programs.

Questions 11 and 12 provide the number of immigrants and non-permanent residents in Canada, and the year people immigrated. This information is used to compare the situation of immigrants over time, to evaluate immigration and employment policies and programs, and to plan education, health and other services.

Questions 13 to 16 are used to provide a profile of the linguistic diversity of Canada's population. This information is used to estimate the need for services in English and French and to better understand the current status and the evolution of Canada's various language groups.

Question 17 provides information about ethnic and cultural diversity in Canada. This information is used by associations, agencies and researchers for activities such as health promotion, communications and marketing.

Questions 18, 20 and 21 provide information used by governments, including Aboriginal governments and organisations, to develop programs and services for Aboriginal people.

Question 19 tells us about the visible minority population in Canada. This information is required for programs under the Employment Equity Act, which promote equal opportunity for everyone.

Question 22 helps measure religious affiliation and diversity. It is used to trace change in Canada's society. The information is also used to plan facilities and services within diverse communities.


Questions 23 and 24 tell us where residents of Canada are moving to and where they are moving from. This information is used to look at the characteristics of people who move, and to track the needs for housing, education, transportation and social services.

Place of birth of parents

Question 25 is used to assess the social and economic conditions of second-generation Canadians, and helps us understand Canada's immigration history.


Questions 27 to 33 tell us about the education, training and recent school attendance of residents of Canada. Governments use this information to develop training and other programs to meet the changing needs of our workforce and of specific groups such as immigrants, Aboriginal peoples, and youth.

Labour market activities

Questions 34 to 45 and 49 to 51 provide information on Canada's workforce including the industries and occupations in which they work, as well as the language used at work. Employment information is used to assess the economic conditions of communities and specific populations such as Aboriginal Peoples and immigrants. Industry and occupation information is used to forecast job opportunities.

Questions 46 to 48 tell us where people work and how they get to work. This information is used to assess commuting patterns, public transit needs and energy use.

Labour market information also helps to identify locations for new hospitals, schools, daycare and recreational facilities, and the need for roads and transit services.

Questions 52 and 53 provide information on expenses related to child care and support payments. Along with the information on income, these questions provide more precise measures of disposable income.

Income in 2010

Questions 54 and 55 provide statistics on income from all sources. Governments use these statistics to develop income support programs such as Old Age Security, provincial income supplements, and social assistance payments. Businesses use income statistics to locate stores, and to develop new products and services. Private and public sector researchers use information about earnings to study labour markets and industry patterns.

Step D

This step includes instructional information only.

Step E: Housing

Questions E1 to E10 provide information to develop housing communities and projects.

Information on the number of rooms and bedrooms in homes and on housing costs is used to assess the economic situation of families. Governments use this information to measure levels of crowding within households, and to develop housing programs.

Information on the age of dwellings and the need for repairs is used by municipalities to develop neighbourhood improvement programs.

Step F: Access to personal information 92 years after the 2011 National Household Survey

Question F1 ensures that each person is given the opportunity to make an informed decision about what happens to the personal information provided on the National Household Survey questionnaire. Only if you answer 'Yes' to this question will your 2011 NHS information be released in 92 years.

See also: Change or verify your response to the consent question on a National Household Survey questionnaire

Date modified: