Population and Dwelling Count Highlight Tables, 2016 Census
About the data
- Content considerations
- Incompletely enumerated Indian reserves and Indian settlements
- Adjustment of population counts
- Difference between census counts and population estimates
- Wood Buffalo census subdivision data collection methodology and the use of administrative data sources
- Percentage change for the population and dwelling counts
- Differences in growth rates between this product and analytical documents
The 2016 Census population counts for a particular geographic area represent the number of Canadians whose usual place of residence is in that area, regardless of where they happened to be on census day. Also included are any Canadians who were staying in that area on census day and who had no usual place of residence elsewhere in Canada, as well as those considered to be 'non-permanent residents'. For most areas, there is little difference between the number of usual residents and the number of people staying in the area on census day. For certain places, however, such as tourist or vacation areas, or those including large work camps, the number of people staying in that area at any particular time could significantly exceed the number of usual residents shown here. The population counts include Canadians living in other countries, but do not include foreign residents living in Canada. Given these differences, users are advised not to interpret population counts as being the number of people living in the reported dwellings.
The dwelling counts refer to total private dwellings and private dwellings occupied by usual residents in Canada. The census dwelling counts do not include collective dwellings, which are dwellings of a commercial, institutional or communal nature. The usual residents in collective dwellings are, however, included in the population counts.
Changes occur to the names, boundaries and other characteristics of geographic areas (e.g., census subdivisions may amalgamate, or there may be an annexation or a change of name or status). Since the geographic framework is used for census data collection, the geographic reference date must be set several months before the date of the census in order to have these changes made in time. For the 2016 Census, the geographic reference date was January 1, 2016.
Users wishing to compare 2016 Census data with those of other censuses should then take into account that the boundaries of geographic areas may change from one census to another. In order to facilitate comparison, the 2011 Census counts were adjusted, as needed, to take into account boundary changes between the 2011 and 2016 censuses. The 2011 counts that were adjusted are identified by the letter 'r.' The letter 'r' may also refer to corrections to the 2011 counts; however, most of these are the result of boundary changes.
Following the conclusion of the 2011 Census formal reviews, census subdivisions and designated places that required adjustments will be noted with an ‘r’ beside the 2011 count. This 2011 count represents the ‘should read’ count and may not match the published count displayed in products. Due to this adjustment, aggregating 2011 census subdivision counts to higher levels of geography should be done with caution.
The ‘r’ symbol is also used to identify areas that have been created since 2011, such as newly incorporated municipalities (census subdivisions) and new designated places (DPLs).
Some Indian reserves and Indian settlements refused to participate in the census or were incompletely enumerated during the 2011 Census and/or the 2016 Census (see Notes). These reserves and settlements are identified wherever they appear in the tables.
Land area is the area in square kilometres of the land-based portions of standard geographic areas. The data are unofficial, and are provided for the sole purpose of calculating population density. Land area data for the standard geographic areas reflect the boundaries in effect on January 1, 2016 (the geographic reference date for the 2016 Census of Canada).
The land area data are derived from the Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) using the Albers equal-area conic map projection. The data are calculated and stored in square kilometres at the basic block (BB) level to eight decimal places. (The basic block is the smallest polygon unit and is formed by the intersection of all roads and boundary arcs of standard geographic areas that do not follow roads. Basic blocks are not available to the public.) The BB data are then aggregated to the dissemination block (DB) level and rounded to four decimal places. The DB data are individually aggregated to each higher-level standard geographic area. The land area data presented in these tables, however, are rounded to two decimal places. The calculation of population density uses the land area stored to four decimal places. The population density displayed in these tables is rounded to one decimal place.
Users should note that the land area of standard geographic areas may differ between the 2011 and 2016 censuses due to geometry shifts, even if the boundaries of these areas did not change. The shifts are caused by changes in the underlying database architecture and by improvements in the absolute positional accuracy of some of the roads.
The Census Dictionary is a reference document which contains detailed definitions of Census of Population concepts, universes, variables, and geographic terms, as well as historical information.
By referring to the Census Dictionary, both beginner and intermediate data users will gain a better understanding of the data and how to compare variables between census years.
Incompletely enumerated Indian reserves and Indian settlements
In 2016, there were a total of 14 Indian reserves and Indian settlements that were incompletely enumerated. For these reserves and settlements, dwelling enumeration was either not permitted or was interrupted before it could be completed.
