Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021

Release date: November 17, 2021Updated on: October 26, 2022


Religion refers to the person's self-identification as having a connection or affiliation with any religious denomination, group, body, or other religiously defined community or system of belief. Religion is not limited to formal membership in a religious organization or group.

For infants or children, religion refers to the specific religious group or denomination in which they are being raised, if any.

Persons without a religious connection or affiliation can self-identify as atheist, agnostic or humanist, or can provide another applicable response.

Statistical unit(s)


Reported in

2021 (25% sample); 2011Footnote 1 (30% sample); 2001, 1991 and 1981 (20% sample). For availability prior to 1981, please refer to Appendix 2.1.

Reported for

Population in private households

Question number(s)

Coded variable: Question 30


Respondents were asked to specify one denomination or religion only in Question 30. A write-in box was provided for a write-in response and respondents could also mark a circle for "No religion." Refer to Appendix 2.14 for the detailed list of religions and religious groups or denominations disseminated for 2021, 2011 and 2001.


Additional instructions on how to complete the 2021 religion question were available for respondents via a help button accessed through the online questionnaire:

For all persons, report the specific denomination or religion with which they identify, even if they are not currently a practising member of that group. Persons who are members of a specific group within a larger religion should report the name of the specific group.

For additional examples, refer to the list of denominations and religions. Note that you may report a denomination or religion that is not on the list of examples, if applicable.

A person who has no religious affiliation can choose to select the "No religion" option or enter other responses, such as "Atheist" (does not believe in the existence of God) or "Agnostic" (believes nothing can be known about the existence of God) in the "Specify one denomination or religion only" box.

For infants or children, report the denomination or religion in which they will be raised.

Respondents should report what they feel best describes their religious affiliation.

For additional information on the collection and dissemination of religion data, refer to the Religion Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021.


Related 2021 data products

Date modified: