Reference materials, 2021 Census

Reference materials are designed to help users make the most of census data. They cover various aspects of the census and are intended to support the use of data. Every effort has been made to simplify the text or add simple explanations to the technical text in order to make the information accessible to as many people as possible.

Visit the 2021 Census of Population release schedule of topics and access the 2021 Census of Population products and services map: Reference materials to learn about the upcoming suite of reference materials.

2021 Census of Population reference products

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2021 Census of Population reference materials
Release date
(yyyy-mm-dd) Four digits for the year, two digits for the month, two digits for the day
Product Product type
2022-09-21

Title:Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021

Dictionary: 98-301-X2021001

Description: The Census Dictionary is a reference document which contains detailed definitions of Census of Population concepts, variables, and geographic terms, as well as historical information.

Dictionary
2022-09-21

Title:Housing Characteristics Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021

Guide: 98-500-X2021005

Description: This reference guide provides information to help users effectively use and interpret housing characteristics data from the 2021 Census.

Guide
2022-09-21

Title:Indigenous Peoples Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021

Guide: 98-500-X2021009

Description: This reference guide provides information to help users effectively use and interpret Indigenous peoples data from the 2021 Census. The title of this product for the 2021 Census was renamed from ‘Aboriginal Peoples Reference Guide’ to ‘Indigenous Peoples Reference Guide’ to reflect a change in terminology in the Census of Population. The term “Indigenous” replaced “Aboriginal” when referring to the collective term for people who identify as First Nations, Métis or Inuit. Its usage aligns with the Government of Canada and is coherent with standard terminology used in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Guide
2022-09-21

Title:2021 Census Data Quality Guidelines

Data quality and confidentiality: 98-26-0006-X2021001

Description: These guidelines provide information to help people effectively use and interpret the data quality indicators for the 2021 Census.

Data quality and confidentiality
2022-09-21

Title:Understanding confidence intervals for the 2021 Census

Data quality and confidentiality: 982000012021003

Description: This fact sheet provides a concise description of the context to the understanding of Confidence intervals. Confidence intervals are a useful data quality indicator. Confidence intervals will usually be available in data tables accessible through the Statistics Canada website.

Data quality and confidentiality
2022-08-17

Title:Guide to the Census of Population, 2021

Guide: 98-304-X2021001

Description: This reference document provides an overview of the Census of Population content determination, collection, processing, data quality assessment and data dissemination.

Guide
2022-08-17

Title:Languages Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021

Guide: 98-500-X2021003

Description: This reference guide provides information to help users effectively use and interpret language data from the 2021 Census.

Guide
2022-08-17

Title:Instruction in the Minority Official Language Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021

Guide: 98-500-X2021017

Description: This reference guide provides information to help users effectively use and interpret instruction in the minority official language data from the 2021 Census.

Guide
2022-08-17

Title:Population and dwelling count amendments, 2021 Census

Supporting documentation

Description: After the release of the 2021 Census population and dwelling counts, issues affecting the data are occasionally uncovered. This reference document provides original and revised population and dwelling counts for geographic areas with amendments to the 2021 Census population and dwelling counts.

Supporting documentation
2022-07-13

Title:Families, Households and Marital Status Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021

Guide: 98-500-X2021002

Description: This reference guide provides information to help users effectively use and interpret family, household and marital status data from the 2021 Census.

Guide
2022-07-13

Title:Income Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021

Guide: 98-500-X2021004

Description: This reference guide provides information to help users effectively use and interpret income data from the 2021 Census.

Guide
2022-07-13

Title:Canadian Military Experience Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021

Guide: 98-500-X2021015

Description: This reference guide provides information to help users effectively use and interpret Canadian military experience data from the 2021 Census.

Guide
2022-07-13

Title:Veterans Data in the 2021 Census of Population

Technical report: 98200002-X2021001

Description: The report Veterans Data in the 2021 Census of Population aims to inform users of the conceptual framework and definitions used to gather the 2021 Census data on Canadian military experience and the relevant data quality aspects.

