Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Postal codeOM

Release date: November 17, 2021


The postal codeOM is a six-character code defined and maintained by Canada Post Corporation for the purpose of sorting and delivering mail.

Reported in

2021, 2016, 2011, 2006, 2001 and 1996 (100% data)

1991 and 1986 (20% sample)


Structure of the postal codeOM

The form of the postal codeOM is 'ANA NAN,' where A is an alphabetic character and N is a numeric character. The first character of a postal codeOM represents a province or territory, or a major sector entirely within a province (Table 1.9).

The first three characters of the postal codeOM identify the forward sortation area (FSA)©. FSAs© are associated with a postal facility from which mail delivery originates.

Table 1.1 in the Introduction shows the number of postal codesOM and forward sortation areas by province and territory. They are provided by Canada Post Corporation and are valid as of May 2021.

Postal codesOM captured from census questionnaires

The postal codeOM is captured for all households from the address information provided by the respondent on the front page of the census questionnaire on May 11, 2021. The respondent's postal codeOM is accepted whether or not it is the same as the postal codeOM assigned by Canada Post Corporation to that address. The postal codeOM of a household is validated and processed using the following criteria:

The postal codeOM provided by respondents may not be the same as the postal codeOM of the dwelling in which they live. For example, they may denote the postal codeOM of their mailing address, such as a post office location (as in the case of general delivery) or a business location. Consequently, some respondents' postal codesOM may fall outside the FSA© in which their dwelling is located.

Users should proceed with caution if postal codesOM are used as a proxy for standard geographic areas. Postal codesOM do not necessarily respect the boundaries of standard geographic areas (e.g., the same postal codeOM can fall in two or more census subdivisions).

For more detailed information, refer to the Postal codeOM Conversion File, Reference Guide (Catalogue no. 92-154-G).

OM: Postal code is an official mark of Canada Post Corporation.

Changes prior to the current census

Not applicable

Date modified: