Federal electoral district (FED)

Part A - Short definition:

Area represented by a Member of Parliament (MP) elected to the House of Commons.

Part B - Detailed definition:

A federal electoral district (FED) is an area represented by a member of the House of Commons. The federal electoral district boundaries used for the 2011 Census are based on the 2003 Representation Order.

Census years:

2011, 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986, 1981, 1976, 1971, 1966, 1961


Following the release of population counts from each decennial census, the Chief Electoral Officer determines the number of seats in the House of Commons and publishes the information in the Canada Gazette. Electoral boundaries commissions then determine the adjustments to the constituency boundaries. Based on reports from these commissions, the Chief Electoral Officer prepares a representation order (RO) that describes the boundaries and specifies the name and the population of each federal electoral district (FED).

The representation order is in force on the first dissolution of Parliament that occurs at least one year after its proclamation. The 2003 Representation Order (proclaimed on August 25, 2003) was based on 2001 Census population counts, and increased the number of FEDs to 308, up from 301 for the previous 1996 Representation Order. Ontario received three additional seats, while Alberta and British Columbia each gained two seats. The names of FEDs may change at any time through an Act of Parliament.

The FED boundaries and names used for the 2011 Census reflect those in effect on January 1, 2011 (the geographic reference date for the 2011 Census of Canada).

Each federal electoral district is assigned a three-digit code. In order to uniquely identify each FED in Canada, the two-digit province/territory code (PR) must precede the FED code. For example:

PR-FED code FED name
46 009 Saint Boniface (Man.)
59 009 Fleetwood – Port Kells (B.C.)

Table 1 in the Introduction shows the number of federal electoral districts (2003 Representation Order) by province and territory.

Changes prior to the current census:

The 2006 Census was taken according to the 2003 Representation Order.

The 2001 Census was taken according to the 1996 Representation Order.

The 1996 and 1991 Censuses were taken according to the 1987 Representation Order.

The 1986 and 1981 Censuses were taken according to the 1976 Representation Order.

The 1976 and 1971 Censuses were taken according to the 1966 Representation Order.

The 1966 and 1961 Censuses were taken according to the 1952 Representation Order.