. merely a state/territory). A planning document indicates that the three usual residence questions will be reviewed prior to the 2006 census and that “the standard for usual residence is under review” (Edwards, 2003:25), and similar language is included in the first report detailing content for the 2006 census (Trewin, 2005).


The Canadian de jure census is conducted every 5 years. Since 1971, questionnaires have been dropped off by enumerators and are expected to be returned by mail. Broader mailout of questionnaires to two-thirds of census addresses was implemented in 2006, after completion of an address register (Office for National Statistics, 2003).

The 2001 Canadian census form devotes a full page to a set of include/exclude instructions; this instruction block is reproduced in Figure B-2. The 32-page “Census Guide” prepared by Statistics Canada to provide additional information for respondents lists a basic rationale for the usual residence questions in Steps B and C: “These steps help you to decide who should be included and who should not be included in the questionnaire. They tell us that we have counted everyone we need to count and that we have not counted anyone twice.”

For the 2006 Canadian census, the residence instructions are much the same as in 2001 but are edited for syntax, so that all the bulleted points read as complete phrases rather than colon-separated definitions. Some proposed changes are more substantial:

  • The potentially confusing point on “ABSENT SPOUSES” is modified to read: “SPOUSES OR COMMON-LAW PARTNERS WHO LIVE ELSEWHERE while working or studying, but who return here periodically.”

  • The point on persons in the country with some form of work permit is simplified to: “PERSONS FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY WITH A WORK OR STUDY PERMIT and family members living here with them.”

  • Emphasis is added to parts of the last two bulleted points, on institutional residents and persons with no other home. They are now slated to read “PERSONS who usually live here but are now IN AN INSTITUTION (such as a home for the aged, a hospital or a prison), IF THEY HAVE BEEN THERE LESS THAN SIX MONTHS” and “PERSONS staying here on May 16, 2006, WHO HAVE NO USUAL HOME ELSEWHERE.”

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