Census learning centre

Once every five years, the Census of Population provides a detailed and comprehensive statistical portrait of Canada that is vital to our country. It is the primary source of sociodemographic data for specific population groups such as lone-parent families, Indigenous peoples, immigrants, seniors and language groups.

In order to help users of census products to better understand the various Census of Population concepts, Statistics Canada has developed a series of short videos. These videos are a reference source for users who are new to census concepts or those who have some experience with these concepts, but may need a refresher or would like to expand their knowledge.

From the list below, you will be able to filter the videos based on your topics of interest.

We invite you to visit this site regularly for new releases.

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Add or remove text from the 'Filter items' box to automatically filter the table of results below.

Release date
(yyyy-mm-dd) Four digits for the year, two digits for the month, two digits for the day
Title Topic Type
2023-11-15

Concepts related to the Indigenous population, 2021 Census of Population

This video is designed to provide a basic understanding of the Indigenous population concepts. In this video, you will learn about the various ways to define the Indigenous population, which questions or combination of questions are used to count each of these populations, and how to differentiate each of these populations.

Indigenous population Conceptual video
2023-10-04

Questions and concepts related to commuting, 2021 Census of Population

This video is designed to give you a basic understanding of the commuting concepts. It will help you understand the definition of commuting, the target population of commuting questions and why commuting questions are asked. It also describes the census questions that collect data on the three subtopics of commuting.

Commuting Conceptual video
2023-08-22

Families, 2021 Census of Population

The objective of this video is to explain the different types of families i.e., census families and economic families. It presents the concepts and variables related to families such as household type, family structure and the living arrangements of individuals. Family-related characteristics and concepts can apply to families, individuals (those in families or not) or households.

Sociocultural concepts Conceptual video
2023-06-21

Basic components of a table, 2021 Census of Population

This video is designed to provide viewers with a basic understanding of how census concepts, e.g., focuses, population of interest and variables are logically structured to show different ways of looking at data. The knowledge of these concepts is used when analyzing or creating census data products.

Basic demographic concepts Conceptual video
2023-06-21

Marital status, 2021 Census of Population

This video is designed to give you a basic understanding of the demographic variable "marital status" and how this variable is created and used. The concepts legal marital status, common-law status and de-facto marital status, are explained to allow you to better understand, analyze and build census data tables using the marital status variable.

Sociocultural concepts Conceptual video
2023-03-29

Questions and concepts related to labour variables, 2021 Census of Population

This video is designed to give you a basic understanding of the Labour questions and concepts. It introduces the three subtopics of data that are collected from the 14 questions on labour. It will help you understand the target population of labour data, why labour questions are asked, and the reference periods of labour questions.

Labour Conceptual video
2023-03-29

First official language spoken, 2021 Census of Population

This video will help you understand the concept of first official language spoken. It explores the usefulness and relevance of the first official language spoken and how it is developed, disseminated and analyzed. You will also learn how the concept of first official language spoken takes into account knowledge of both official languages, mother tongue and language spoken most often at home.

Language Conceptual video
2023-03-29

Languages spoken at home, 2021 Census of Population

This video will help you understand the question about languages spoken at home and the main concepts and variables that flow from them. You will also learn to understand the differences between the concepts of all languages spoken regularly at home, languages spoken most often at home and other languages spoken regularly at home. It will also help you understand the changes that have been made to the question of languages spoken at home since the last census.

Language Conceptual video
2023-03-29

Aggregated and derived income concepts and income statistics, 2021 Census of Population

This video explains the key concepts of different levels of aggregation of income data such as household and family income; income concepts derived from key income variables such as adjusted income and equivalence scale; and statistics used for income data such as median and average income, quartiles, quintiles, deciles and percentiles.

Income Conceptual video
2023-03-29

Low-income concepts and statistics, 2021 Census of Population

This video builds on concepts introduced in the other videos on income. It explains key low-income concepts—Market Basket Measure (MBM), Low-income measure (LIM) and Low-income cut-offs (LICO) and the indicators associated with these concepts such as the low-income gap and the low-income ratio. These concepts are used in analysis of the economic well-being of the population.

