Canada 2006 Census

Canada 2006 Census

The Canada 2006 Census was a detailed enumeration of the Canadian population. Census day was May 16 2006. The next census following will be the 2011 Census. Canada's total population enumerated by the 2006 census was 31,612,897. This count was lower than the official July 1, 2006 population estimate of 32,623,490 people.cite web|url=|title=Differences between Statistics Canada’s census counts and population estimates|publisher=Statistics Canada|year=2006|accessdate=2008-08-21]


Over 12.7 million households, 32.5 million people were expected to be counted. Canada Post delivered census forms by mail to 70% of the country, primarily residents in urban areas. Census enumerators delivered to the remaining 30% of households. Every fifth home received the long questionnaire (53 questions versus 8 questions on the short form). For the first time, Canadian residents were able to go online to fill in their forms. Statistics Canada expected approximately 20% of households to file their surveys electronically. Persistent census staff are contacting tardy households. The total estimated cost of the 2006 census is $567 million spread over seven years, employing more than 25,000 full and part-time census workers.

New in the 2006 Census Questionnaire:
* Education. Where did individuals receive their highest level of education? (Only on extended questionnaire)
* Income. Permission to use income information from individual's income tax file. Income from child benefits. Income tax paid. (Also only on extended questionnaire)
* Access to personal information. Permission to make information public in 92 years.

Questions not asked in the 2006 Census:
* Religion. Normally asked only once every 10 years, and the religion question was asked in the 2001 Census.
* Education. The number of years of schooling received.

Modified questions:
* Education. A separate question for each level of schooling, and type of school attended.

Data products

As the data are collected and digitized, Statistics Canada releases various categories of census data. On March 13, 2007, the first batch of data was released, covering population and dwelling counts by geographical unit. This has been followed by other census reports.cite web|url=|title=2006 Census release dates|work=2006 Census|publisher=Statistics Canada|year=2006|accessdate=2006-05-16]

Population and dwelling counts

The first release of 2006 Census dataStatistics Canada, [ The Daily, Tuesday, March 13, 2007] [ The Daily (pdf)] ] was on March 13, 2007, covering population and dwelling counts by geographical unit.

Population of the provinces and territories [Statistics Canada, [ Population and Dwelling Count Highlight Tables, 2006 Census] , [ Catalogue number 97-550-XWE2006002] , released 2007-03-13, [ Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, province and territories, 2006 and 2001 censuses - 100% data] ]

Immigration, citizenship, language, mobility and migration

The fourth release of 2006 Census dataStatistics Canada, [ The Daily, Tuesday, December 4, 2007] [ The Daily (pdf)] ] was on December 4 2007 and covered immigration, citizenship, language, mobility, and migration.

Aboriginal peoples

The fifth release of 2006 Census dataStatistics Canada, [ The Daily, Tuesday, January 15, 2008] [ The Daily (pdf)] ] was on January 15 2008, covering aboriginal peoples.

Labour, place of work/commuting to work, education, language

The sixth release of 2006 Census dataStatistics Canada, [ The Daily, Tuesday, March 4, 2008] [ The Daily (pdf)] ] was on March 4 2008, covering labour [ [ Release no. 6: labour] ] , education [ [ Release no. 6: Education] ] and some other topics.

Ethnic origin, visible minorities

The seventh release of 2006 Census dataStatistics Canada, [ The Daily, Wednesday, April 2, 2008] [ The Daily (pdf)] ] was on April 2 2008 , covering ethnic origins and visible minorities [ [ Release no. 7: Ethnic origin and visible minorities] ] and commuting to work. [ [ Release no. 7: Place of work and commuting to work] ]

Income/earnings, shelter costs

The eighth release of 2006 Census data was on May 1 2008, covering income and earnings, and shelter costs. [ [ Statistics Canada, Census 2006 Release topics and dates.] ]


In contrast to 1996 focus-groups that found it important to know the legal requirement at the outset, participants of 2005 focus-groups were annoyed or provoked by draft ads reminding Canadians about the census law. As a result of the finding, Statistics Canada's initial newspaper, radio and TV ads avoided mention of the legal requirement. Instead, reference to the census law was highlighted only in ads appearing after census day, to capture late filers.

