Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Worrying change to Canadian 2011 census

The 2011 census in Canada is being changed, seemingly without consultation, and upsetting several genealogists in the process.

The modern Canadian census arrives in two forms - the short questionnaire, targetting 80% of the population with eight basic questions (birth, marital status, etc), and the long questionnaire, targetting the remaining 20%, but with up to 53 additional questions going into considerably more detail. It now looks like the long questionnaire is getting the chop, and being replaced with a voluntary National Household Survey, to be collated by Statistics Canada, though all will receive he short questionnaire. The new NHS form will not be subject to the legislation surrounding censuses, meaning that information on those who fill out the NHS rather than the short questionnaire will never be released. A third of the population will be sent the NHS, rather than the 20% that previously filled in the long questionnaire.

The full story is in the Vancouver Sun story, Genealogists slam new restrictions on Canadian census information

A useful piece of general advice, no matter where you are filling in your next census form - fill it in, photocopy it, and lock the copy safely away - you never know, in a century's time (92 years in Canada's case), it may turn out to be the only copy accessible for your descendants to see...

(With thanks to Genealogynews at Twitter)

Professional genealogical problem solving and research
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