Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Distance (straight-line) from home to work

Release date: November 17, 2021Updated on: July 13, 2022


Distance (straight-line) from home to work refers to the straight-line distance, in kilometres, between a person's residence and his or her usual place of work.

Statistical unit(s)


Reported in

2021 and 2016 (25% sample); 2011Footnote 1 (30% sample); 2006, 2001 and 1996 (20% sample). For availability prior to 1981, please refer to Appendix 2.1.

Reported for

Population aged 15 years and over, in private households, with a job or absent from their job or business during the week of Sunday, May 2 to Saturday, May 8, 2021, and who reported having a usual place of work.

Previously, in other census cycles, early enumeration was conducted in remote, isolated parts of the provinces and territories in the months leading up to the May enumeration. Because of COVID-19, there was no early enumeration for the 2021 Census. Collection procedures—especially in collective dwellings and remote, northern, First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities—were redesigned to ensure the census was conducted in the best possible way, using a safe and secure approach.

Question number(s)

Derived variable: Question 51


Not applicable


Locations of workplace are coded to a geographic point location. This geographic point location is a blockface, dissemination block, dissemination area or census subdivision representative point. The distance from home to work is calculated as the straight-line distance between the residential block representative point and the workplace location representative point. In most cases, this underestimates the distance travelled to work because workers seldom have a route that minimizes the distance they travel (such as a straight line) between their home and workplace.

The workplace location for persons working outside the areas covered by census metropolitan areas or census agglomerations is, in the majority of cases, coded to a blockface or a dissemination block, based on detailed address information provided by respondents. However, some cases in these areas outside of census metropolitan areas were either (1) coded to a specific 'business district block' within the census subdivision of work, or (2) a single representative point in the largest dissemination block within the census subdivision of work. These two coding methods can affect the calculated distance from home to work for some areas outside of census metropolitan areas or census agglomerations, particularly for the group of records where the largest dissemination block was used.


Report a problem on this page

Is something not working? Is there information outdated? Can't find what you're looking for?

Please contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Privacy notice

Date modified: