It is official! The 2016 Census was the best ever, thanks to the willing participation of Canadians.
While we are all aware of the importance and value of the census data, there are aspects of this enormous Canadian tradition that are perhaps less known to Canadians. Here are two fun facts about the census that you may not know.
1. Has the census always been taken in May?
The 2016 Census took place in May. However, it has not always been the case.
The date of the census has, in fact, changed several times since 1871. In 1911, Census Day was moved from April to June 1. Better weather and road conditions made it easier to deliver census questionnaires.
In 1981, Census Day was changed from a fixed date of June 1 to the first Tuesday in June. This change ensured that people who were moving on the first of the month were counted at their new residence.
In 1996, the date was moved to May. Conducting the census in May ensures that the distribution and mail-back of census questionnaires takes place during the same month. Conducting follow-up in June when residents are still at home also helps to keep costs down and speed up the collection of questionnaires.
2. How were the colours chosen for the 2016 Census questionnaires?
They were chosen because they work well with the scanning equipment that will be used during the processing of the questionnaires.
As for the census package envelopes, yellow was chosen as the colour so that postal workers could easily sort the census envelopes from the rest of the mail. Yellow envelopes had been used for the 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011 censuses, and were once again used in 2016.
For more information on the census and the 2016 Census data release schedule, please visit Statistics Canada’s website.
Information Provided by Statistics Canada