My census story

My census story

Calling all secondary and postsecondary students: tell us your census story!

Congratulations to the "My census story" contest winners!

After rigorous evaluation, Statistics Canada and the Statistical Society of Canada are pleased to announce the top three submissions to the "My census story" contest. Please join us in congratulating Samantha, Casia May and Priya!

1st place: Samantha Shulman from Toronto, Ontario.

2nd place: Casia May Friesen from Warman, Saskatchewan.

3rd place: Priya Patel from Brampton, Ontario.

Thank you to all of the participants for being a part of the contest and for sharing your perspective with us! We loved hearing about the different ways students use statistical or census data to make informed decisions, and why you believe that all Canadians should complete their census questionnaire.

With the continued support and cooperation of millions of Canadians, Statistics Canada will be conducting the next census in May 2021. Be sure to follow our social media channels for updates, and visit the census website to find out more!

Data surrounds us every day. It shapes the way we understand the world we live in and enables us to make informed decisions. The Census of Population, conducted by Statistics Canada every five years, collects information that is used to help paint a picture of Canada and its population.

As a secondary or postsecondary student, statistical data can inform your studies by providing the demographic information needed to analyze an area, such as a city or province/territory, and even Canada as a whole. It can also inform the decisions you make in your personal life by helping you understand how people live and work in any given community. For example, statistical data, and census data in particular, can help answer the following questions:

  1. How has immigration changed the ethnocultural composition of the country over time?
  2. What is the average household income in a city?
  3. What is the age distribution of people in a province?
  4. What is the most popular type of dwelling in a community?

The more Canadians who complete the 2021 Census, the better the quality of information that will be available to all levels of government, businesses, communities, and individual Canadians to make informed decisions. As we approach the 2021 Census in May, Statistics Canada is proud to partner with the Statistical Society of Canada to give students across Canada an opportunity to be heard.

Have you used statistical or census data in your day-to-day life? Do you have a creative idea for our census challenge on how to convince Canadians to complete their census questionnaire?

This is your chance to make a real difference!

How to participate

  • From March 22 to April 11, 2021, you can craft and submit your census story in English or French in your preferred format: a video clip or a written piece. Each participant is allowed to make only one submission.
  • All submissions must be received no later than April 11, 2021, at 11:59 p.m., Eastern time.
  • Winners will be contacted directly and announced during the week of April 19, 2021.

The top three submissions will be announced on the “My census story” contest main page, as well as official Statistics Canada social media channels. Students will also be rewarded for their creativity and hard work. Courtesy of our partners at the Statistical Society of Canada, we are pleased to award the following prizes:

  • 1st place: $250
  • 2nd place: $100
  • 3rd place: $50


  • Submit a video clip or a short article that addresses both of these topics in English or French:
    • How have you used statistical or census data to make everyday decisions, be it in your academic or your personal life?
    • Census challenge: How can you creatively convince Canadians to complete their census questionnaire?


To assist you in crafting your submission, consider the following questions:

  • How do you use data in your life?
  • Does this data come from the census or other Statistics Canada surveys?
  • What has accurate data helped you do?
  • Why should Canadians complete the census?
  • What would having accurate statistical or census data help you do in the future?


Video clip: Create a video of 59 seconds or less. Upload the video to any public video platform, such as YouTube or TikTok, and send us only the direct link to the video.

Written piece: Share a short narrative of 300 words or less on how you have used statistical or census data, and how you could convince Canadians to complete their census questionnaire. Whether you focus on your academic life or your personal life, the choice is yours!

Evaluation criteria

Submissions will be evaluated on their ability to address both topics (listed under the “Topics” section) using the following criteria:

  • Creativity: is the submission creative, fun and out-of-the-box?
  • Quality: has the submission been thoughtfully created and carefully edited?
  • Tone: is the content respectful, inclusive and balanced?
  • Appeal: does the submission resonate with young Canadians?

Be original, be creative and—above all—have fun with it!

Eligibility criteria

For your submission to be considered, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. You must be enrolled at a high school or postsecondary institution in Canada and be able to provide proof of enrolment. Part-time and international students are eligible.
  2. You must be at least 13 years of age.
  3. You must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or have a valid student visa.
  4. You are not eligible for the contest if you are an employee of Statistics Canada or the Statistical Society of Canada.

