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ORIGIN records the respondent's self-reported ethnic origin. This variable is the only way to identify black persons (usually "African") or indigenous persons ("Indian", or the specific tribe name) in Canada in 1881.

Researchers interested in comparisons with the United States and Canada should examine the codes for this variable in conjunction with the RACE variable.

In Norway, information about ethnicity in the censuses is only included in the most ethnically diverse areas of Norway, mainly the three northernmost provinces: Nordland, Troms and Finnmark. In addition to these three provinces, the Norway 1910 census also included information about ethnicity from some southern ethnically diverse municipalities.

Comparability — Index


Comparability — General

This variable is only available for the pre-1950 Canadian censuses, the 1900 and 1910 Norwegian censuses, and Swedish censuses.

Users should be aware that a few ethnic categories change slightly over time between the 1900 and 1910 Norwegian censuses with more categories being available for 1910.


No universe descriptions are currently available.


  • Canada: 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911
  • Norway: 1900, 1910
  • Sweden: 1880, 1890, 1900, 1910