Release and Concepts Overview
2016 Census of Population:

Release date: October 4, 2017

1. Objectives

Census of Population release topics will be accompanied by their own Release and Concepts Overview and will be available from Statistics Canada's website in advance of each release.

The purpose of the Release and Concepts Overview series is to provide an overview of:

  • the concepts, definitions and key indicators used by each of the major 2016 Census of Population releases

  • the products that will be available on each major day of release and later.

The Release and Concepts Overview series will help partners, stakeholders and other data users to better understand the information being released.

This Release and Concepts Overview is for the Labour release, which will be on November 29, 2017.

The information provided in this overview is subject to change.

2. Concepts and definitions


Target population

  • 15 years old and over

    The 2016 Census of Population provides information on the labour market activities of the population aged 15 and over living in private households.

    It excludes persons living in institutional collective dwellings such as hospitals, nursing homes and penitentiaries; Canadian citizens living in other countries; and full-time members of the Canadian Armed Forces stationed outside Canada. Also excluded are persons living in non-institutional collective dwellings such as work camps, hotels and motels, and student residences.

  • Labour force

  • Employed person

Labour market activity variables

  • Occupation

    • Occupation skill levels

      The National Occupational Classification (NOC) allows a skill level to be assigned to each occupation. There are four skill levels for occupations:

      1. NOC skill level A

        Skill A level occupations usually require university education

      2. NOC skill level B

        Skill B level occupations usually require college or apprenticeship training

      3. NOC skill level C

        Skill C level occupations usually require secondary school or occupation-specific training, or requiring both

      4. NOC skill level D

        Skill D level occupations usually require on-the-job training


In addition to making data available for Canada, the following other levels of geography will be available:

  1. Province or territory
  2. Census metropolitan area (CMA)
  3. Census agglomeration (CA)
  4. Census division (CD)
  5. Census subdivision (CSD)
  6. Census tract (CT)
  7. Population centre (POPCTR)
  8. Statistical Area Classification (SAC)
  9. Federal electoral district (FED)
  10. Economic region (ER)
  11. Forward sortation area (FSA)©
  12. Designated place (DPL)
  13. Aggregate dissemination area (ADA) (new!)
  14. Dissemination area (DA)

3. Key indicators

The following labour indicators will be available at the national, provincial and subprovincial levels, as well as by age and sex.

Labour force status (counts and rates in 2016)

  • Employed
  • Unemployed
  • Labour force
  • Not in the labour force
  • Employment rate
  • Unemployment rate
  • Participation rate

Job characteristics

  • Class of worker
  • Industry
  • Occupation
  • Work activity during the reference year (2015)

4. Products and activities available with this release

The following will be available with the Labour release on November 29, 2017:

  • Analytical products
    • The Daily article
    • Census in Brief
    • Infographic
  • Data products
    • Highlight tables
    • Data tables
    • Census Profile
    • Focus on Geography Series
  • Geography product
    • GeoSearch
  • Reference products
    • Release and Concepts Overview series
    • Guide to the Census of Population, 2016
    • Census Dictionary
    • Labour Reference Guide
  • Social media
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Chat with an expert (December 1, 2017)

The following provides additional details on some key products to be available at the time of the Labour release. Together, they will provide main findings, important messages, latest trends and additional background information.

  • The Daily article: This will include findings for the indicator of work activity during the reference year (2015), with selected breakdowns by age, sex, immigrant status, educational attainment, Aboriginal status and geography as well as historical data.

  • Census in Brief: One short article will focus on the work activity profile (working full year, full time) of families and workers aged 65 years and over in 2005 and 2010, with results at the national, provincial and possibly subprovincial levels:

    • Working seniors in Canada

  • Infographic: This infographic will allow users to quickly visualize some key findings from the 2016 Census of Population related to the share of the female population and the median age in selected occupations.

  • Highlight tables: They present focused information for various levels of geography. These tables allow users to perform simple rank and sort functions and include percentage distributions and percentage changes from previous censuses to facilitate comparisons between years, and different geographic areas.

  • Data tables: These cross-tabulations allow for a more detailed examination of Canada, by comparing up to eight variables across various levels of geography.

  • Census Profile: This product provides key statistics about the dwellings and the people living there. Users are able to select a standard geographic area and compare two geographic areas. They can search by place name or postal code for an area of interest as large as Canada or as small as a grouping of city blocks.

  • Focus on Geography Series: This product presents highlights through short text, tables and figures for various release topics and levels of geography, including Canada, provinces and territories, census metropolitan areas (CMAs), census agglomerations (CAs) and Canadian municipalities (census subdivisions).

  • Labour Reference Guide: This guide explains census concepts and definitions. It also includes information about data quality and historical comparability, as well as comparisons with other data sources.

  • Guide to the Census of Population, 2016: This reference document provides an overview of the 2016 Census of Population processes, including content determination, collection, processing, data quality assessment, data dissemination and data suppression. It also includes response rates, global non-response rates, the distribution of the number of census subdivisions for which data have been published by province and territory and at the national level, as well as other data quality information.

  • Census Dictionary: This provides detailed definitions of census concepts, variables and geographic terms, as well as historical information to facilitate the comparison between census years.

Social media activities with this release

  • Facebook and Twitter: The official social media accounts will also be used to communicate and engage with the public for the dissemination of results from the 2016 Census of Population.

  • Chat with an expert: Users are invited to chat with Statistics Canada experts on the topics of Labour and Education on December 1, 2017, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Eastern time. For more information, refer to Statistics Canada's website: Chat with an expert.

5. Products available after release

The following products will be available with later releases:

Analytical products

  • Articles in Insights on Canadian Society (ICS)
  • Data visualization tool. More information about this initiative will be made available during the release cycle.

Data products

  • Additional data tables at various levels of geography
  • 2016 Census Aboriginal Population Profile
  • 2016 Census Individuals Public Use Microdata File (PUMF)
  • 2016 Census Hierarchical Public Use Microdata File (PUMF)
  • 2016 Census Long-form Research Data Centre (RDC) Microdata File

Reference products

  • Reference guides (various topics)
  • Technical reports

6. 2016 Census Program web module

To access the 2016 Census of Population products, please consult the 2016 Census Program web module.

7. 2016 Census Program release schedule

Release dates, 2016 Census Program
Release date Release topic
November 16, 2016 Geography
February 8, 2017 Population and dwelling counts
May 3, 2017

Age and sex

Type of dwelling

May 10, 2017 Census of Agriculture
August 2, 2017

Families, households and marital status


September 13, 2017 Income

October 25, 2017

Immigration and ethnocultural diversity


Aboriginal peoples

November 29, 2017



Journey to work

Language of work

Mobility and migration

8. Contact information

General enquiries

Media Relations – Media Hotline

Report a problem on this page

Is something not working? Is there information outdated? Can't find what you're looking for?

Please contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Privacy notice

Date modified: