Thursday, May 12, 2016

Canadians happy to have the long-form census back

I forgot to comment on recent media reports of just how excited Canadian are at being able to fill out proper census forms again, after the almost universally-condemned cancellation of the long-form census by the previous Tory government in 2010. The “low-resolution” portrait of the country produced by the predictably poor response rate for the 2011 voluntary household survey (which replaced the old mandatory long-form census) marked an unfortunate hiatus in the generation of quality information for government planning and demographic analysis.
In one of their first decisions after to coming to power in November 2015, the Liberal government resurrected the traditional full census, and Canadians couldn't be happier. In fact, there was such a robust and enthusiastic response that the census website crashed for a while, overwhelmed by millions of Canadians clamouring to fulfil their civic duties. There was much righteous indignation online as people complained that they were not selected to fill out the longer, more detailed version of the census form (which is issued to a random quarter of households), and I must confess to a similar feeling myself.
The 2016 census is a welcome return to good quality demographic information that can be used by governments and planners across the country.

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