Ethnic origin, population groups and religion

In preparation for the 2021 Census, Statistics Canada conducted a content consultation from fall 2017 to spring 2018 using an online questionnaire and face-to-face discussions.

Consultation respondents and federal stakeholders suggested that the census questionnaire provide additional examples when collecting information on ethnic origin and religion. Respondents reported data gaps on ethnic origin and data gaps related to the frequency of religion data available from the census, which currently collects religion data every 10 years.

You asked, we listened

As a result of national consultations with interested parties, Statistics Canada has included the question on religion in the 2019 Census Test, and has added a number of additional examples of religions and religious denominations to the question.

You asked for Proposed content for the 2019 Census Test
Improvement of the question on religion The list of examples of religions has been modified to improve coherence and collect information on religious affiliations and diversity that is representative of the Canadian population.
Modifications to the ethnic/cultural origin and population group questions

New versions of the ethnic/cultural origin and population group questions are included to:

  • collect information on ethnic and cultural diversity in Canada
  • provide access to a comprehensive list of examples of ethnic/cultural origins
  • provide estimates of the visible minority population in support of the Employment Equity Act.

The information on religion is used to help understand changes in Canadian society and to plan facilities and services within diverse communities, given that Canada's religious landscape evolves continually.

The information on ethnic origin is used by associations, agencies and researchers for activities such as health promotion, communications and social support programs.

The population group question helps collect data that are used by governments, businesses, community groups, health care providers, researchers and a variety of organizations throughout the country to support programs that provide equal opportunity for everyone to share in the social, cultural and economic life of Canada.

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