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Upcoming 2024 Census Test

As part of its standard process, Statistics Canada conducts a comprehensive test of the revised census questionnaire and collection procedures

As part of its standard process, Statistics Canada conducts a comprehensive test of the revised census questionnaire and collection procedures two years before every census. The census test is designed to improve the clarity of the census questions and effectiveness of the collection procedures, helping to ensure accurate and efficient data collection for the 2026 Census of Population and the 2026 Census of Agriculture.

In turn, these data help inform municipal policy and planning decisions in areas that matter most to the people and communities – like housing, transit, schools, infrastructure, and the environment.

About the 2024 Census Test

The census test will take place between May 6 and June 28, 2024, spanning across all 10 provinces. Approximately 198,000 households and 10,000 agricultural operations have been randomly selected to participate in this test.

Out of the total sample, 89,000 households were randomly selected from Nova Scotia, Québec, and Saskatchewan. Statistics Canada enumerators will assist respondents in these communities in completing their census test questionnaire.

The remaining 108,700 households were randomly selected from all 10 provinces. These households will be required to complete census test questionnaires but will not receive in-person follow-up visits from census enumerators.

Participation and confidentiality

Households selected to participate in the 2024 Census of Population Test will receive a letter containing instructions on how to fill out a questionnaire. The easiest way to complete the census test questionnaire is online. However, paper questionnaires will be available on demand. If a household is selected for the census test, it is legally required to participate.

All information is collected under the authority of the Statistics Act and will be kept strictly confidential. Census test data are collected for test purposes only and will not be released to the public.

The 2024 Census of Agriculture Test, by contrast, is voluntary. Nevertheless, Statistics Canada relies on the responses from farmers across Canada to assess their understanding of the questionnaire content.

This year, Statistics Canada is introducing a new participation method for a selected number of households (around 8,700). These households will be given two options. They can:

  • fill out a questionnaire, or
  • allow Statistics Canada to count the members of their household using pre-existing information already provided to the government.

If households choose this latter option, no further action is required from them, and their legal obligation to participate in the census test is fulfilled.

For more information

For more information, visit the 2024 Census Test page. To learn more about other milestones related to the 2026 Census, visit The road to the 2026 Census.

If you have any questions, please contact Census Communications at statcan.census-recensement.statcan@statcan.gc.ca.

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