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The Canada 2006 Census was a detailed enumeration of the Canadianmarker 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.


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.

Population and dwelling counts

The first release of 2006 Census data was on March 13, 2007, covering population and dwelling counts by geographical unit.

Population of the provinces and territories

Province / territory


% Change


Population density
per square kilometre

Newfoundland and Labradormarker 505,469 -1.5 235,958 1.4
Prince Edward Islandmarker 135,851 +0.4 62,753 23.9
Nova Scotiamarker 913,462 +0.6 425,681 17.3
New Brunswickmarker 729,997 +0.1 331,619 10.2
Quebecmarker 7,546,131 +4.3 3,452,300 5.6
Ontariomarker 12,160,282 +6.6 4,972,869 13.4
Manitobamarker 1,148,401 +2.6 491,724 2.1
Saskatchewanmarker 968,157 -1.1 387,160 1.6
Albertamarker 3,290,350 +10.6 1,335,745 5.1
British Columbiamarker 4,113,487 +5.3 1,788,474 4.4
Yukonmarker 30,372 +5.9 15,296 0.1
Northwest Territoriesmarker 41,464 +11.0* 16,774 0.0
Nunavutmarker 29,474 +10.2 9,041 0.0
Canadamarker 31,612,897 +5.4 13,576,855 3.5

* This change is likely overstated due to improvements in coverage of the Northwest Territories in 2006. [266360]

Age and sex

The second release of 2006 Census data was on July 17, 2007, covering age and sex of the Canadian population. Among other findings, Statistics Canada reported that the 65-and-over population was at a record high of 13.7% of the total population of Canada. By comparison, the 2001 census found that the 65-and-over population was 13.0% of the total population of Canada.

Population of each province and territory by age and sex
Province / territory 0 to 14 15-64 65+ Males Females
Newfoundland and Labradormarker 78,230 356,975 70,265 245,730 259,740
Prince Edward Islandmarker 23,985 91,685 20,185 65,595 70,260
Nova Scotiamarker 146,435 628,815 138,210 439,835 473,630
New Brunswickmarker 118,255 504,110 107,635 355,495 374,500
Quebecmarker 1,252,510 5,213,335 1,080,285 3,687,695 3,858,435
Ontariomarker 2,210,800 8,300,300 1,649,180 5,930,700 6,229,580
Manitobamarker 225,175 761,340 161,890 563,275 585,125
Saskatchewanmarker 187,695 631,155 149,305 475,240 492,915
Albertamarker 631,515 2,305,425 353,410 1,646,800 1,643,550
British Columbiamarker 679,605 2,834,075 599,810 2,013,985 2,099,495
Yukonmarker 5,720 22,365 2,290 15,280 15,090
Northwest Territoriesmarker 9,920 29,570 1,975 21,225 20,240
Nunavutmarker 10,000 18,660 810 15,105 14,365
Canadamarker 5,579,835 21,697,805 4,335,255 15,475,970 16,136,925

Families, marital status, households and dwelling characteristics

The third release of 2006 Census data was on September 12, 2007 and covered families/households, marital status, and dwelling characteristics.

The following table displays various census data (derived from the 20% sample that completed the long questionnaire) on marital status for the Canadian population aged 15 years or more, as well as data on the number of couples by various criteria, and where available the percentage change from the 2001 census:


% Change

Population aged 15 years and over 26,033,060 +7.2
Legally married (and not separated) 12,470,400 +3.8
Separated, but still legally married 775,425 +5.7
Divorced 2,087,390 +12.5
Widowed 1,612,815 +4.6
In a common-law relationship 2,731,635 +19.6
In a same-sex union 90,695 +32.6
Same-sex couples 45,350
Male same-sex married couples 4,010
Female same-sex married couples 3,455
Male same-sex common-law couples 20,730
Female same-sex common-law couples 17,155
All couples 7,482,780 +6.0
Married couples with children 3,443,775 -0.7
Married couples without children 2,662,130 +9.5
Common-law couples with children 618,150 +16.4
Common-law couples without children 758,715 +20.9

Immigration, citizenship, language, mobility and migration

The fourth release of 2006 Census data was on December 4, 2007 and covered immigration, citizenship, language, mobility, migration and other population data.

