The 2016 Census Program content consultation used a different approach than in the past: it focussed on the identification of essential topics and collected requirements on key data uses as a way of confirming information needs and priorities.

The consultations conducted in 2011 and 2012 yielded a wealth of information on Census Program data applications. The input will be examined in light of the new content determination framework and other factors.

The framework provides a balance between users' needs for relevant and quality data (Step 1), response burden and privacy considerations (Step 2) and Statistics Canada's operational considerations, costs, and quality and efficiency safeguards (Step 3). Qualitative testing and the quantitative Census Program Content Test are also important parts of the mix as they provide an opportunity to assess respondent's ability and willingness to respond to the content in the questionnaires, and to determine the impact of potential changes on data quality.

The feedback contributed during the two consultative processes attest to the need for all Census Program topics, to varying degrees. The uses collected confirm the importance of data for small areas and population groups, as well as a requirement for multivariate/multidimensional characteristics, comparability across Canada and continuity over time. A number of new data requirements and modifications were also brought forth. As with all consultation data, these suggestions will be studied carefully and shared with Statistics Canada socioeconomic statistical program areas.

The next steps in the planning process include continued internal evaluations on program requirements and operational considerations. Statistics Canada recommendations for 2016 Census Program content can only be finalized once the results from consultation in relation to the outcome of testing and these activities have been thoroughly analysed.

Although the formal content consultation period is concluded, Canadians are welcome to continue providing their ideas and suggestions.

Statistics Canada wishes to thank consultation participants for their contribution.

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