Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Generation status

Release date: November 17, 2021Updated on: October 26, 2022

Definition

Generation status refers to whether or not the person or the person's parents were born in Canada.

Statistical unit(s)

Classification(s)

Reported in

2021 and 2016 (25% sample); 2011Footnote 1 (30% sample); 2006 and 2001 (20% sample). For availability prior to 1981, please refer to Appendix 2.1.

Reported for

Population in private households.

Question number(s)

Derived variable: Questions 19 and 20

Responses

The standard classification for generation status is "First generation," "Second generation" and "Third generation or more."

Remarks

Generation status is derived from responses to questions concerning the person's place of birth (Question 19) and the place of birth of their parents (Question 20).

For more information on the place of birth questions in the 2021 Census of Population, refer to the definitions of place of birth of person and place of birth of parents.

Within the generation status variable, the three main categories are defined as follows:

"First generation" includes persons who were born outside Canada. For the most part, these are persons who are now, or once were, immigrants to Canada.

"Second generation" includes persons who were born in Canada and had at least one parent born outside Canada. For the most part, these are the children of immigrants.

"Third generation or more" includes persons who were born in Canada with all parents born in Canada.

To better understand the relationship between the concepts of immigration, place of birth and generation status, please refer to Figure 2.5.

To better understand the relationship between the concepts of immigration and citizenship, please refer to Figure 2.6.

For more information on immigration variables, including information on data quality and their comparability with other sources of data, please refer to the Place of Birth, Generation Status, Citizenship and Immigration Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021.

Note(s)

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