Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Census and National Household Survey (NHS)

Most information presented in Population and Determinants of Health is based on the 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016 Census of Canada. This data is collected by Statistics Canada every five years. The census of the population provides a reliable source for describing the population and dwelling counts not only for Canada but also for each province and territory, and for cities or districts within cities. The census also provides information about Canada’s demographic, social and economic characteristics.

By law each household must provide the information requested in the census, and by the same law Statistics Canada must protect the confidentiality of the personal information provided by respondents.

The census enumerates (counts) everyone living in Canada. Included are Canadian citizens, landed immigrants and non-permanent residents and members of their families living with them in Canada. Non-permanent residents are persons who hold a Ministerial permit, student authorization or employment authorization, or who claim refugee status.

Until 2006, Statistics Canada collected detailed social and economic data from a sample of Canadian households using a mandatory long-form questionnaire. In 2011, most information previously collected by the mandatory long-form census questionnaire was collected as part of the new voluntary National Household Survey (NHS).

For the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) estimates, the global non-response rate (GNR) is used as an indicator of data quality. This indicator combines complete non-response (household) and partial non-response (question) into a single rate. The value of the GNR is presented to users. A smaller GNR indicates a lower risk of non-response bias and as a result, lower risk of inaccuracy. The threshold used for estimates' suppression is a GNR of 50% or more. The GNR for Simcoe County is 30.7% and the GNR for Muskoka District is 41.0%. For more information, please refer to the National Household Survey User Guide, 2011.

2011 Census data topics include: Population and dwelling counts; Age and sex; Families, households and marital status; Structural type of dwelling and collectives; and Language.

NHS data topics include: Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity; Aboriginal Peoples; Education and Labour; Mobility and Migration; Language of work; Income and Housing.

In 2016, the government re-instated the mandatory long-form questionnaire. The long-form questionnaire was given to 25% of households while the remaining 75% received the short-form census questionnaire. To improve accuracy of income data, Statistics Canada gathered income information solely from the Canadian Revenue Agency’s tax and benefits records, replacing income-related questions from the 2011 National Household Survey and previous censuses. For more information about 2016 Census data products or reference materials, visit Statistics Canada’s website at

As part of the Simcoe County Data Consortium, SMDHU has access to custom tabulations and datasets purchased from Statistics Canada through the national Community Data Program. Many of these data products include breakdown to smaller geographic levels and different variable combinations not publicly available. Many of the Determinants of Health Cultural Characteristics pages utilize these data sets, specifically Target Group Profiles, which provide data for a specific group of persons, where all variables in the profile relate to these persons. Some examples of target group profiles include aboriginal peoples, francophone, and immigrants.

The most recent Census Day in Canada was May 10, 2016. For more information about the census and the NHS, visit Statistics Canada's website at