Census records are one of the most useful sources for genealogical research. They can help you discover when and where your ancestor was born, the occupations of a household’s members, what year an immigrant arrived in Canada and many other details.
Census returns were enumerated geographically (according to a person’s residence), not by an individual’s name. The information for each sub-district was recorded in the order in which the enumerator visited each household. Many genealogical societies and individuals transcribe and index census returns by name and make them accessible.
Our census indexes page provides you with helpful links to these indexes. Starting in 1851, a census for all of Canada was held every ten years, with the addition of a census specifically for the Prairie Provinces in 1906 and 1916.
Of course, genealogists and family historians are always eager to consult a new census and we have been receiving questions about the 1921 Census and when is it going to be available.
The 1921 Census of Canada
Census returns after 1916 are in the custody of Statistics Canada, not Library and Archives Canada. The records are closed under the Statistics Act and the Act to Amend the Statistics Act [www.parl.gc.ca/common/Bills_ls.asp?lang=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&ls=S18&source=Bills_Senate_Government]. Under the legislation, when 92 calendar years have elapsed since the taking of a census, those records will be opened for public use and transferred to Library and Archives Canada.
The 1921 Census was taken on June 1st, which means that it will be in the custody of Library and Archives Canada on June 1, 2013. Our intention is to make it available to researchers online, in the same format as previous censuses, as soon as possible after that date.
A few facts about the 1921 Census:
- it was taken on June 1, 1921
- it is the sixth comprehensive decennial census to be taken since the creation of the Dominion
- there were five schedules with a total of 565 questions
- 241 commissioners and 11,425 enumerators were employed
- the most important growth of the population was in the prairie provinces with 47% since the 1911 Census
- the overall population of Canada was 8,788,483 individuals
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