Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Military service status

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

Definition

Military service status refers to whether or not the person is currently serving or has previously served in the Canadian military.

Military service status is asked of all Canadians aged 17 and older.

For the purposes of the 2021 Census, Canadian military service includes service with the Regular Force or Primary Reserve Force as an Officer or Non‑Commissioned Member. It does not include service with the Cadets, Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service (COATS) instructors or the Canadian Rangers.

Statistical unit(s)

Classification(s)

Reported in

2021 (100% data)

Reported for

Total population, 17 years and older

Question number(s)

Direct variable: Question 11

Responses

Yes, currently serving in the Regular Force or the Primary Reserve Force; Yes, but no longer serving in the Regular Force or the Primary Reserve Force; No

Remarks

The 2021 Census of Population Canadian military experience question asked, "Has this person ever served in the Canadian military?" Notes that accompanied the Canadian military experience question stated the following:

Canadian military service includes service with the Regular Force or Primary Reserve Force as an Officer or Non‑Commissioned Member. It does not include service with the Cadets (COATS), the Supplementary Reserve or the Canadian Rangers.

Additional instructions on how to complete the Canadian military experience question were provided to persons via a help button accessed in the electronic questionnaire:

The Supplementary Reserve consists mostly of former members of the Regular Force or the Primary Reserve Force.

For persons in the Supplementary Reserve with prior Canadian military service in either the Regular Force or Primary Reserve Force,

For more information on the military service status variable, including data quality and comparability with other sources of data, please refer to the Canadian Military Experience Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021.

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