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Sample characteristics: Canada

Census/survey characteristics
Type Census
Title 1852 Census of Canada West and Canada East
Statistical agency Office of Registration
Population universe All persons who spent census night in the country, including temporarily absent persons
De jure or de facto De facto and de jure
Census/survey day January 11, 1852
Field work period January 11, 1852
Questionnaire Two enumeration forms were used, one in urban areas and one in rural areas.
Type of fieldwork Direct enumeration
Microdata sample characteristics
Sample design Page-based sampling method, taking every fifth group of 50 people. Some areas of the country, including major urban centers, are under-represented in the data because the original manuscripts were lost. For more information, see sample design documentation and project website.
Sample fraction 20%
Sample size (person records) 248,543
Sample weights Weights computed by data producer should be used for most types of analysis
Units identified in microdata
Dwellings No
Vacant units No
Households Yes
Collective dwellings No
Smallest geography Subdistrict
Census/survey characteristics
Type Census
Title First Census of Canada 1871
Statistical agency Department of Agriculture, Census Branch
Population universe The population legally domiciled within the territory, including temporarily absent persons
De jure or de facto De jure
Census/survey day April 2, 1871
Field work period April 2, 1871
Questionnaire Single household enumeration form
Type of fieldwork Direct enumeration
Microdata sample characteristics
Sample design Stratified, random sample drawn by data producers. More information about the sample design is available here.
Sample fraction 5%
Sample size (person records) 62,276
Sample weights Weights computed by data producer should be used for most types of analysis
Units identified in microdata
Dwellings No
Vacant units No
Households Yes
Collective dwellings No
Smallest geography Province
Unit definitions
Households One person living alone, or any number of persons living together under one roof, and having their food provided together
Census/survey characteristics
Type Census
Title Second Census of Canada 1881
Statistical agency Department of Agriculture, Census Branch
Population universe The population legally domiciled within the territory, including temporarily absent persons
De jure or de facto De jure
Census/survey day April 4, 1881
Field work period April 4, 1881
Questionnaire Single household enumeration form
Type of fieldwork Direct enumeration
Microdata sample characteristics
Sample design See data producer website for information on dataset construction.
Sample fraction 100%
Sample size (person records) 4,278,174
Sample weights Not applicable
Units identified in microdata
Dwellings No
Vacant units No
Households Yes
Collective dwellings No
Smallest geography District
Unit definitions
Households One person living alone, or any number of persons living together under one roof, and having their food provided together
Census/survey characteristics
Type Census
Title Third Census of Canada 1891
Statistical agency Department of Agriculture, Census Branch
Population universe The population legally domiciled within the territory, including temporarily absent persons
De jure or de facto De jure
Census/survey day April 6, 1891
Field work period April 6, 1891
Questionnaire Single household enumeration form
Type of fieldwork Direct enumeration
Microdata sample characteristics
Sample design Three partially overlapping subsamples: a 5% sample of all persons; a 10% sample of urban centers and the central and western provinces; and 100% of all dwellings with 31 or more persons and select areas in Ontario. More information about the sample design is available here.
Sample fraction 5;10;100%
Sample size (person records) 433,270
Sample weights Weights computed by data producer should be used for most types of analysis
Units identified in microdata
Dwellings No
Vacant units No
Households Yes
Collective dwellings Yes
Smallest geography District
Unit definitions
Households One person living alone, or any number of persons living together under one roof, and having their food provided together
Census/survey characteristics
Type Census
Title Fourth Census of Canada 1901
Statistical agency Department of Agriculture, Census Branch
Population universe The population legally domiciled within the territory, including temporarily absent persons
De jure or de facto De jure
Census/survey day March 31, 1901
Field work period March 31, 1901
Questionnaire Single household enumeration form
Type of fieldwork Direct enumeration
Microdata sample characteristics
Sample design Stratified, random sample of dwellings drawn by data producers. For more information, see sample design documentation and data producer website.
