Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Sex at birth

Release date: November 17, 2021


Sex at birth refers to sex assigned at birth. Sex at birth is typically assigned based on a person's reproductive system and other physical characteristics.

Sex at birth may also be understood as the sex recorded at a person's birth (for example, what was recorded on their birth certificate).

Statistical unit(s)


Reported in

2021, 2016, 2011, 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986 and 1981. For availability prior to 1981, refer to Appendix 2.1.

Reported for

Total population

Question number(s)

Direct variable: Question 2


Male; Female


Prior to 2021, the name of the variable "sex at birth" was "sex." Beginning in 2021, the variable "gender" is expected to be used by default in most social statistics programs at Statistics Canada.

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