Technical report
2022-07-13

Title:2021 Census data quality indicators

Data quality and confidentiality

Description: To enable users to conduct a detailed evaluation of the data quality and to determine the relevance of the data to their needs, quality indicators accompany the 2021 Census of Population data outputs. The purpose of the data quality indicators is to present the risk of known and measurable potential errors at the time of dissemination.

Data quality and confidentiality
2022-07-13

Title:Geographic areas not released, 2021 Census of Population

Data quality and confidentiality

Description: In order to ensure non-disclosure of individual respondent identity and characteristics and to limit the dissemination of data of unacceptable quality, some 2021 Census geographic areas are suppressed or removed from data and analytical products.

Data quality and confidentiality
2022-06-14

Title:Gender diversity status of couples: New information in the 2021 Census

Supporting documentation: 98-20-0001-2021002

Description: This fact sheet provides a concise description of the context and definitions related to a new concept, the gender diversity status of couples.

Supporting documentation
2022-04-27

Title:Age, Sex at Birth and Gender Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021

Guide: 98-500-X2021014

Description: This reference guide provides information to help users effectively use and interpret age, sex at birth and gender data from the 2021 Census.

Guide
2022-04-27

Title:Type of Dwelling Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021

Guide: 98-500-X2021001

Description: This reference guide provides information to help users effectively use and interpret type of dwelling data from the 2021 Census.

Guide
2022-04-27

Title:2021 Census gender note

Supporting documentation

Description: An explanation of gender concepts used in 2021 Census of Population data products.

Supporting documentation
2022-04-06

Title:Filling the gaps: Information on gender in the 2021 Census

Supporting documentation: 98-20-0001-2021001

Description: This fact sheet provides the context for the addition of the gender question on the 2021 Census, as well as the definitions related to gender and sex at birth. It also explains what gender-related information will be available in the April 27th, 2022 Census release.

Supporting documentation
2022-03-30

Title:Ethnic or Cultural Origin Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021

Guide: 98-500-X2021008

Description: This reference guide provides information to help users effectively use and interpret ethnic or cultural origin data from the 2021 Census.

Guide
2022-03-30

Title:Visible Minority and Population Group Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021

Guide: 98-500-X2021006

Description: This reference guide provides information to help users effectively use and interpret visible minority and population group data from the 2021 Census.

Guide
2022-03-30

Title:Place of Birth, Generation Status, Citizenship and Immigration Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021

Guide: 98-500-X2021007

Description: This reference guide provides information to help users effectively use and interpret place of birth, generation status, citizenship and immigration data from the 2021 Census.

Guide
2022-03-30

Title:Mobility and Migration Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021

Guide: 98-500-X2021010

Description: This reference guide provides information to help users effectively use and interpret mobility and migration data from the 2021 Census.

Guide
2022-03-30

Title:Religion Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021

Guide: 98-500-X2021016

Description: This reference guide provides information to help users effectively use and interpret religion data from the 2021 Census.

Guide
2022-03-30

Title:Education Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021

Guide: 98-500-X2021013

Description: This reference guide provides information to help users effectively use and interpret education data from the 2021 Census.

Guide
2022-03-30

Title:Commuting Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021

Guide: 98-500-X2021011

Description: This reference guide provides information to help users effectively use and interpret commuting data from the 2021 Census.

Guide
2022-03-30

Title:Labour Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021

Guide: 98-500-X2021012

Description: This reference guide provides information to help users effectively use and interpret labour data from the 2021 Census.

Guide
2022-03-30

Title:Balancing the Protection of Confidentiality with the Needs for Disaggregated Census Data, Census of Population, 2021

Data quality and confidentiality: 98-26-0005-2021001

Description: This report helps users understand how we balance protecting confidentiality and meeting needs for data. It provides information at a high level for major variables such as those related to gender, Indigenous peoples, visible minority, ethnocultural diversity, instruction in the official minority language and religious groups.

Data quality and confidentiality
2022-02-09

Title:Policy on response to formal review requests of 2021 Census population and dwelling counts

Supporting documentation

Description: This webpage outlines the policy and guidelines to submit a request for a formal review.