Sample fraction 5%
Sample size (person records) 371,373
Sample weights Self-weighting (expansion factor=20)
Units identified in microdata
Dwellings No
Vacant units No
Households Yes
Collective dwellings Yes
Smallest geography Province
Unit definitions
Dwellings Any structure which provides shelter for a human being. If the structure has only one entrance it counts as a single dwelling, no matter how many families it may shelter. If the structure has two front or principal doors leading into separate parts, the structure is counted as two dwellings.
Households A household may include all persons in a housekeeping community, whether related by ties of blood or not, but usually with one of their number occupying the position of head. But single persons living alone who have a special dwelling and carry on their own housekeeping are also to be regarded as households. 
Collective dwellings An institution household includes such establishments as hospitals, asylums, poor house, prisons, penitentiaries, schools of learning, barracks, etc., whose inmates, if they have no home or domicile elsewhere outside of the institution, are to be entered under the name of the institution.
Census/survey characteristics
Type Census
Title Fifth Census of Canada 1911
Statistical agency Department of Agriculture, Census Branch
Population universe The population legally domiciled within the territory, including temporarily absent persons
De jure or de facto De jure
Census/survey day June 1, 1911
Field work period June 1, 1911
Questionnaire Single household enumeration form
Type of fieldwork Direct enumeration
Microdata sample characteristics
Sample design Cluster samples of individual records, with the dwelling as the cluster, drawn by data producers. For more information, see data producer website.
Sample fraction 5%
Sample size (person records) 264,686
Sample weights Self-weighting (expansion factor=20)
Units identified in microdata
Dwellings No
Vacant units No
Households Yes
Collective dwellings Yes
Smallest geography District
Unit definitions
Dwellings Any structure which provides shelter for a human being is a house. It need not be a house in the usual sense of the word, but may be a room in a factory, a store or office building, a railway car, or the like. 
Households A household may include all persons in a housekeeping community, whether related by ties of blood or not, but usually with one of their number occupying the position of head. All the occupants and employees of a hotel or lodging house, if that is their usual place of abode, make up for Census purposes a single household. 
Collective dwellings An institution household includes such establishments as hospitals, poorhouses, asylums for the insane, prisons, penitentiaries, schools of learning, military barracks, homes for the aged, homes of refuge, etc.
Census/survey characteristics
Type Census
Title 1971 Census of Canada
Statistical agency Statistics Canada
Population universe Resident population in private dwellings in the areas with a minimum population of 250,000 persons. Foreign residents and non-permanent residents were excluded .

Prince Edward, Yukon and Northwest Territories are not included in the sample.

De jure or de facto De jure
Census/survey day June 1, 1971
Questionnaire The long form which requested information about dwellings, households and individuals.
Type of fieldwork Direct and self-enumeration
Microdata sample characteristics
Sample design (a) Systematic sample of every 3rd household with a random start was given a long form. (b) The long form sample was then stratified within each georgraphic region. (c) A sample of individuals was systematically drawn from each stata proportionally to represent 1% of the sample.
Sample fraction 1%
Sample size (person records) 214,019
Sample weights Self-weighting (expansion factor = 100)
Units identified in microdata
Dwellings No
Vacant units No
Households No
Collective dwellings Yes
Smallest geography Province
Unit definitions
Dwellings A structurally separate set of living quarters with a private entrace from outside or from a common hallway or stairway inside the building, i.e., the entrance must not be through someone else's living quarters. Dwellings under construction that are not ready for occupancy are not included.
Households A person or group of persons occupying one dwelling. It usually consists of a family group, with or without lodgers, employees, etc. However, it may consist of two or more families shaing a dwelling, of a group of unrelated persons or of one person living alone.
Collective dwellings Household occupying a collective dwelling.
