Census of Canada, 1921 – Available to Researchers in the Next Few Weeks

Library and Archives Canada took custody of the Census of the Canadian population, 1921 from Statistics Canada, and is beginning work to make it discoverable for Canadians. Closed for 92 years under the Statistics Act to protect individuals’ private information, the census data is being indexed so it can be mined for historical and genealogical research as soon as possible.

Taken on June 1, 1921, the census contains a wealth of information available on more than 197,500 images. The almost 11,700 commissioners and enumerators recorded by hand nearly 8.8 million individuals in thousands of communities across the country. Census returns were geographically enumerated, that is to say according to a person’s residence and not by individuals’ names, in the order in which households were visited.

Information for the census was collected on the following five subjects: population; agriculture; animals, animal products, fruits not on farms; manufacturing and trading establishments; and supplemental questionnaire for persons who were blind and deaf. This represents a total of 565 questions. The population questionnaire contained only 35 questions.

Library and Archives Canada is committed to making the 1921 Census’ rich and complex information accessible and available to all Canadians, no matter where they live, in the next few weeks. Further details on the 1921 Census’ availability will be shared once they are available.

Canadians can continue to access censuses taken before 1921 through Library and Archives Canada’s Census Indexes webpage to learn more about their families and study Canada’s past. Census records are among the most often consulted resources on Library and Archives Canada’s website.

29 thoughts on “Census of Canada, 1921 – Available to Researchers in the Next Few Weeks

  1. Wonderful news – wish there was a photo or two of the records being received or being worked on … I’ll be looking forward to searching for a number of my grandparents and their relatives!

  2. Excellent news that LAC is taking responsibility now. Sad (at least ) that we have waited so long for any real answers. No details yet though. A tip of my hat to Stats Canada which (whether January or June) has co-operated.

  3. So the Census will be made available in the next few weeks. Glad to hear it.
    When will it be indexed?

  4. Pingback: Update on 1921 Census of Canada | Ottawa Valley Irish

  5. Great! But why the delay? Some information on what has been done since the records were physically transferred to LAC early in the year and when researchers will be able to see these records would be appreciated. Presumably there has been time to make several copies of the microfilm so that the originals can be placed in secure storage. At the same time a detailed list of the contents of the microfilm reels must have been prepared and should by now be available both in the Reference Room at 395 Wellington and on the LAC website. The copies of the microfilm which are for public use should also by now be available in the microfilm reading room at 395 Wellington. What percentage of the microfilm has been scanned for viewing on the web and how quickly is this work proceeding? In the past few months consultations with user groups should have been taking place to aid in developing plans for indexing this material. There is, however, no need to wait until the material is indexed to make it available. It can be “mined” before that. After all the earlier census material was a valuable research source for many decades before any indexes were produced and the census microfilms have always been among the most requested items on InterLibrary Loan.

  6. Pingback: Census of Canada, 1921 – Available to Researchers in the Next Few Weeks | Canmore History

  7. The really exciting news would be that the Census of 1921 is now available to researchers. When will this happen and what is the cause for the delay? I am sure the reference staff at LAC are becoming very embarrassed by their inability to answer such a basic question.

  8. I just read today that the Harper government has put the release on hold because “a senior member of our government believes that the only persons interested in the 1921 census are three old ladies in Kingston.” Please say this is not true and the census will be released on scheduled.

    • I am from Kingston, am not an old lady ( getting there though) & am so anxious to see the 1921 census. My dad is in it! I must say that I am extremely disappointed in this attitude of “a senior member of the government”. I think that this particular member should perhaps be careful of the use of sarcasm & remember that he/she is an elected member of government.

  9. LAC says, “Will be released in a few weeks” — really? What is your definition of “few”
    What should be an incredibly exciting time for genealogists with Canadian heritage has turned into an incredibly frustrating wait for LAC to say something concrete.

  10. I sent an email to Harper, not even an auto reply. Sent an email to James Moore, again, not even an auto reply. Sent an email to my MP. Got a reply from someone in she office, unfortuntely it did not deal with the census, just referred to the digitization project.

  11. It has been a month and still no word on when the 1921 Census will be made available as LAC has said it is committed to do. We have all heard that the census is ready to be made available on the internet whenever someone says the word. Who is responsible for the delay? I am sorry for the staff who actually deal with the public and cannot answer the questions about the 1921 Census.

  12. Please let us know the latest details on the 1921 census… Still waiting VERY patiently. BTW I’m a 32 year old male, not one of the 3 old ladies.

  13. Six weeks now and total silence. So many announcements about census information becoming available but 1921 is still a mystery! Why?

  14. Pingback: Where is the 1921 Census? | Ottawa Valley Irish

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