Early response rate for census ‘slightly better’ than expected: Statistics Canada

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By Tavia Grant

Many Canadians fell over themselves with excitement when census forms landed on their doorsteps last week, posting pictures of census selfies and lamenting if they didn’t get the long form.

Not everyone, however, has rushed to fill out their forms. Several days past Census Day, the day by which Statistics Canada had encouraged people to complete the questionnaires, the agency says it has received 7.6 million forms, a response so far that is “slightly better than anticipated.” It has mailed out questionnaires or notices to about 15.5 million households, and enumerators will determine in the coming months how many of those are unoccupied or not private dwellings.

The reasons for the tardiness may vary – from time pressures to slow mail services. Some confusion may still exist over whether the census is voluntary (it’s not), some may find it intrusive, others may be out of the country. But it’s not unusual for lags in responses, said Doug Norris, senior vice-president at Environics Analytics and census expert.

“It takes time,” said Mr. Norris, who previously spent nearly 30 years at Statscan, many of them in census-related work. “It’s one of those things, it’s not at the top of anybody’s to-do list, people are busy with juggling families and careers and other activities, and they just don’t get to it.”

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Article and image source: The Globe and Mail

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