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What is the census?

The Canadian census collects information, in five-year intervals on every man, woman and child living in Canada.The census provides a statistical picture of our country and its people. Almost every country in the world carries out a census on a regular basis.

The census provides information about people in Canada based on their demographic, social and economic characteristics, and is the primary source of reliable demographic data for specific groups such as single parent families, seniors and language groups. Census information is important for your community and is vital for planning services such as child care, schooling, family services, and skills training for employment.

When is census and how do I complete my census form?

May 2nd – May 10, 2016.

Questionnaire forms will be delivered to every household in Canada beginning May 2, 2016.

You can complete the form either online or fill out the paper form and mail it in (there is no cost to mail it in) but it must be done by May 10th.

Each questionnaire will consist of the same ten questions on age, gender and marital status along with some additional questions on languages used.


Why is the census important?

The census collects demographic information on every man, woman and child living in Canada. Information from the Census of Population is used by all levels of government, businesses, and various social service organizations.  The information collected is used in the planning of government programs, pensions, healthcare, employment, new schools, public transit, hospitals, daycare, etc.

Will it make a difference if I don’t fill out my census card?


For every one person missed in the 2016 Census, Manitoba loses out on $46,000 from the Federal Government which has an impact on how much money Municipalities in Manitoba receive.

Not being counted means that Selkirk loses out on thousands of dollars in grants and transfer funds that would go towards roads, utilities and other critical municipal infrastructure and services that are important to you. It also reduces the local investments that the province and federal government make into healthcare, employment programs, schools, public transit, daycare and more.

Am I required to participate in the census?


All residents of Canada are legally required to complete either the short- or long-form census (additional questions circulated to every fourth household) questionnaire, according to the Statistics Act.

Who is included in the census?

Census includes every person living in Canada, as well as Canadians who are abroad, either on a military base, attached to a diplomatic mission, or at sea or in port aboard Canadian-registered merchant vessels. Persons in Canada – including those holding a temporary resident permit, study permit or work permit, and their dependents – are also part of the census. (All residents of Canada are included in the Census, not just all citizens of Canada. This includes landed immigrants, foreign students, visa workers, refugees and ministerial permit holders, as well as Canadian citizens working and living abroad).

Is census confidential?


Statistics Canada is bound by law to protect the confidentiality of the information respondents provide in the census. Only Statistics Canada employees who have taken the oath of secrecy have access to census questionnaires.



For a full list of FAQ’s (frequently asked questions) and Important census information, please visit Statistics Canada’s Census website