Canada 2006 Census

The Canada 2006 Census was a detailed enumeration of the Canadian population. Census day was May 16, 2006. The following census was 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.[1]


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:

Questions not asked in the 2006 Census:

Modified questions:

Data products

As the data were compiled, Statistics Canada released various census data products. The first set of data products was released on March 13, 2007, originally scheduled for release on February 13, 2007,[2] covering population and dwelling counts by geographical unit. This was followed by other census data products.[3]

Population and dwelling counts

The first release of 2006 Census data[4] was on March 13, 2007, covering population and dwelling counts by geographical unit.

Population of the provinces and territories[5]

Province / territory
% Change
Population density
per square kilometre
Newfoundland and Labrador 505,469 -1.5 235,958 1.36
Prince Edward Island 135,851 +0.4 62,753 23.9
Nova Scotia 913,462 +0.6 425,681 17.63
New Brunswick 729,997 +0.1 331,619 10.5
Quebec 7,546,131 +4.3 3,452,300 5.63
Ontario 12,160,282 +6.6 4,972,869 13.8
Manitoba 1,148,401 +2.6 491,724 2.14
Saskatchewan 968,157 -1.1 387,160 1.67
Alberta 3,290,350 +10.6 1,335,745 5.38
British Columbia 4,113,487 +5.3 1,788,474 4.7
Yukon 30,372 +5.9 15,296 0.065
Northwest Territories 41,464 +11.0* 16,774 0.037
Nunavut 29,474 +10.2 9,041 0.015
Canada 31,612,897 +5.4 13,576,855 3.41

* This change is likely overstated due to improvements in coverage of the Northwest Territories in 2006. [6]

Age and sex

The second release of 2006 Census data[7] 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.[8] By comparison, the 2001 census found that the 65-and-over population was 13.0% of the total population of Canada.[9]

Population of each province and territory by age[10] and sex[11]

Province / territory 0 to 14 15-64 65+ Males Females
Newfoundland and Labrador78,230356,97570,265245,730259,740
Prince Edward Island23,98591,68520,18565,59570,260
Nova Scotia146,435628,815138,210439,835473,630
New Brunswick118,255504,110107,635355,495374,500
British Columbia679,6052,834,075599,8102,013,9852,099,495
Northwest Territories9,92029,5701,97521,22520,240

Families, marital status, households and dwelling characteristics

The third release of 2006 Census data[12] was on September 12, 2007 and covered families/households,[13] marital status,[14] and dwelling characteristics.[15]

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[16] 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[17] 90,695 +32.6
Same-sex couples[18] 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[19] 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[20] 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[21] was on January 15, 2008, covering aboriginal peoples.

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

The sixth release of 2006 Census data[22] was on March 4, 2008, covering labour,[23] education[24] and some other topics going with that.

Ethnic origin, visible minorities

The seventh release of 2006 Census data[25] was on April 2, 2008, covering ethnic origins and visible minorities[26] and commuting to work.[27]

Income/earnings, shelter costs

The eighth release of 2006 Census data was on May 1, 2008, covering income and earnings, and shelter costs.[28]


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.[29]


Statistics Canada reports less than 20% of the work will be outsourced, spending $85 million 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.[30]


A variety of forms were available in both official languages, varying in length, colour, and recipient's location.[31]

Most households (80%) received the short form (2A):

One in five received the long form (2B):

Federal and provincial employees and their families working in embassies and National Defence bases abroad (2C):

In the three northern territories and on Aboriginal communities and settlements (2D):

Census of Agriculture (6):


Special interest groups criticised Statistics Canada over the design of questions, accuracy, and the future of the census data:[32]

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%.[34] Individual respondents are permitted to change their response to this question by mailing in a request-for-change form.[35]

In addition, Statistics Canada's online questionnaire had been criticized over accessibility issues:[36]

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.[38] 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.

The release of data was postponed to numerous issues during enumeration.[2] These included:

As a result, the first release of data from the census, originally scheduled for release on February 13, 2007, was delayed to March 13, 2007.[2]

See also

External links


  1. "Differences between Statistics Canada's census counts and population estimates". Statistics Canada. 2006. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
  2. 1 2 3 "2006 census results delayed amid problems". CBC. February 12, 2007. Retrieved December 18, 2011.
  3. "2006 Census release dates". 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. 2006. Retrieved May 16, 2006.
  4. Statistics Canada, The Daily, Tuesday, March 13, 2007 The Daily (pdf)
  5. Statistics Canada, Population and Dwelling Count Highlight Tables, 2006 Census, Catalogue number 97-550-XWE2006002, released March 13, 2007, Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, province and territories, 2006 and 2001 censuses - 100% data
  6. "Symbol". November 5, 2008. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  7. Statistics Canada, The Daily, Tuesday, July 17, 2007 The Daily (pdf)
  8. Release no. 2: Age and sex
  9. Age and Sex, 2001 Counts for Both Sexes, for Canada, Provinces and Territories - 100% Data
  10. Statistics Canada, Age and Sex Highlight Tables, 2006 Census, catalogue number 97-551-XWE2006002, released July 17, 2007, Population by broad age groups, 2006 counts for both sexes, for Canada, provinces and territories - 100% data
  11. 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
  12. Statistics Canada, The Daily, Wednesday, September 12, 2007 The Daily (pdf)
  13. Release no. 3: September 12, 2007, Families and households
  14. Release no. 3: September 12, 2007, Marital status (including common-law status)
  15. Release no. 3: dwelling and household characteristics
  16. 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
  17. Persons in same-sex unions by broad age groups and sex for both sexes, 2006 counts, for Canada, provinces and territories - 20% sample data
  18. Same-sex couples by type of union (married, common-law) and sex, 2006 Census - 20% sample data
  19. Couple families by presence of children in private households
  20. Statistics Canada, The Daily, Tuesday, December 4, 2007 The Daily (pdf)
  21. Statistics Canada, The Daily, Tuesday, January 15, 2008 The Daily (pdf)
  22. Statistics Canada, The Daily, Tuesday, March 4, 2008 The Daily (pdf)
  23. Release no. 6: labour
  24. Release no. 6: Education
  25. Statistics Canada, The Daily, Wednesday, April 2, 2008 The Daily (pdf)
  26. Release no. 7: Ethnic origin and visible minorities
  27. Release no. 7: Place of work and commuting to work
  28. Statistics Canada, Census 2006 Release topics and dates.
  29. Beeby, Dean (March 26, 2005). "Statistics Canada revamps census ad campaign to play down legal requirements". Canoe Inc. Archived from the original on April 18, 2006. Retrieved April 28, 2006.
  30. Lambert, Steve (October 10, 2004). "Census contractor comes under fire". London Free Press. Retrieved April 28, 2006.
  31. "2006 Census: Census questionnaires and guides". Statistics Canada. February 14, 2008. Retrieved March 22, 2008.
  32. Freeze, Colin. (May 15, 2006). "Census coloured by broad array of interests". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved May 16, 2006.
  33. Statistics Canada, Genealogy corner
  34. Statistics Canada, 2006 Census results: The 92-year question. Retrieved April 21, 2008.
  35. Statistics Canada, Change or verify your response to the consent question on the 2006 Census of Population
  36. Byfield, Bruce (May 12, 2006). "Canadian Census controversy continues". NewsForge. Retrieved May 16, 2006.
  37. "Notice to Linux users". Statistics Canada. 2006. Archived from the original on June 15, 2006. Retrieved May 16, 2006.
  38. Riga, Andy (May 8, 2006). "Census faces attack from blog rumours". National Post. Retrieved May 16, 2006.
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