Release and Concepts Overview
2016 Census of Population:
Language of work

Release date: October 4, 2017

1. Objectives

Census of Population release topics will be accompanied by their own Release and Concepts Overview and will be available from Statistics Canada's website in advance of each release.

The purpose of the Release and Concepts Overview series is to provide an overview of:

  • the concepts, definitions and key indicators used by each of the major 2016 Census of Population releases

  • the products that will be available on each major day of release and later.

The Release and Concepts Overview series will help partners, stakeholders and other data users to better understand the information being released.

This Release and Concepts Overview is for the Language of work release, which will be on November 29, 2017.

The information provided in this overview is subject to change.

2. Concepts and definitions

Language of work

  1. Language(s) used at work: A two-part question on language(s) used at work has been asked in the Census of Population since 2001. Part A relates to the language used most often at work. Part B relates to other language(s) used regularly at work, where appropriate. Multiple responses are accepted for each part.

  2. Mother tongue


In addition to making data available for Canada, the following other levels of geography will be available:

  1. Province or territory
  2. Census metropolitan area (CMA)
  3. Census agglomeration (CA)
  4. Census division (CD)
  5. Census subdivision (CSD)
  6. Census tract (CT)
  7. Population centre (POPCTR)
  8. Statistical Area Classification (SAC)
  9. Federal electoral district (FED)
  10. Economic region (ER)
  11. Forward sortation area (FSA)©
  12. Designated place (DPL)
  13. Aggregate dissemination area (ADA) (new!)
  14. Dissemination area (DA)

3. Key indicators

The use of English, French and other languages at work

  • Only
  • Mostly
  • Equally
  • Regularly
  • No mention
  • Proportions in 2006 and 2016, and growth in that period
  • For Canada, Quebec and Canada outside Quebec

The use of English, French and other languages at work by mother tongue of workers

  • Only
  • Mostly
  • Equally
  • Regularly
  • No mention
  • Mother tongue: English, French or other languages, single responses only
  • Proportions in 2006 and 2016, and growth in that period
  • For Canada, Quebec, Canada outside Quebec and three large metropolitan areas

4. Products and activities available with this release

The following will be available with the Language of work release on November 29, 2017:

  • Analytical products
    • The Daily article
    • Census in Brief
  • Data products
    • Highlight tables
    • Data tables
    • Census Profile
    • Focus on Geography Series
  • Geography product
    • GeoSearch
  • Reference products
    • Release and Concepts Overview series
    • Guide to the Census of Population, 2016
    • Census Dictionary
    • Languages Reference Guide
  • Social media
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Chat with an expert (December 4, 2017)

The following provides additional details on some key products to be available at the time of the Language of work release. Together, they will provide main findings, important messages, latest trends and additional background information.

  • The Daily article: This article will include the main results for language of work in Canada in 2016 at the national, provincial and territorial levels, as well as for some large census metropolitan areas (CMAs).

  • Census in Brief: This short article will focus on topics of current interest that raise important issues relevant from a public policy perspective:

    • Languages of work in Canada

  • Highlight tables: They present focused information for various levels of geography. These tables allow users to perform simple rank and sort functions and include percentage distributions and percentage changes from previous censuses to facilitate comparisons between years, and different geographic areas.

  • Data tables: These cross-tabulations allow for a more detailed examination of Canada, by comparing up to eight variables across various levels of geography.

  • Census Profile: This product provides key statistics about the dwellings and the people living there. Users are able to select a standard geographic area and compare two geographic areas. They can search by place name or postal code for an area of interest as large as Canada or as small as a grouping of city blocks.

  • Focus on Geography Series: This product presents highlights through short text, tables and figures for various release topics and levels of geography, including Canada, provinces and territories, census metropolitan areas (CMAs), census agglomerations (CAs) and Canadian municipalities (census subdivisions).

  • Languages Reference Guide: This guide explains census concepts and definitions. It also includes information about data quality and historical comparability, as well as comparisons with other data sources.

  • Guide to the Census of Population, 2016: This reference document provides an overview of the 2016 Census of Population processes, including content determination, collection, processing, data quality assessment, data dissemination and data suppression. It also includes response rates, global non-response rates, the distribution of the number of census subdivisions for which data have been published by province and territory and at the national level, as well as other data quality information.

  • Census Dictionary: This provides detailed definitions of census concepts, variables and geographic terms, as well as historical information to facilitate the comparison between census years.

Social media activities with this release

  • Facebook and Twitter: The official social media accounts will also be used to communicate and engage with the public for the dissemination of results from the 2016 Census of Population.

  • Chat with an expert: Users are invited to chat with Statistics Canada experts on the topics of Language of work, Journey to work, and Mobility and migration, on December 4, 2017, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Eastern time. For more information, refer to Statistics Canada's website: Chat with an expert.

5. Products available after release

The following products will be available with later releases:

Analytical products

  • Articles in Insights on Canadian Society (ICS)
  • Data visualization tool. More information about this initiative will be made available during the release cycle.

Data products

  • Additional data tables at various levels of geography
  • 2016 Census Aboriginal Population Profile
  • 2016 Census Individuals Public Use Microdata File (PUMF)
  • 2016 Census Hierarchical Public Use Microdata File (PUMF)
  • 2016 Census Long-form Research Data Centre (RDC) Microdata File

Reference products

  • Reference guides (various topics)
  • Technical reports

6. 2016 Census Program web module

To access the 2016 Census of Population products, please consult the 2016 Census Program web module.

7. 2016 Census Program release schedule

Release dates, 2016 Census Program
Release date Release topic
November 16, 2016 Geography
February 8, 2017 Population and dwelling counts
May 3, 2017

Age and sex

Type of dwelling

May 10, 2017 Census of Agriculture
August 2, 2017

Families, households and marital status


September 13, 2017 Income

October 25, 2017

Immigration and ethnocultural diversity


Aboriginal peoples

November 29, 2017



Journey to work

Language of work

Mobility and migration

8. Contact information

General enquiries

Media Relations – Media Hotline

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