Video: How to download data from the Canadian Census Analyser covers the workflow on this page.

Statistics Canada census data can be found and downloaded in a variety of formats via the Canadian Census Analyser website, hosted by the University of Toronto.

Step 1: Go to Canadian Census Analyser website

Direct link. The Canadian Census Analyser has excellent help that details abbreviations, variables, and more.

A note about 2011 Census and NHS (National Household Survey), topic information from this webpage:

  • The "2011" links you will see on the Census Analyser provide census data. 2011 Census data topics include: Population and dwelling counts; Age and sex; Families, households and marital status; Structural type of dwelling and collectives; and Language.
  • The "2011 NHS" links you will see on the Census Analyser provide NHS data. NHS data topics include: Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity; Aboriginal Peoples; Education and Labour; Mobility and Migration; Language of work; Income and Housing.

Step 2: Select how you want to search

  1. By Census Geography (e.g.: census tract)
  2. By year
    • If selecting by year, you will be asked to further select the census geography of interest on the next page.
    • See note about 2011 & 2011 NHS in Step 1, above.

Step 3: Further select location

Select either by Province or by any location based on the starting letter of the location (e.g.: check off “O” to find Ottawa).

In the "by Name" tab, check off "O" to find Ottawa-Gatineau.

Step 4: Select the census variables you want

Select all the census variables you may need (e.g.: Population, 2011). The page includes a dynamic list that shows all the variables you have selected, from which you can deselect them later if you choose.

Population 2011 is the first option under the Age, sex tab.

Step 5: Specify output details

Decide whether or not you would like to include any of the optional details in your output format (e.g.: it is useful to include the census tract name or the province ID).

Step 6: Select output format

If you want to join your census or NHS data to shapefiles, download the data in a dBase file. DBase files join much more easily with shapefiles than CSV or Excel files from this site: we've pulled our hair out trying to join those formats and want to save you the trouble.

Once you are happy with your selection, press the “Submit Query” button.

Select dBase (DBF) file if you're going to join this data to a shapefile in ArcMap. It's far easier to work with than CSV or Excel format, please trust us on this.

Step 7: Downloading the files

The final step is to actually download the files by clicking on the yellow links. Be sure to either download the header file or write down the column names in the (e.g.: COL0 is the GEO UID, which is the ID numbers for the selected geography), otherwise, you will not have a record of which data is contained in each column.

Step 8: Shapefiles of Census/NHS geographies if you want to map your data

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