This represents a decrease compared to the 31 Indian reserves and Indian settlements that were incompletely enumerated in the 2011 Census. Note that in 2011, of the 31 incompletely enumerated Indian reserves and Indian settlements, 13 were not enumerated as a result of forest fires in Northern Ontario at the time of census collection. In 2016, there were no Indian reserves or Indian settlements that were not enumerated due to a natural disaster.
The 2016 Census population and dwelling counts are not available for the 14 incompletely enumerated Indian reserves and Indian settlements, and are not included in 2016 Census tabulations. Data for geographic areas containing one or more of these reserves and settlements are noted accordingly. Because of the missing data, users are cautioned that for the affected geographic areas, comparisons (e.g., percentage change) between 2011 and 2016 may not be precise. The impact of the missing data for higher-level geographic areas (Canada, provinces and territories, census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations) is very small. However, the impact can be significant for lower-level geographic areas (e.g., census divisions), where the incompletely enumerated Indian reserves and Indian settlements account for a higher proportion of the population. This is especially true for lower-level geographic areas where a particular Indian reserve or Indian settlement was incompletely enumerated for the 2016 Census and enumerated for the 2011 Census and vice versa.
Table 1 provides the list of incompletely enumerated Indian reserves and Indian settlements for the 2016 Census, along with population counts from the last two censuses (where available).
Table 2 shows, in alphabetical order, the list of incompletely enumerated Indian reserves and Indian settlements for the 2016 Census by province, census division and, where applicable, for the census metropolitan area or census agglomeration.
|Province||Incompletely enumerated Indian reserves and Indian settlements, 2016||Enumeration status for the 2016 Census (reasons for absence of data)||Population, 2011||Population, 2006|
|Quebec||Kanesatake||Permission not given||Note ..: not available for a specific reference period. Incompletely enumerated Indian reserve or Indian settlement.||Note ..: not available for a specific reference period. Incompletely enumerated Indian reserve or Indian settlement.|
|Doncaster||Permission not given||Note ..: not available for a specific reference period. Incompletely enumerated Indian reserve or Indian settlement.|
|Kahnawake||Permission not given|
|Lac-Rapide||Permission not given|
|Ontario||Six Nations (Part) 40||Permission not given||946|
|Six Nations (Part) 40||Permission not given||6,213|
|Chippewas of the Thames First Nation 42||Permission not given||762||747|
|Oneida 41||Permission not given||1,282|
|Wahta Mohawk Territory||Permission not given|
|Rankin Location 15D||Permission not given||566|
|Goulais Bay 15A||Permission not given||82|
|Pikangikum 14||Dwelling enumeration not completed – other||2,100|
|Alberta||Saddle Lake 125||Permission not given|
|British Columbia||Esquimalt||Permission not given|
.. not available for a specific reference period. Incompletely enumerated Indian reserve or Indian settlement.
Permission not given: Band council did not give permission to enter their territory.
Dwelling enumeration not completed – other: Enumeration was not completed for reasons such as access restrictions, health and safety issues, etc.
Sources: Statistics Canada, Censuses of population, 2016, 2011 and 2006.
|Chippewas of the Thames First Nation 42||IRI||Ontario||Middlesex||Note ...: not available|
|Doncaster||IRI||Quebec||Les Laurentides||Note ...: not available|
|Goulais Bay 15A||IRI||Ontario||Algoma||Note ...: not available|
|Lac-Rapide||IRI||Quebec||La Vallée-de-la-Gatineau||Note ...: not available|
|Oneida 41||IRI||Ontario||Middlesex||Note ...: not available|
|Pikangikum 14||IRI||Ontario||Kenora||Note ...: not available|
|Rankin Location 15D||IRI||Ontario||Algoma||Sault Ste. Marie|
|Saddle Lake 125||IRI||Alberta||Division No. 12||Note ...: not available|
|Six Nations (Part) 40||IRI||Ontario||Brant||Brantford|
|Six Nations (Part) 40||IRI||Ontario||Haldimand-Norfolk||Note ...: not available|
|Wahta Mohawk Territory||IRI||Ontario||Muskoka||Note ...: not available|
... not applicable
IRI = Indian reserve
S-É = Indian settlement
Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Population, 2016.