Census/survey characteristics
Type Census
Title 1981 Census of Canada
Statistical agency Statistics Canada
Population universe Resident population in private dwellings in the areas with a minimum population of 250,000 persons. Foreign residents and non-permanent residents were excluded .
De jure or de facto De jure
Census/survey day June 3, 1981
Questionnaire The long form which requested information about dwellings, households and individuals.
Type of fieldwork Direct and self-enumeration
Microdata sample characteristics
Sample design (a) Systematic sample of every 5th household with a random start was given a long form. (b) The long form sample was then stratified within each georgraphic region. (c) A one-in-fifty sample of individuals was systematically drawn from each strata and one-in-a-hundred sample was drawn for household/family file. Individual and household samples were drawn separately.
Sample fraction 2%
Sample size (person records) 486,875
Sample weights Self-weighting (expansion factor = 50 for individual data, expansion factor = 100 for household data)
Units identified in microdata
Dwellings No
Vacant units No
Households No
Collective dwellings Yes
Smallest geography Province and census metropolitan area with 100,000+ population
Unit definitions
Dwellings A dwelling is a separate set of living quarterwith a private entrace from outside or from a common hallway or stairway inside the building. This entrance must not be through someone else's living quarters.
Households Refers to a person or group of persons (other than foreign residents) who occupy a dwelling and do not have a usual place of residence elsewhere in Canada. It usually consists of a family group with or without lodgers, employees, etc. However, it may consist of two or more families sharing a dwelling, a group of unrelated persons, or one person living alone. Household members who are temporarily absent on Census Day are considered as part of their usual household. For census purpose, every person is a member of one and only one household.
Collective dwellings A person or group of persons who occupy a collective dwelling and do not have a usual place of residence elsewhere in Canada.
Census/survey characteristics
Type Census
Title 1991 Census of Canada
Statistical agency Statistics Canada
Population universe Canadian citizens and landed immigrants having a usual place of residence in Canada or residing aroad, on a military base or on a diplomatic mission. The file also includes data on non-permanent residents of Canada. The inclusion of non-permanent residents in the population universe of the 1991 Census marks a change from previous census coverage. The file excludes institutional residents, residents of partial refusal Indian reserves or Indian settlements, and foreign residents, namely foreign diplomats, members of the armed forces of another country who are stationed in Canada, and resdients of another country who are visiting Canada temporarily.
De jure or de facto De jure
Census/survey day June 4, 1991
Questionnaire The long form which requested information about dwellings, households and individuals.
Type of fieldwork Direct and self-enumeration
Microdata sample characteristics
Sample design (a) Systematic sample of every 5th household with a random start was given a long form. (b) The long form sample was then stratified within each georgraphic region. (c) The final sample was selected systematically using a sampling interval of 100/9, with a random start between 0 and the sampling interval. The sample size is equal to 3% of the target population.
Sample fraction 3%
Sample size (person records) 809,654
Sample weights Self-weighting (expansion factor = 33.33)
Units identified in microdata
Dwellings No
Vacant units No
Households No
Collective dwellings No
Smallest geography Province and census metropolitan area with 100,000+ population
Unit definitions
Dwellings A dwelling is a separate set of living quarterwith a private entrace from outside or from a common hallway or stairway inside the building. This entrance must not be through someone else's living quarters.
Households Refers to a person or group of persons (other than foreign residents) who occupy a dwelling and do not have a usual place of residence elsewhere in Canada. It usually consists of a family group with or without other non-family persons, of two or more families sharing a dwelling, of a group of unrelated persons, or of one person living alone. Household members who are temporarily absent on Census Day (e.g., temporary residents elsewhere) are considered as part of their usual household. For census purpose, every person is a member of one and only one household.