Supporting documentation
2022-02-09

Title:Symbols, abbreviations and acronyms

Supporting documentation

Description: The symbols, abbreviations and acronyms found on this page may be found in 2021 Census products.

Supporting documentation
2022-02-09

Title:Incompletely enumerated reserves and settlements

Supporting documentation

Description: This note explains the subdivisions defined as reserves and settlements that were incompletely enumerated in 2021.

Supporting documentation
2022-02-09

Title:Consent to release personal information

Supporting documentation

Description: This reference document describes policy regarding the consent to release personal information after 92 years. It also provides information about the availability of historical census records.

Supporting documentation
2022-01-21

Title:Use of administrative data to impute non-responding households in areas with low response rates for the 2021 Census

Data quality and confidentiality

Description: Information about administrative data used for the 2021 Census, during data processing, to impute (assign values to missing data) non-responding households.

Data quality and confidentiality
2021-11-17

Title:2021 Census of Population collection response rates

Supporting documentation

Description: 2021 Census of population collection response rates for Canada, provinces and territories. Includes overall response, long form, Internet and self-response rates. These preliminary rates are obtained directly from collection results before data processing and data quality verification.

Supporting documentation
2021-11-17

Title:Geographic name formats

Supporting documentation

Description: A list showing the differences between official geography names and those used in census products caused by technical system constraints.

Supporting documentation
2021-05-12

Title:2021 Census dissemination planning

Supporting documentation

Description: Learn about our planning and progress on the dissemination of 2021 Census of Population products and services.

Supporting documentation
2021-05-12

Title:2021 Census of Population release schedule

Supporting documentation

Description: There will be seven major 'themed' release dates for the dissemination of data from the 2021 Census of Population. Each major release of data by theme will be highlighted in The Daily, Statistics Canada's official release bulletin, and each major release will offer data, analytical, and reference products for our users to access and consume.

Supporting documentation
2021-05-12

Title:2021 Census of Population products and services map

Supporting documentation

Description: Access information on the product and service line for Statistics Canada's 2021 Census of Population.

Supporting documentation
2020-07-24

Title:Chief Statistician's virtual roundtable discussions: 2021 Census of Population questionnaire

Supporting documentation: 11-631-X2020002

Description: This presentation gives an overview of the topics discussed during the virtual roundtables on the 2021 Census of Population questionnaire content. The five main topics are the following: family, demography and activity limitations; languages, ethnocultural diversity and immigration (including citizenship, religion, population groups, minority language education rights); Indigenous peoples; education, labour, commuting, and Veterans; and housing, income and expenditures.

Supporting documentation
2020-07-20

Title:Technical reports on changes for the 2021 Census

Technical report: 98-20-0002

Description: This series of technical reports provides an in-depth view of the changes in content for the 2021 Census of Population, as the census process is ever changing to reflect changes in the Canadian population and its demographic characteristics.

Technical report
2020-07-17

Title:Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s)

Questionnaire

Description: Statistics Canada has published the 2021 Census of Population short-form (2A), long-form (2A-L, 2A-R) and Census of Agriculture questionnaires on its website.

Questionnaire
2020-07-17

Title:Painting a Portrait of Canada: The 2021 Census of Population

Supporting documentation: 98-26-0001

Description: This document outlines Statistics Canada’s planned approach for the 2021 Census of Population.

Supporting documentation
2020-07-17

Title:2021 Census Fact Sheets: Updated content for the 2021 Census of Population

Supporting documentation: 98-20-0001

Description: This series of fact sheets offers an overview of content changes for the 2021 Census. These concise documents explain why new and modified questions are asked and describe the changes considered along with the resulting approach for 2021.

Supporting documentation

Note: In an effort to provide users the information they need as soon as possible, reference guide definitions and concepts, questions, classifications, concepts over time, and collection and processing information will be published ahead of major releases. Data quality and comparability content will be added for major release dates.

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