The census is the only source that provides key information about everyone right down to their local neighbourhood level and it happens every five years in Canada.
At Environics Analytics, we use the census to provide small area data to our customers. It helps us project into the future and allows us to leverage all the great data assets available to the marketplace. Customer data tell us about the people that we already have a marketing and customer relationship with. Census data tell us about everyone. By combining these data, we can identify untapped potential, look at the divide between online and offline experiences, and help organizations get the right messages to the right people at the right time. These kinds of data and analytics make people’s lives better – not just our lives as analysts and data geeks, but the lives of all Canadians.
“As a user of data and a long-time participant of what I like to call the national statistical system, I want to remind everyone how important it is that we have great participation in this census. I am asking you fill out the census and encourage others to do so.”
Jan Kestle, President of Environics Analytics
A national census paints the portrait of a society and tracks how it is changing. It helps to understand who lives in your country, where they live, and the changing economic trends.
Here a few reasons why the census is essential to the well-being of our society:
In 2021 the following changes were made to administer the census survey:
What remained the same:
The 2021 census saw the addition of new questions to the short-form survey in response to initial consultations and happenings in our society. The short-form survey collects key demographic information including name, sex, date of birth, age, marital status, family status, knowledge of official languages, languages spoken at home, and mother tongue. For the first time in history, it also includes questions about gender and sex at birth. Canada is now one of the few countries that are asking both of these questions. Also new in this year’s census is a question about Canadian military experience, intended to be asked once and maintained as a record that can be updated with administrative data.
Long-form survey questions consider the activities of daily living, place of birth and citizenship, ethnocultural diversity, First Nations, Métis and Inuit status, questions around mobility, moving, education, labour market activities and commuting, and expenditures and housing. Statistics Canada has asked about Religion every ten years since 1871, in the year that ends in "one". Religion is on the 2021 census.
New questions on the long-form survey include:
Census data are the foundation of much information used for decision-making in our businesses today. We use census data as a steppingstone to take all the great market research and survey data from public and private sector sources and create behaviour and media preferences, psychographics, and other important information that gets tied into the Environics Analytics ecosystem.
A few of our databases that incorporate or easily connect to census data include CensusPlus, DemoStats, AccultuRates and our leading segmentation system, PRIZM®.
We are using census data extensively in our new product development, where we’re harnessing big data, mobile movement data, and other kinds of behavioural data from large data sources, including the internet of things and other tracking studies. We are bringing it into our ecosystem to produce information about what happened last week or last month. We can then use PRIZM® and demographics and wealth data to set a baseline and look at current pandemic recovery and future post-pandemic behaviour.
Watch the full "Making Sense of the Census" presentation, here.
Discover which of the 67 unique PRIZM lifestyle types make up a neighbourhood. Try the PRIZM postal code lookup.
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PRIZM is a registered trademark of Claritas, LLC.
Statistics Canada produces statistics that help Canadians better understand their country—its population, resources, economy, society and culture. Every year, it conducts about 350 active surveys on virtually all aspects of Canadian life, including the national Census every five years. The Census of Population provides high-quality information on key socioeconomic trends and analysis that helps Canadians make important decisions that affect our families, our neighbourhoods and our businesses. For more information on the 2021 Census, visit www.census.gc.ca.