Dictionary, Census of Population, 2016

Release date: May 3, 2017 Updated on: October 25, 2017


'Citizenship' refers to the country where the person has citizenship. A person may have more than one citizenship. A person may be stateless, that is, they may have no citizenship. Citizenship can be by birth or naturalization.

Statistical unit(s)



Canadian citizenship status
Type of Canadian Citizenship
Number of Citizenships
Type of Citizenship Response
Country of Citizenship 2016

Reported in

2016 (25% sample); 2011Note 1 (30% sample); 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986 and 1981 (20% sample). For availability prior to 1981, please refer to Appendix 2.0.

Reported for

Population in private households

Question number(s)

Direct variable: Question 13


Response categories included 'Canada, by birth,' 'Canada, by naturalization' and 'Other country – specify.' A write-in space for country of citizenship (other than Canada) was provided.

Respondents were asked to indicate more than one citizenship, if applicable. Other than Canada, up to 2 countries of citizenship were retained. Refer to Appendix 5.3 for the list of countries of citizenship disseminated for the 2016 Census of Population.


The 2016 Census of Population citizenship question asked: "Of what country is this person a citizen?" Notes accompanying the citizenship question stated:

Indicate more than one citizenship, if applicable.

'Canada, by naturalization' refers to the process by which an immigrant is granted citizenship of Canada, under the Citizenship Act.

As well, additional instructions were provided to respondents in the 2016 Census of Population Long-form Guide:

For persons born in Canada, unless—at the time of their birth—one or both parents were government representatives of another country (for example, in diplomatic service) and neither parent was a Canadian citizen or a landed immigrant:

For persons born outside Canada, if at the time of their birth, one or both parents were Canadian citizens:

For persons who have applied for, and have been granted, Canadian citizenship (i.e., persons who have been issued a Canadian citizenship certificate):

For persons who were born outside Canada and have not become Canadian citizens:

For persons who are dual citizens of Canada and another country, do not report 'dual citizenship':

To better understand the relationship between the concepts of immigration and citizenship, please refer to Figure 5.2.

For more information on citizenship variables, including information on their classifications, the questions from which they are derived, data quality and their comparability with other sources of data, please refer to the Place of Birth, Generation Status, Citizenship and Immigration Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2016.


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