Adjustment of population counts
Statistics Canada is committed to protect the privacy of all Canadians and the confidentiality of the data they provide to us. As part of this commitment, some population counts of geographic areas are adjusted in order to ensure confidentiality.
Counts of the total population are rounded to a base of 5 for any dissemination block having a population of less than 15. Population counts for all standard geographic areas above the dissemination block level are derived by summing the adjusted dissemination block counts. The adjustment of dissemination block counts is controlled to ensure that the population counts for dissemination areas will always be within 5 of the actual values. The adjustment has no impact on the population counts of census divisions and large census subdivisions. Dwelling counts are not adjusted.
Difference between census counts and population estimates
The Census of Population is designed to conduct a complete count of the population. Inevitably, however, some individuals will not be enumerated (undercoverage), while others, usually less numerous, will be enumerated more than once (overcoverage).
To determine the number of people who were missed or counted more than once, Statistics Canada conducts postcensal studies of the coverage of the census population, using representative samples of the population. Results of these studies are usually available two years after Census Day. They are used, in combination with census figures and other sources, to develop the population estimates produced by Statistics Canada on a regular basis. Population estimates are used for equalization payments, to follow trends in the Canadian population on a quarterly basis and to understand the underlying components of population change (for example, births, deaths, immigrants, emigrants and non-permanent residents). Population estimates differ from census counts and are usually higher, because census counts are not adjusted for undercoverage or overcoverage.
Wood Buffalo census subdivision data collection methodology and the use of administrative data sources
On May 1, 2016, a wildfire began southwest of Fort McMurray, Alberta, and on May 3, swept through the community destroying many homes and buildings and forcing the largest wildfire evacuation in Alberta's history. Statistics Canada then decided to suspend census data collection (referred to as 'field data collection') in the evacuated areas.
Statistics Canada used a set of measures to ensure that residents of the Wood Buffalo census subdivision (CSD) (referred to as the Specialized municipality of Wood Buffalo or Wood Buffalo) were included in the 2016 Census of Population. Data for the evacuated area were derived from a combination of sources. First, many residents of the area responded online or by returning a paper questionnaire. Then field data collection was performed for a number of households using short- or long-form questionnaires. Lastly, short-form data were derived from a number of administrative data sources for the households residing in dwellings where field data collection was not possible. Data for all areas not evacuated due to the wildfire are from direct field data collection.
For the 2016 Census, the reference date for data reporting is May 10, 2016. For residents of the evacuated areas during the wildfire, the reference date is May 1, 2016, to reflect the situation as it existed before the fire.
Prior to the evacuation, and even in the following weeks when census data collection was suspended, some responses were received from the residents of the evacuated area. In August 2016, data collection was reinstated in Wood Buffalo and census representatives went door to door to complete census questionnaires. Efforts were focussed on collecting data for the one in four dwellings included in the long-form questionnaire sample. This was particularly important, as administrative data sources do not provide information for long-form questions. To further improve data quality, field data collection was also performed for dwellings in the areas for which no administrative data were available and for collective dwellings. In areas where enumerators prepare a list of dwellings and deliver census materials, field data collection was done for all dwellings.
Wherever possible and when no direct response had been received for a dwelling, data from various administrative data sources were used with a reference date as close as possible to May 2016, for variables such as name, date of birth, sex and marital status. As administrative data files did not contain information on language as collected on the census questionnaire, record linkages between the administrative sources and the 2011 Census database were performed. For successful linkages, the 2011 responses to the language questions were used as proxy for the 2016 language questions. Census questions for which no comparable information could be obtained from administrative data files, such as Relationship to Person 1 and common-law status, were derived during data processing.
Statistics Canada worked closely with both provincial and local authorities in Alberta to obtain access to administrative records to assist in the validation of the data derived from administrative data sources available in Statistics Canada.
If a census response was obtained for residents of a dwelling, this took precedence over any available administrative data. For the remaining cases, during data processing and for the calculation of response rates, data from administrative sources were considered as a response to the same extent as a direct response obtained through traditional collection methods.
Data quality for population and dwelling counts
For the population and dwelling counts, the Wood Buffalo CSD data went through the same quality assessments as the overall census data. A supplementary pre-validation activity was performed by Statistics Canada once data from field collection and administrative sources were combined. This additional step was done to certify that the alternative methods developed for this exceptional situation were providing satisfactory results.