To encourage participation, Statistics Canada set aside $13 million for "saturation" advertising, including billboards, bookmarks, inserts in municipal tax bills, and ads on bags of sugar and milk cartons. [cite news|author=Beeby, Dean|url=|title=Statistics Canada revamps census ad campaign to play down legal requirements|publisher=Canoe Inc.|date=2005-03-26|accessdate=2006-04-28]


Statistics Canada reports less than 20% of the work will be outsourced, spending $85M over 5 years. Despite an open public tender process, controversy arose on the announcement of a $43.3 million deal awarded to Lockheed Martin Canada -- a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, the world's largest defense contractor by defense revenue -- for the purchase of scanning and printing software and hardware. [cite news|author=Lambert, Steve|url=|title=Census contractor comes under fire|publisher=London Free Press|date=2004-10-10|accessdate=2006-04-28]


A variety of forms were available in both official languages, varying in length, colour, and recipient's location. [cite web|url=|title=2006 Census: Census questionnaires and guides|date=2008-02-14|accessdate=2008-03-22|publisher=Statistics Canada]

Most households (80%) received the short form (2A):
* English: orange
* French: yellow

One in five received the long form (2B):
* English: red
* French: purple

Federal and provincial employees and their families working in embassies and National Defence bases abroad (2C):
* English: purple
* French: red

In the three northern territories and on Aboriginal communities and settlements (2D):
* English: orange
* French: yellow

Census of Agriculture (6):
* English: yellow
* French: orange


Special interest groups have criticised Statistics Canada over the design of questions, accuracy, and the future of the census data: [cite news|author=Freeze, Colin.|url=|title=Census coloured by broad array of interests|publisher=The Globe and Mail|date=2006-05-15|accessdate=2006-05-16]

* Question 6: Relationship. Couples in same-sex marriages are offended by and/or object to Statistics Canada's instruction that they use the write-in field "Other" instead of checking the "husband or wife" box.
* Question 16: Mother tongue. An anonymous email misinformation campaign advises bilingual francophones to not mention their knowledge of English.
* Question 53: Election to release census data after 92 years. [ [ Statistics Canada, Genealogy corner] ] Genealogists worry future research will be hampered if Canadians don't check this box.Fact|date=April 2008::Nationally, there was a yes response in respect of 55.58% of persons enumerated in the census. The yes percentage was highest in Prince Edward Island, 64.50%, and lowest in Nunavut, 51.39%. [ [ Statistics Canada, 2006 Census results: The 92-year question] . Retrieved 2008-04-21.] Individual respondents are permitted to change their response to this question by mailing in a request-for-change form. [ [ Statistics Canada, Change or verify your response to the consent question on the 2006 Census of Population] ]

The quality of data is further hampered by individuals advocating minimal cooperation or non-cooperation, in protest to the outsourcing contract awarded to Lockheed Martin. [cite news|author=Riga, Andy|url=|title=Census faces attack from blog rumours|publisher=National Post|date=2006-05-08|accessdate=2006-05-16] Many people believed that Lockheed Martin would have access to their information, and that the US government could then access that information through the USA PATRIOT Act. However, despite assurances to the contrary (i.e., only Statistics Canada employees would and could handle, store, and access the information), some people refused to participate fully in the Census.

In addition, Statistics Canada's online questionnaire has been criticized over accessibility issues: [cite news|author=Byfield, Bruce|url=|title=Canadian Census controversy continues|publisher=NewsForge|date=2006-05-12|accessdate=2006-05-16]

* Failure to comply with Treasury Board guidelines to meet W3C accessibility recommendations for the visually impaired.
* Failure to support open source operating systems. Support for Linux was eventually added,cite web|url=|title=Notice to Linux users|publisher=Statistics Canada|year=2006|accessdate=2006-05-16] but support for other operating systems was not.

ee also

*Demographics of Canada
*Statistics Act

External links

* [ 2006 Census: Release topics and dates] - Statistics Canada's page on the 2006 Census.


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