Place of birth, citizenship and immigration

Place of birth provides information on the diversity of Canada's population and tells us about movements of people within Canada and from other countries to Canada. Citizenship provides the citizenship status of Canada's population. Immigration tells us the number of immigrants and non-permanent residents in Canada, and the year people immigrated. These data are essential to the development of policies and programs aimed at the settlement and integration of immigrants to Canada.

Examples of reported data usesFootnote1


These Census Program data are used federally in support of Employment Equity Act and regulations, the Official Languages Act (official languages support programs) and the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act. Examples of provincial legislation for which place of birth, citizenship and immigration data were cited include Saskatchewan's Multiculturalism Act, Alberta's Government Accountability Act, Ontario's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and Quebec's Loi sur le ministère de l'Immigration et des Communautés culturelles (L.R.Q., chapitre M-16.1) and Loi sur la santé publique (L.R.Q., chapitre S-2.2).

Resource allocation and service delivery

At the federal level, place of birth, citizenship and immigration data are needed for planning, resource allocation, service delivery, program monitoring and performance reporting on immigration, integration, citizenship and multiculturalism policies.

Among the examples received from provincial and territorial governments, it was reported that these data are used to produce estimates of immigrant stock in order to determine resource allocations for immigrant settlement services, such as English Second Language (ESL) programs, to support programs aimed at labour market integration and to deliver career and employment services.

For local governments, Census Program data are used to allocate resources to many activities including immigrant settlement, affordable housing and community outreach.

The Canadian Council on Social Development's Community Data Consortium Program comprises more than 350 local governments, local authorities and voluntary sector organizations from across Canada who use Census Program data for local public service delivery, resource allocation, program monitoring, policy development and research, among other uses.

Planning, development, monitoring, evaluation and performance reports

Federal policies and programs such as the Canadian Pension Plan, Employment Insurance, Old Age Security and the Official Language Minority Communities program make use of these Census Program results.

Both federally and provincially, these data are used for monitoring and reporting on social determinants of health. The Public Health Agency of Canada refers to them in relation to the Canadian Tuberculosis Reporting System to understand the prevalence of foreign-born tuberculosis cases. They are also considered in the elaboration of communications strategies and guide intervention and prevention programs. Canadian Heritage reported that these data inform performance reports with respect to International Human Rights Treaties. Other examples of uses at the federal level include strategic policy, planning and research, environmental scanning, recruitment and human resources planning.

During consultation, representatives from provincial/territorial governments indicated that place of birth, as well as citizenship and immigration results are used for immigrant attraction and retention, for integration policies, for strategic planning and accountability, and to assess the income and labour market outcomes of immigrant groups. The Government of Yukon refers to these data to inform their Yukon Nominee Program which issues temporary work visas to foreign nationals. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador uses them for their Multicultural Immigration Strategy.

Place of birth, citizenship and immigration, and other Census Program topics are referred to by municipalities and regions for welcoming policies towards immigrants in order to create inclusive communities and successful integration, for policy and program monitoring, economic development, infrastructure planning (e.g., recreational facilities), to identify potential gaps and issues that need to be addressed through social planning and to develop cultural programming.

Research and other uses

The results from this Census Program topic are included in publications such as Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's Socioeconomic Series Research Highlights which provides information on the housing requirements and choices of immigrants and in the Chief Public Health Officer's Reports on the State of Public Health in Canada. They are also inputs in Agriculture and Agri-food's Community Information Database.

These data are used federally to analyse economic and labour market performance between immigrants and non-immigrants, and to understand immigrant children's academic outcomes. They are used by government to create sociodemographic, immigrant and community profiles. Population projections and advocacy are among the data applications reported at the local level.

Among non-government organizations, consultation input indicated that results from this topic inform the delivery of health services, such as ensuring adequate interpretation services. They are used for advocacy related to cultural adaptation, grant applications, project, program and service planning, resource allocation, teaching, research and trend studies, and to analyse the impact of government changes to immigration programs in relation to labour market activity.

Activities related to public dissemination requiring multivariate Census Program data were reported by various government and non-government organizations during consultation.

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