baona via Getty Images
True and false checkboxes on chalkboard.

It's census time again which means Statistics Canada is reaching far and wide to figure out what makes our country, well, our country. The information provided by the census is valuable for planners, with the results impacting anything from healthcare to public transit.

Despite the benefits, there are those that feel unsure about completing the form because of privacy concerns or simply because of a lack of understanding of what it is or what it does. In collaboration with Statistics Canada, we dispel a few common misconceptions about the census with a game of true and false. Ready to play?

True Or False? The census is optional, so I don't have to complete it.

False. All residents of Canada are legally required to take part in either the short or long-form census, according to the country's Statistics Act. This also means you have to account for everyone in your household, from your kids to your parents.

The regional data collected can help guide pension programs and determine where services need to be delivered in French or English, among other things. Determining the population will also affect how money is allocated.

True Or False? Once I submit my information, it'll be accessible by anyone.

False. Under the Statistics Act, all information collected in either the long or short form census is kept strictly confidential.

Your personal data is not to be released by Statistics Canada. While general information about the country will be published (from age groups to income details) your name will never be attached.

True Or False? Studying or working outside of the country prevents you from completing a census form.

False. While most of the census data comes from residents within our country’s borders, information is also derived from those who live abroad. If you're a member of the Canadian Armed Forces stationed in another country, for instance, you are still required to complete an electronic questionnaire. Families that have children away at college or university most of the year, but whose children return home to live with them, are to include their children in their household questionnaire.

Understanding the year-round activities of Canadians can help sort out our daily needs.

It’s time to complete your 2016 Census. It’s simple, confidential and you are providing information that helps shape where you live. Complete your census online at

canada watermark