Census learning centre
Introduction to housing data

Release date: September 21, 2022

Catalogue number: 982000032021021

Hello and welcome to the "Introduction to housing data" video.

The objective of this video is to offer insights into housing variables and key household indicators like housing adequacy, suitability and affordability. It explains where housing questions are found on the Census of Population questionnaire, the importance of housing data and how housing data are used by governments, businesses and social service agencies.


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Concept video: Introduction to housing data - Transcription

(The Statistics Canada symbol and "Canada" wordmark appear on screen with the title: "Concept video: Introduction to housing data".)

Welcome to the “Introduction to housing data” video.

This video is designed to offer insights into Census of Population data collection, housing variables and key household indicators.

In this video, we will learn:

  • Where housing questions are found on the Census of Population questionnaire and
  • Why housing data are useful.

The place we call home, whether it be a small high-rise apartment downtown or a large house on the edge of town, is one of the defining features of our lives.

Having a home affects almost every aspect of our life. As a result, housing data are important in developing policies at all levels of government that are aimed at helping Canadians access safe, adequate and affordable housing.

Housing is recognized as a human right in Canada, as well as an important social determinant of health and well-being. Having an affordable and safe place to live is a key part of the environment that individuals and families need to succeed, grow and live in dignity.

We will begin with some background information on housing. There are several housing questions in the Census of Population questionnaire. They aim to collect information on dwelling characteristics, housing costs and who pays the bills.

Housing data are gathered in Step D (Question 58) and the questions in Step E of the census long-form questionnaires (2A-L and 2A-R).

(Images of question 58 and questions in Step E of the 2021 Census questionnaire appear on the screen.)

For households on reserves or in remote and northern regions, the long-form 2A-R questionnaire is used.

(An image of the long form 2A-R Census questionnaire appears on the screen.)

The 2A-R questionnaire includes an additional question, asked solely of households on reserves.

(An image of question 10 in Step E of the long form 2A-R 2021 Census questionnaire appears on the screen.)

Why are housing data useful?

Housing variables collected in the Census of Population are combined to create household indicators, which offer insights to governments and organizations regarding the state of housing in Canada. Housing adequacy, housing suitability and housing affordability are key household indicators and topics of interest for governments and housing organizations.

By applying a rights-based approach to housing analysis, governments and organizations can use disaggregated data from the Census of Population to help describe the current housing needs of people living all across Canada.

Census housing information has many important uses in the day-to-day lives of Canadians. Local governments use census data to develop programs and services. Businesses analyze census data to make critical investment decisions, and social services agencies and non-profit organizations depend on census data to understand the evolving needs of members of their communities.

(The words, "Thank you for watching the “Introduction to housing data” video", appear on screen.)

This concludes the “Introduction to housing data” video. Thank you for watching.

(The census logo appears with a link, which is also available to view here: Census of population.)

For more detailed information regarding concepts, variables, methodology, historical comparability and other elements, please refer to Statistics Canada's census web pages.

(The "Canada" wordmark appears. ISBN: 978-0-660-45131-2)

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