Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Census subdivision (CSD)

Release date: November 17, 2021Updated on: February 9, 2022

Definition

Census subdivision (CSD) is the general term for municipalities (as determined by provincial/territorial legislation) or areas treated as municipal equivalents for statistical purposes (e.g., Indian reserves, Indian settlements and unorganized territories). Municipal status is defined by laws in effect in each province and territory in Canada.

Reported in

2021, 2016, 2011, 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986, 1981, 1976, 1971, 1966 and 1961

Remarks

Census subdivision type

Census subdivisions (CSDs) are classified into 57 types according to official designations adopted by provincial, territorial or federal authorities. Two exceptions are 'subdivision of unorganized' (SNO) in Newfoundland and Labrador, and 'subdivision of county municipality' (SC) in Nova Scotia, which are geographic areas created as equivalents for municipalities by Statistics Canada, in cooperation with those provinces, for the purpose of disseminating statistical data.

The CSD type accompanies the census subdivision name to distinguish CSDs from each other—for example, Balmoral, VL (for the village of Balmoral) and Balmoral, P (for the parish / paroisse (municipalité de) of Balmoral).

Table 1.5 shows CSD types, their abbreviated forms, and their distribution by province and territory.

Census subdivision types associated with on‑reserve population

The on‑reserve population is a derived census variable that is captured by using the census subdivision (CSD) type according to criteria established by Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) and Crown‑Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC), formerly Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC).

The on‑reserve population includes people living in any of the eight CSD types legally affiliated with First Nations or Indian bands described below.

The following CSD types are based on the legal definition of communities affiliated with First Nations or Indian bands.

  1. Indian reserve (IRI) (992 CSDs) – A tract of federally owned land with specific boundaries that is set apart for the use and benefit of an Indian as defined by CIRNAC. Statistics Canada only recognizes the subset of Indian reserves that are populated (or potentially populated) as census subdivisions. For 2021, of the more than 3,200 Indian reserves across Canada, there are 992 Indian reserves classified as CSDs. Statistics Canada works closely with ISC and CIRNAC to identify those reserves to be added as CSDs. For the 2021 Census, 73 reserves have been added to the Census geographic frame and 28 reserves have been deleted from the geographic frame; the lists of additions and deletions of Indian reserves are given below under the heading 'Changes to census subdivisions for the 2021 Census.'
  2. Indian settlement (S-É) (21 CSDs) – A locality, often on Provincial Crown lands, where the resident population is predominately aboriginal, sometimes comprising members of a First Nation or various First Nations, non‑status Indians, or Métis. A settlement is not an Indian reserve and has no statutory basis under the Indian Act. A boundary is delineated to represent each Indian settlement as a census subdivision. (Exclusions: Champagne Landing 10 and Kloo Lake which have CSD type S‑É are excluded from this tabulation).
  3. Indian government district (IGD) (2 CSDs) – Sechelt reserve lands in British Columbia. The Sechelt Indian Band Self‑Government Act (1986) is a transfer by Her Majesty in right of Canada to the Sechelt Band in all Sechelt reserve lands, recognizing that the Sechelt Band would assume complete responsibility for the management, administration and control of all Sechelt lands.
  4. Terres réservées aux Cris (TC) (9 CSDs) – Parcels of land in Quebec set aside for the permanent residence of Cree First Nations of Quebec under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (1977). Terres réservées aux Cris are adjacent to villages cris. The area of a village cri is set aside for the use of Cree bands, but members of Cree bands are not permanently residing there. Note that a village cri and its adjacent terre réservée aux Cris can have the same name, e.g., the village cri of Waswanipi and the terre reservée aux Cris of Waswanipi.
  5. Terres réservées aux Naskapis (TK) (1 CSD) – Parcels of land in Quebec set aside for the permanent residence of Naskapi First Nations of Quebec under the Northeastern Quebec Agreement (1979). Terres réservées aux Naskapis are adjacent to village Naskapi. The lone area of village Naskapi is set aside for the use of the Naskapi band, although its members do not reside there permanently.
  6. Nisga'a land (NL) (1 CSD) – Part of the territory whose title has been transferred to the Nisga'a Nation by the Final Land Claims Agreement (1998) between the Nisga'a Nation, the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia. Within this CSD are the five designated places (DPL) for the five Nisga'a villages.
  7. Tsawwassen Lands (TWL) (1 CSD) – Part of the territory whose title has been transferred to the Tsawwassen First Nation by the Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement (2009) between the Tsawwassen First Nation, the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia.
  8. Tla'amin Lands (TAL) (1 CSD) – Part of the territory whose title has been transferred to the Tla'amin Nation by the Tla'amin Final Agreement (2016) between the Tla'amin Nation, the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia.

Census subdivision code

The CSD code is a three‑digit code that is based on the Standard Geographical Classification. To uniquely identify each in Canada, the two‑digit province or territory (PR) code and the two‑digit census division (CD) code must precede the CSD code. For example:

PR-CD-CSD codeCSD name and type
12 06 008Mahone Bay, T, (Nova Scotia)
35 06 008Ottawa, CV, (Ontario)

Two municipalities in Canada straddle provincial limits: Flin Flon, Manitoba and Saskatchewan; and Lloydminster, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Each of their provincial parts is treated as a separate CSD. Indian reserves are also treated as separate CSDs when they straddle provincial limits.

Changes to census subdivisions for the 2021 Census

Prince Edward Island experienced significant municipal restructuring in response to the Municipal Government Act, which came into effect in December 2017. The boundaries and statuses of the vast majority of existing census subdivisions (CSDs) were changed. All township and royalty (LOT) CSDs were dissolved, and the status of all community (COM) CSDs was changed to rural municipality (RM).

The following reserve census subdivisions (CSDs) were deleted as they have not been populated for the last three censuses. The deletion of these CSDs does not mean that they no longer exist; rather, their removal from the database is purely for census‑related operational reasons.

Five census subdivisions (CSDs) with the type Indian settlement (S-É) were also removed. The deletion of these CSDs does not mean that they no longer exist; rather, their removal from the database is purely for census‑related operational reasons.

The following reserve census subdivisions (CSDs) were created for the 2021 Census.

The boundaries, names, codes and statuses of census subdivisions (CSDs) reflect those in effect on January 1, 2021, the geographic reference date for the 2021 Census of Canada.

Information about any census subdivision changes that were effective on or before January 1, 2021 reference date must have been received by Statistics Canada prior to March 1, 2021, in order to be processed in time for the census.

Refer to the related definition of Standard Geographical Classification (SGC) and to the 2021 Standard Geographical Classification (SGC), Volume I (Catalogue no. 12‑571‑X) for summaries of the intercensal CSD changes to codes, names and statuses.

Changes prior to the current census

Not applicable

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