Census Records

Census returns are the official enumeration of the Canadian population.

  • From 1851 to 1951, a nation-wide census was taken in Canada every ten years.
  • Starting in 1906, a special census of the Prairie Provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba only) was conducted every ten years.
  • Starting in 1956, the census of the entire country was taken every five years.

For most provinces, the census returns list each person individually with information about each person’s age, sex, country or province of birth, religion, racial or ethnic origin, occupation, marital status and education. The 1901, 1911, and 1916 returns also include date of birth, year of immigration and address or location of land.

The first census to include all of Canada from Nova Scotia to British Columbia was taken in 1881, which is the first census to include the area now known as Saskatchewan.

Portions of the Canadian census from 1881 to 1911 related to Saskatchewan are available to view on microfilm. We do not have copies of the 1916 census.  Because of statutory restrictions over the use of more recent enumerations, 1916 is the latest Canadian census available for public research.

An index by name to the 1901, 1906, and 1911 censuses is available online at www.automatedgenealogy.com. For census years where there is no alphabetical index, you must first establish the place of residence of the ancestors you wish to research, and you must be prepared to search through the census records for all residents of that particular area.

For more information about Canadian census records, please visit the Library and Archives Canada website at:  


Year of CensusArea of Canada IncludedAvailability at Provincial Archives
1851ON, QC, NS, NBNo
1861, 1871ON, QC, NS, NB, PEI, MBNo
1881, 1891, 1901All of CanadaYes – SK only
1906MB, SK, ABYes
1911All of CanadaYes – SK only
1916MB, SK, ABNo

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