How the Census counts Indigenous people in urban areas

Release date: September 23, 2022
Infographic: How the Census counts Indigenous people in urban areas
Description: How the Census counts Indigenous people in urban areas

In 2021, 801,045 Indigenous people were living in urban areas in Canada.

This number has increased by 12.5% since 2016.

Data table
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table. The information is grouped by Urban area (appearing as row headers), Indigenous people (appearing as column headers).
Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) Indigenous population
Winnipeg 102,080
Edmonton 87,600
Vancouver 63,345
Calgary 48,625
Ottawa–Gatineau 46,545
Montréal 46,090
Toronto 44,635
Saskatoon 34,890

The Census tries to reach everyone

Before collection
List of dwellings created
Communications and advertising campaign

During collection
Reminders are sent in waves to non-respondents
Checks are done to make sure non-responding residences are occupied
Follow-up calls and visits are made to complete the questionnaire
Special outreach in areas of high non-response

Counting people in their usual place of residence

One reason why people are not enumerated in some areas is because the census counts people based on their usual place of residence on Census Day.

Therefore, some census respondents may be counted in one place rather than another because they spend part of the year in that place and the rest of the year elsewhere.

For example, many students relocate to Thunder Bay from remote First Nations communities to pursue higher education. Similarly, many Inuit relocate temporarily to Ottawa to access medical services.

After every census, studies are done to measure undercoverage

Census coverage studies evaluate the net impact of some people not being enumerated and others being counted more than once.

In 2016, undercoverage was 2.4%.

The 2021 Census undercoverage estimates for the Indigenous population will be available in 2023.

Sources: Statistics Canada, Census of Population, 2021, and Guide to the Census of Population, 2021.

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