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2006 (1/5 sample), 2001 (1/5 sample), 1996 (1/5 sample), 1991 (1/5 sample), 1986 (1/5 sample), 1981 (1/5 sample), 1971 (1/3 sample)
Total population, excluding institutional residents
Direct variable: Question 17
Respondents were asked to specify as many ancestries as applicable. Four write-in spaces were provided.
The following instructions were provided to respondents in the 2006 Census Guide:
Comparability of the ethnic origin data from the 2006 Census with previous censuses has been affected by several factors, including changes in the question format, wording, examples, instructions and data processing, as well as by the social environment at the time of the census. Changes in Aboriginal participation in the census over time also result in comparability issues.
There are different ways to define the Aboriginal population in Canada. The 2006 Census also provides information on persons who self-identified with an Aboriginal group. Depending on the application, data on either identity or ethnic origin/ancestry may be appropriate for defining the Aboriginal population. (See 'Aboriginal identity'.)