Income Conceptual video
2023-02-16

2021 Census of Population: Population and Dwelling Counts—Webinar (video)

This video featuring a webinar held on February 9, 2022, provides information on the population and dwelling counts for Canada, the provinces and territories, for municipalities, and for many other levels of geography down to the dissemination block level. This introductory webinar presents an overview of population and dwelling concepts, geography concepts, data products as well as resources available from the first 2021 Census of Population data release. This introductory webinar presents an overview of population and dwelling concepts, geography concepts, data products as well as resources available from the first 2021 Census of Population data release.

Basic demographic concepts Webinar
2022-12-15

Instruction in the minority official language, 2021 Census of Population

This video will explain the concept of minority official language. It provides information on the new census questions regarding instruction in the minority official language, eligibility for education in minority official language and the usefulness of data on language of instruction for planning purposes.

Language Conceptual video
2022-11-30

Introduction to place of birth, citizenship and immigration, 2021 Census of Population

This video is designed to give you a basic understanding of the Place of birth, Citizenship and Immigration concepts as well as the importance of collecting data on these topics. You will also learn about other derived concepts such as generation status, immigration status, admissions category, applicant type, year of immigration, age at immigration, year of arrival, pre-admission experience and province or territory of intended destination. Data on these are used to evaluate policies and programs and compare social and economic conditions of immigrants over time.

Sociocultural concepts Conceptual video
2022-11-30

Languages used at work, 2021 Census of Population

This video provides basic information on the census questions on languages used at work and the main concepts and variables derived from them. It explains the concepts of languages used at work, language used most often at work and other languages used regularly at work. It will also help you understand the changes to the questions since the last census and the impact on historical comparability of this data.

Language Conceptual video
2022-11-30

Education concepts and variables, 2021 Census of Population

This video will give you a basic understanding of four main education concepts - educational credentials, major field of study, location of study and school attendance – as well as information on the variables associated with these concepts. It will provide information about variables, such as highest certificate, diploma or degree, Classification of Instructional Programs CIP 2021, location of study and school attendance, as well as their usefulness to data users.

Education Conceptual video
2022-10-26

Key household indicators, 2021 Census of Population

Data collected by the Census of Population are used to create different household indicators to help governments and organizations assess housing needs in Canada. This video focuses on six key household indicators that help governments and organizations manage the state of housing in Canada, namely, shelter costs, shelter-cost-to-income ratio, housing adequacy, housing suitability, housing affordability and core housing need.

Sociocultural concepts Conceptual video
2022-10-26

Collection of data on Indigenous peoples, 2021 Census of Population

This video identifies the census questionnaires and questions that help provide a portrait of Indigenous peoples in Canada. It also explains why data on the Indigenous peoples is collected and its use and importance to Indigenous governments, organizations and service providers.

Indigenous population Conceptual video
2022-10-26

Introduction to ethnocultural and religion concepts, 2021 Census of Population

This video is designed to provide you with a basic understanding of ethnic or cultural origin, population group, visible minority and religion concepts. It defines each of these concepts and explains the importance of this data in painting a picture of Canada's multicultural communities.

Sociocultural concepts Conceptual video
2022-09-21

Introduction to housing data, 2021 Census of Population

The objective of this video is to offer insights into housing variables and key household indicators like housing adequacy, suitability and affordability. It explains where housing questions are found on the Census of Population questionnaire, the importance of housing data and how housing data are used by governments, businesses and social service agencies.

Basic demographic concepts Conceptual video
2022-09-21

Housing and dwelling characteristics, 2021 Census of Population

This video introduces household and dwelling characteristics and their use in dissemination and analysis. It also presents the housing variables that are commonly used in analyses such as household maintainer, tenure, total income of household, household size and household type. In addition, the video shows the dwelling characteristics that describe the physical attributes of the living quarters occupied by the household, such as number of rooms, number of bedrooms, period of construction, dwelling condition, condominium status and value (owner estimated).

Basic demographic concepts Conceptual video
2022-09-12

2021 Census: New Indigenous content

For the first time, the 2021 Census of Population included a question on Enrollment under an Inuit land claims agreement and one on membership in a Métis organization or Settlement. These questions will help to fill data gaps on Indigenous peoples.