Census/survey characteristics
Type Census
Title 2001 Census
Statistical agency Statistics Canada
Population universe The target population includes all Canadian citizens and landed immigrants who have a usual place of residence in Canada or who are abroad, either on a military base or attached to a diplomatic mission. The file also includes data on non-permanent residents of Canada. As non?permanent residents were not enumerated before 1991 (except in 1941), users wishing to make comparisons over time will have to take this factor into consideration. The file excludes institutional residents, residents of incompletely enumerated Indian reserves or Indian settlements, and foreign residents, namely foreign diplomats, members of the Armed Forces of another country who are stationed in Canada, and residents of another country who are visiting Canada temporarily.
De jure or de facto De jure
Census/survey day May 15, 2001
Questionnaire The long form which requested information about dwellings, households and individuals.
Type of fieldwork Direct and self-enumeration
Microdata sample characteristics
Sample design (a) Systematic sample of every 5th household with a random start was given a long form. (b) The long form sample was then stratified within each georgraphic region. (c) Since the objective is to have a self-weighted sample making up 2.7% of the target universe, individuals are selected systematically, in proportion to their weighting factor, with a sampling interval of 37.
Sample fraction 2.7%
Sample size (person records) 801,055
Sample weights Calculated by Statistics Canada adjusting to sex, the sampling age groups, and the geographic areas in the Individuals File.
Units identified in microdata
Dwellings No
Vacant units No
Households No
Collective dwellings No
Smallest geography Province and census metropolitan area with 100,000+ population
Unit definitions
Dwellings A dwelling is a separate set of living quarters with a private entrance from the outside or from a common hallway or stairway inside the building. This entrance should not be through someone else's living quarters.
Households Refers to a person or a group of persons (other than foreign residents) who occupy the same dwelling and do not have a usual place of residence elsewhere in Canada. It may consist of a family group (census family) with or without other non-family persons, of two or more families sharing a dwelling, of a group of unrelated persons, or of one person living alone. Household members who are temporarily absent on Census Day (e.g. temporary residents elsewhere) are considered as part of their usual household. For census purposes, every person is a member of one and only one household. Unless otherwise specified, all data in household reports are for private households only.
Census/survey characteristics
Type Census
Title 2011 National Household Survey
Statistical agency Statistics Canada
Population universe The National Household Survey covers all persons who usually live in Canada, in the provinces and the territories, including those persons who live on Indian reserves or in other Indian settlements, permanent residents, non-permanent residents such as refugee, slaimants, holders of work or study permits, and members of their families living with them.
De jure or de facto De facto
Census/survey day May 10, 2011
Field work period 2011-05-10 to 2011-08-24
Questionnaire NHS questionnaire containing individaul and dwelling questions
Type of fieldwork In wave 1 (May and June), the focus was on online collection. In wave 2 (June to mid-July), printed questionnaires were mailed out to households that did not respond in wave 1. In wave 3 (mid-July to mid-August), non-response follow-up was conducted for households that did not respond in waves 1 and 2, with the aim of maximizing the survey's response rate.
Microdata sample characteristics
Sample design A random sample of 4.5 million dwellings was selected for the NHS. This is slightly less than one-third (30%) of all private dwellings in Canada in 2011. The sample size was determined to ensure a uniform dissemination probability for small areas and small populations, within the available budget and resources. The NHS sample was selected from the 2011 Census of Population dwelling list.
Sample fraction 2.78%
Sample size (person records) 925,564
Sample weights Calculated by Statistics Canada the weights are calibrated to census population counts for 33 post-strata. The sample is close to a self-weighting sample of households with 85% of the weights equal to 32.
Units identified in microdata
Dwellings No
Vacant units No
Households Yes
Collective dwellings No
Smallest geography Province
Unit definitions
Dwellings Refers to a separate set of living quarters with a private entrance either from outside or from a common hall, lobby, vestibule or stairway inside the building in which a person or a group of persons is permanently residing. The entrance to the dwelling must be one that can be used without passing through the living quarters of someone else.
Households Refers to a person or a group of persons (other than foreign residents) who occupy the same private dwelling and do not have a usual place of residence elsewhere in Canada.
Collective dwellings --