Difference between Population Count in Census and Current Year Population Estimates


Census population count represents the total population enumerated on the Census day. For example, on May 10, 2011,  Census 2011 counted Canadian total population as 33,476,688. However, some people might be away during the Census enumeration period or did not submit the Census forms.  A few people could be counted twice, e.g., students living away from home enumerated by both themselves and their parents. To estimate Census net undercoverage (CNU) which is the difference between the number of persons who should have been enumerated but were missed (undercoverage) and the number of persons who were enumerated but should not have been or who were counted more than once (overcoverage),  Statistics Canada conducts the Reverse Record Check (RRC) after Census to measure census population undercoverage and adjusts population estimates. Historically, CNU was about 3% of the total population. In July 2011, Statistics Canada estimated Canadian total population as 34,483,975 (http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/91-002-x/2013001/t002-eng.htm).  The difference with the Census population count is 34,368,053-33,476,685 = 1,007,290, which is about 3% of the total population.


The current year population estimates are comprised of three components:

  • Census 2011 population count

  • Adjustment of the Census Net Undercoverage (~3%)

  • Population growth from May 10, 2011 to the current date (~1.2% annual growth).

 Population estimates are at least 3% higher than the Census population count. Our 2014 population estimate for Canada is: 35,850,797.