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Policy on response to formal review requests of 2011 Census population and dwelling counts

When Statistics Canada releases population and dwelling counts from the census, data users sometimes question the validity of the counts for a particular geographic area such as a municipality (census subdivision) or sub-municipal area (designated place).


  1. Statistics Canada will conduct a formal review for each request received.
  2. In cases where no significant error in the population and dwelling counts is detected, Statistics Canada will confirm the published census counts with a written explanation.
  3. In cases where errors in the population and dwelling counts are confirmed, Statistics Canada will provide the results of the research and the revised counts. Statistics Canada will also notify the appropriate province or territory, and any other municipalities or places affected, of the revised counts.
  4. Statistics Canada will document the error detected and provide errata statements for the affected areas.
  5. Statistics Canada will not correct the census database and data products if errors are found. Errata statements will be published on the Statistics Canada website.
  6. Statistics Canada will not re-enumerate a community as part of the formal review. The census is a major undertaking that is uniquely valuable because it records dwelling counts and population characteristics for every municipality in Canada at a single point in time (Census Day) using standard definitions and procedures.

Supporting documentation

When making the request for a formal review of population and/or dwelling census counts, Statistics Canada requires that supporting documentation be submitted to substantiate a potential error. Supporting documentation could be in the form of:

  • administrative records (for example, assessment records, utilities customer addresses, building permits, election lists)
  • recent local census counts.

Requests for formal reviews of 2011 Census population and dwelling counts

The deadline to submit a request for formal review is December 31, 2012. After December 31, 2012, questions related to 2011 Census population and dwelling counts will be considered in the planning of the 2016 Census. On March 2013, Statistics Canada will release estimates of the 2011 Census net undercoverage of population, based on the results from the 2011 Census coverage studies. This information will be used for the population estimates, based on the 2011 Census population counts, adjusted for net census undercoverage. These population estimates will also take into account adjustments as a result of formal reviews of 2011 Census population counts.


Requests for information or for a review of population and/or dwelling census counts should be made by contacting the nearest Statistics Canada office:

Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick:



Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut:

Inquiries concerning this policy should be directed to:

Margaret Michalowski
Assistant Director
Census Subject-matter Secretariat
Telephone: 613-951-2349
Fax: 613-951-4918.
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