Short-form questionnaire data quality
To obtain data on age, sex and families, Statistics Canada used administrative data for 54% of households, questionnaire data for 40% of households and imputation for the other data (5% of the remaining households).
For households for which administrative data were used, the age and sex data were taken directly from administrative data files. The distribution of the age and sex data from the administrative files and of the data taken directly from the completed questionnaires is comparable for both enumeration methods (administrative data and completed questionnaires). However, with respect to households enumerated using administrative data, the biggest determinant for attributing family characteristics was the use of marital status and parent-child relationship established during linkage with the tax data. A larger number of lone-parent families following processing of the administrative data than the completed questionnaire data was observed. The corresponding proportions were 19.2% (administrative data) and 9.8% (completed questionnaires).
This discrepancy had an impact on the proportion of families consisting of couples without children, which was 30.0% and 40.9%, respectively, depending on the enumeration method. There also seems to be a difference in the data on households taken from the administrative data files with respect to the number of people living common-law; the proportion from the administrative data is smaller than from data from traditional collection. There is also a significant difference in terms of the size of household; proportionally, there are far more one-person households and six or more person households in the administrative data than in the questionnaire data.
For households for which administrative data were used, the 2016 Census data on language were obtained from responses to the 2011 questions on language when linkage was possible. A comparison of the distribution of language variables does not show as many differences for households for which administrative data were used as it does for households for which the data came from completed questionnaires. Comparing the 2011 and 2016 figures for the family and language variables for the Wood Buffalo CSD must be done with caution.
Percentage change for the population and dwelling counts
The percentage change for the population and dwelling counts is based on a 2011 count that may have been revised since the publication of the 2011 population and dwelling counts. If the 2011 count has been revised, it will be indicated by an 'r' beside the count. The 2011 population and dwelling counts may be revised due to the reasons identified below.
(1) The boundary of the geographic area has changed since the 2011 Census
When a boundary of a geographic area changed, Statistics Canada identified the impact of the change on the population and dwellings enumerated during the 2011 Census, and adjusted these counts to reflect the 2016 boundaries of the geographic areas. Most of the revisions to 2011 population and dwelling counts are due to this type of adjustment.
(2) A formal review of the 2011 population and dwelling counts identified an error
When Statistics Canada releases population and dwelling counts from the census, data users sometimes question the validity of the counts for a specific geographic area such as a municipality (census subdivision) or sub-municipal area (designated place). When requested by local authorities, Statistics Canada undertakes a formal review of the population and dwelling counts.
In 2011, 158 census subdivisions (CSDs) and 40 designated places (DPLs) underwent a formal population and dwelling count review and their counts were revised. For the 2016 Census products showing 2011 counts, these revised 2011 counts are presented in tables for CSDs and DPLs and used to calculate percent change between 2011 and 2016 at that level of geography.
The revised counts are presented in tables only for CSDs and DPLs. The 2011 counts for other levels of geography (e.g., province, territory, census division) are not revised. As a result, aggregating 2011 CSD counts to higher-level geographic areas (e.g., census divisions, provinces, territories, and Canada) may not sum to the counts presented on the higher-level geographic areas. As well, the percent change for all levels of geography, other than CSDs and DPLs, do not account for these revisions.
Differences in growth rates between this product and analytical documents
Please note that there may be some differences between the growth rates contained in this product and analytical documents, such as The Daily and articles in the Insights on Canadian Society (ICS) series to account for the effect of changes in enumeration of Indian reserves. For example, the data tables in this product show different population growth values for the two census metropolitan areas (CMAs) of Brantford and Québec than those shown in The Daily.
In The Daily and its related tables, the effect of changes in enumeration of Indian reserves for the CMAs of Brantford and Québec are taken into account when calculating population growth rates, whereas they are not in this product. As a result, excluding a reserve that was incompletely enumerated in 2016 which was counted in 2011, as was done in The Daily, the population of Brantford CMA grew 3.8% in 2016. Including the population of this reserve, as was done in this product, the population of Brantford CMA fell 1.0%. Conversely, for Québec CMA, excluding a reserve that was incompletely enumerated in 2011 which was counted in 2016, as was done in The Daily, the population grew 4.0% in 2016. Including the population of this reserve, as was done in this product, the population of Québec CMA increased 4.3%.