Guide to the Census of Population, 2016

Release date: February 8, 2017 Updated on: September 13, 2017

This reference document provides an overview of the Census of Population content determination, collection, processing, data quality assessment and data dissemination. It may be useful to both new and experienced users who wish to familiarize themselves with and find specific information about the 2016 Census.

Table of contents

Chapter 1 – Introduction

General information
Why does Statistics Canada conduct the Census of Population?
Why is the census in May?
Privacy and confidentiality
Consent to release personal information
Retention of census information
Official languages
Third languages / alternative formats

Chapter 2 – Census history

Chapter 3 – Communications

Key activities
Advertising
Outreach
Public relations
Media relations
Chapter 3Social media
Aboriginal strategy
Census website

Chapter 4 – Content determination

How are the census questions determined?
May 2014 Content Test
Changes to the 2016 Census questionnaire

Chapter 5 – Census of Population questionnaires

Forms used to enumerate usual residents of private dwellings
Forms used to enumerate usual residents of collective dwellings
Accessibility

Chapter 6 – Online questionnaire

Introduction
Reduced costs and increased quality
Mobile-friendly responsive design
Security

Chapter 7 – Field operations

Introduction
Census delivery methods
Census wave approach
Census collection methods
Census Help Line
Data collection verification and follow-up activities for the 2016 Census

Chapter 8 – Processing

Introduction
Receipt and registration
Imaging and data capture
Edits
Coding
Edit and imputation

Chapter 9 – Sampling and weighting for the long form (to be released October 25, 2017)

Chapter 10 – Data quality assessment

Introduction
Sources of error
Measuring data quality
Certification
Response rate for the 2016 Census of Population

Chapter 11 – Dissemination

Introduction
How census data are used
Overview of 2016 Census of Population products and services
Connecting with Canadians
Availability of products and services
Data suppression

Chapter 12 – Census geography

Introduction
National Geographic Database
Hierarchical model of geographic areas for collection
Hierarchical model for the dissemination of geographic areas
The hierarchy of geographic areas: understanding the hierarchy, how geographies are related and data analysis
Geographic areas for dissemination
Non-standard or user-defined geographic areas for dissemination

Appendix 1.1 – Legislation

Introduction
Requirement to respond
Statutory references to the census
Constitutional law

Appendix 1.2 – Incompletely enumerated Indian reserves and Indian settlements

Appendix 1.3 – Difference between census counts and population estimates

Appendix 1.4 – Note describing the Wood Buffalo census subdivision data collection methodology and the use of administrative data sources

Introduction
Reference date
Data collection
Administrative data
Processing
Data quality for population and dwelling counts
Short-form questionnaire data quality

Appendix 1.5 – Information produced from the 2016 Census of Population

Who is included in the population of Canada?
Where are people counted?
Who is included in the data for each topic?

Appendix 1.6 – Results of the 92-year consent question

Release of personal census information after 92 years

Appendix 1.7 – Percentage change for population and dwelling counts at various levels of geography

Appendix 1.8 – Evaluation of the impact of updating 2016 Census language data

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