Indigenous population Conceptual video
2022-08-17

Mother tongue, 2021 Census of Population

This video will explain why and how census collects data on language and its importance and relevance for governments, researchers and community groups. It provides an understanding of how data on mother tongue is collected, how mother tongue variables are created and how they are disseminated and analyzed. In addition the video explains the concept of single and multiple responses and the three ways of dealing with multiple responses that is separate treatment, inclusion and distribution.

Language Conceptual video
2022-08-17

Knowledge of official and non-official languages, 2021 Census of Population

This video will allow you to identify the census questionnaire questions on knowledge of official and non-official languages. It will also allow you to understand how variables on knowledge of official and non-official languages are created and how they are disseminated and analyzed.

Language Conceptual video
2022-07-13

Introduction to income data, 2021 Census of Population

This video provides a general overview of the income data collection process and specifies the target population as well as the reference period for income data. It also points out important aspects to consider when looking at income data in conjunction with other demographic, social, ethnocultural, education and labour characteristics.

Income Conceptual video
2022-07-13

Income sources and components of total income, 2021 Census of Population

This video provides an understanding of the sources and composition of income. It identifies what is considered income and what sources are excluded from income. It introduces viewers to the components of total income i.e., market income and government transfers. It also provides an insight into how other income concepts such as employment income and after-tax income are derived.

Income Conceptual video
2022-04-27

Census dwellings, 2021 Census of Population

This video will provide viewers with a basic understanding of the differences between a private dwelling and a collective dwelling, the classification of private dwellings into regular and marginal dwellings and the classification of collective dwellings into institutional and non-institutional collective dwellings. Viewers will also learn about the method of enumeration of these dwellings.

Basic demographic concepts Conceptual video
2022-04-27

Types of dwellings, 2021 Census of Population

The census counts dwellings to associate people with a spatial unit and to publish counts of the dwellings themselves, along with information about dwelling characteristics. This video provides information about the different variables associated with dwellings such as Structural types of dwellings, Dwelling condition, Condominium status, Period of construction, Rooms and Bedrooms in a dwelling.

Basic demographic concepts Conceptual video
2022-04-27

Age, 2021 Census of Population

The objective of this video is to provide an overview of a key indicator of the most basic demographic characteristics of the population – Age. This video explains the main concepts relating to age, the quantitative and qualitative aspect of the age variable and how age is used by the public and private sector to assess and meet social and business needs.

Basic demographic concepts Conceptual video
2022-04-06

2021 Census: Sex at birth and gender – the whole picture

This video presents information on the new gender question in the 2021 Census and the added precision of ‘at birth’ to the sex question. It highlights the importance of these modifications for greater data inclusivity and the benefits for all individuals in Canada.

Basic demographic concepts Conceptual video
2022-02-09

Geographic areas of Canada, 2021 Census of Population

The objective of this video is to describe the classification of geographic areas in Canada. Well-defined geographic areas provide the framework for data collection, dissemination and analysis. This video will provide an understanding of how geographic areas are organized, the coding standards and the differences between administrative and statistical areas.

Geography Conceptual video
2022-02-09

Geographic products, 2021 Census of Population

The objective of this video is to present the various geographic products and services available to users. It will guide users through reference documents, attribute information products (such as correspondence files) and spatial information products, which can be found on the census website.

Geography Conceptual video
2022-02-09

Census geographic visualization tools, 2021 Census of Population

The objective of this video is to help users at all levels quickly understand key information derived from data with the help of powerful and dynamic tools like GeoSuite, GeoSearch and the Census Program Data Viewer.

Geography Conceptual video
2021-11-17

Role of geography, 2021 Census of Population

The objective of this video is to describe the role of geography in the census. It explains how the three stages of the census cycle define geographic areas to make it possible to locate them on the ground and link them to census data. It also covers the hierarchy of the standard geographic levels and the National Geographic Database.

Geography Conceptual video
2018-11-28

Making informed decisions with census data

The high-quality data from the census allow our governments, businesses and community leaders to make informed decisions with confidence.

Basic demographic concepts General knowledge
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