Aboriginal peoples

The fifth release of 2006 Census data was on January 15, 2008, covering aboriginal peoples.

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

The sixth release of 2006 Census data was on March 4, 2008, covering labour, education and some other topics going with that.

Ethnic origin, visible minorities

The seventh release of 2006 Census data was on April 2, 2008, covering ethnic origins and visible minorities 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.


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.


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.


A variety of forms were available in both official languages, varying in length, colour, and recipient's location.

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:

  • Question 6: Relationship. Couples in same-sex marriages were offended by and/or objected 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 advised bilingual francophones to not mention their knowledge of English.
  • Question 53: Election to release census data after 92 years. Genealogists worried that future research will be hampered if Canadians didn't check this box.
: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%. Individual respondents are permitted to change their response to this question by mailing in a request-for-change form.

The quality of data was further hampered by individuals who advocated minimal cooperation or non-cooperation, in protest to the outsourcing contract awarded to Lockheed Martin. 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 had been criticized over accessibility issues:

  • 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, but support for other operating systems was not.

See also

External links


  1. Statistics Canada, The Daily, Tuesday, March 13, 2007 The Daily (pdf)
  2. 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
  3. Statistics Canada, The Daily, Tuesday, July 17, 2007 The Daily (pdf)
  4. Release no. 2: Age and sex
  5. Age and Sex, 2001 Counts for Both Sexes, for Canada, Provinces and Territories - 100% Data
  6. Statistics Canada, Age and Sex Highlight Tables, 2006 Census, catalogue number 97-551-XWE2006002, released 2007-07-17, Population by broad age groups, 2006 counts for both sexes, for Canada, provinces and territories - 100% data
  7. Age and Sex Highlight Tables, 2006 Census, 2006 counts for males, for Canada, provinces and territories - 100% data, 2006 counts for females, for Canada, provinces and territories - 100% data
  8. Statistics Canada, The Daily, Wednesday, September 12, 2007 The Daily (pdf)
  9. Release no. 3: September 12, 2007, Families and households
  10. Release no. 3: September 12, 2007, Marital status (including common-law status)
  11. Release no. 3: dwelling and household characteristics
  12. Statistics Canada, Catalogue number 97-552-XWE2006007, Legal Marital Status (6), Common-law Status (3), Age Groups (17) and Sex (3) for the Population 15 Years and Over of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2001 and 2006 Censuses - 100% Data
  13. Persons in same-sex unions by broad age groups and sex for both sexes, 2006 counts, for Canada, provinces and territories - 20% sample data
  14. Same-sex couples by type of union (married, common-law) and sex, 2006 Census - 20% sample data
  15. Couple families by presence of children in private households
  16. Statistics Canada, The Daily, Tuesday, December 4, 2007 The Daily (pdf)
  17. Statistics Canada, The Daily, Tuesday, January 15, 2008 The Daily (pdf)
  18. Statistics Canada, The Daily, Tuesday, March 4, 2008 The Daily (pdf)
  19. Release no. 6: labour
  20. Release no. 6: Education
  21. Statistics Canada, The Daily, Wednesday, April 2, 2008 The Daily (pdf)
  22. Release no. 7: Ethnic origin and visible minorities
  23. Release no. 7: Place of work and commuting to work
  24. Statistics Canada, Census 2006 Release topics and dates.
  25. Statistics Canada, Genealogy corner
  26. Statistics Canada, 2006 Census results: The 92-year question. Retrieved 2008-04-21.
  27. Statistics Canada, Change or verify your response to the consent question on the 2006 Census of Population

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