Canada Prepares for its 2011 Census

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

The 2011 Canada census will be conducted on May 10. Canada does a census of all persons--including infants-- whose main residence is Canada every 5 years. These persons will receive a census questionnaire- which may be completed either on-line or on paper. Information will become available after 92 years--in 2103.

I have posted on this forum previously that in 2006 a change occurred, requiring Canadian's to affirmatively respond to an "informed consent" question asking the respondent if they want their information released to the public after 92 years-- the waiting time after which Canada releases their every 5-year census. Prior to 2006, the Canadian census information was released for all respondents after 92 years. In 2006 only 56% of Canadians gave an affirmative response to the informed consent question, meaning that 44% of the census information will not be released in 2098. If the question is left blank it will be counted as a "no" for release of
information. Hopefully a greater percentage will respond affirmatively in
2011.For more information go to:

Canada is also starting a new program: a National Household Survey which will be conducted 4 weeks after the census to 4.5 million households. Similar to the census, there will be a question requesting permission to release the individual information after 92 years. If there is no response to the question, it will be considered a "no" for releasing the individual information after 92 years. For more information on the National Household Survey go to:

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Director-at-Large
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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