2019 Census Test: What's it all about?

Did you know that Statistics Canada conducted a census test from May to June 2019? This test was done to evaluate the census questionnaire, including new and modified questions, as well as collection procedures and tools to get ready for the 2021 Census of Population and the 2021 Census of Agriculture.

Why do we have a census test?

Testing ensures that high-quality data will be available in 2021 to support a wide variety of programs and services in communities across the country.

Between censuses, Statistics Canada takes key steps to ensure that each census produces relevant information for Canadians and decision makers to make informed decisions.

The test helps identify whether proposed census questions allow for timely and relevant data—the kind of data that decision makers in communities across the country use to plan services that support employment, education and health care. By completing a census test questionnaire, participants will provide essential information to shape the next censuses, and in turn, shape their communities.

Were all Canadians required to participate?

No. Unlike the census, only a sample of approximately 250,000 dwellings and 10,000 agricultural operations across the country were selected to participate in the 2019 Census Test.

Those selected to participate received a census package in May 2019.

Was the test mandatory?

Since accuracy depends on complete information, dwellings selected to participate in this test must, by law, provide the information. Answers are collected under the authority of the Statistics Act and are kept strictly confidential.

Although participation was voluntary for the selected agricultural operations, participation in the 2019 Census Test is important to ensure the information collected is as accurate and complete as possible.

Do we publish the test results?

The 2019 Census Test data collected will be used to prepare for the 2021 Censuses. Results and analyses will not be published in any form. Once the data are analyzed, the records will not be stored for future access.

What about privacy and confidentiality?

Statistics Canada is committed to respecting the privacy of its participants. Great care is taken to ensure that the information collected from the 2019 Census Test is in the public's interest and cannot be obtained successfully from other sources.

Statistics Canada places the highest priority on maintaining the confidentiality of individual questionnaires. Stringent instructions and procedures are in place to maintain confidentiality at all times.

Information for the Census Test is collected under the authority of the Statistics Act. All the information collected under the Act must be fully protected at all times. That's the law.

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