Official rules

  1. The content must not infringe upon or violate any laws or third-party rights (including, but not limited to, copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret and other proprietary rights) and must not constitute material that would be considered libelous, defamatory, a privacy violation, tortious or a contract breach.
  2. Contestants must obtain all the necessary permissions, licences, clearances, releases, waivers of moral rights and other approvals from third parties (including, but not limited to, all copyright holders and all individuals appearing in the story submission), to use the story, in whole or in part, in any way. This includes permission to reproduce, make derivatives of, edit, modify, translate, distribute, transmit, publish, license and broadcast it worldwide, by any means, without limitation. Any and all such permissions, licences, clearances, releases, waivers of moral rights and approvals must be included with the story submission.
  3. All submissions are intended for the general public and must be respectful and courteous. Contest organizers will not accept content that is offensive to an individual or an organization, rude in tone, or abusive. Contestants are fully responsible for everything that they submit. Contest organizers reserve the right to disqualify stories that contain any
    • racist, hateful, sexist, homophobic, slanderous, insulting or life-threatening content
    • serious, unproven, unsupported, or inaccurate accusations against individuals or organizations
    • abusive, aggressive, coarse, explicit, vulgar, violent, obscene or pornographic content
    • content that encourages or suggests illegal activity
    • announcements, solicitations, advertisements, or endorsements from any organization or agency
    • reference to any commercial activity, such as advertising or publicity
    • attempt to defame or defraud any individual, group or agency
    • unintelligible or irrelevant content.
  4. To protect their privacy and the privacy of others, contestants must not include personal information in their stories, such as phone numbers, social insurance numbers, banking information, resumes or email addresses.
  5. Contestants—or their parents or guardians, in the case of contestants who are not the age of majority in their home province or territory—must consent to the use, reproduction, publication, transmission and broadcasting of their names and ages, without compensation, in any advertisement, publication or promotion.
  6. Each contestant is limited to one submission.
  7. Each contestant (or a parent or guardian) must grant contest organizers the irrevocable right—in perpetuity and without compensation—to use the story submission, in whole or in part in any way, including to reproduce, make derivatives of, edit, modify, translate, distribute, transmit, publish, license and broadcast it worldwide, by any means, without limitation.
  8. Submissions will be judged by a panel of representatives from Statistics Canada and the Statistical Society of Canada. The judges’ decisions on all matters that relate to the contest are final and not open to dispute.

The winning contestants will be notified by email during the week of April 12, 2021, and their stories will be unveiled on Statistics Canada’s website during the week of April 19, 2021. If the winners do not want their story to be published, another contestant will be chosen in their place. Only the winning contestants will be notified.


The contest organizers reserve the right to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the contest, for any reason, and without prior notice to contestants.

By entering this contest, contestants agree to abide by these rules and acknowledge that the contest organizers shall not be responsible for any damages, costs, demands, claims or losses of any kind incurred by any contestant as a result of their participation in this contest.

This contest is void where prohibited by law.

Privacy notice

The personal information we request for this contest is required for the purpose of collecting contest submissions, notifying the winners and publishing the winning stories online. Your personal information will be used only in accordance with the Privacy Act. All personal information collected from the non-winning contestants will be retained until the winning stories are published and will then be destroyed. Statistics Canada will retain the personal information collected from the winners for a period of five years, because the agency might use the winning stories again, with the permission of the contestants.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What content can I include in my submission?

We want to see original and creative user-generated content that shows how secondary and postsecondary students in Canada use statistical or census data in their daily lives. The content of submissions must be appropriate for the general public (see official rules). Participants must also have accounted for all necessary permissions, licences, clearances, releases, waivers of moral rights and other approvals if they use any third-party material in their submission.

How do I submit my piece to “My census story”?

For either format (video clip or written piece), click the “Submit my census story” button, which will link you to a blank email template.

For video clips, you must upload your video to a public video platform, such as YouTube or TikTok, and share only the direct link to the video in the email template.

For written pieces, simply copy and paste your text into the text box of the email template.

How many submissions can I make to “My census story”?

Each participant can submit only one original work to the contest by choosing one of the two options: a video clip or a written piece.

How will winners be notified?

Winners will be contacted via email during the week of April 12, 2021. If they accept, Statistics Canada will make an announcement through its social media channels and on the “My census story” main page.

For any other questions or inquiries, please email us at

Thank you to our partner!

“My census story” would not be possible without the generous support of our partner, the Statistical Society of Canada. Thank you for being a part of “My census story”!


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