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Government Publications - Census of Canada

National Household Survey

The National Household Survey (NHS) was a supplementary (voluntary) survey to the 2011 Census which  replaced the long-form Census. The NHS collects data in the following categories:

All Canadian households must complete the short Census. This has not changed.  In the past, one in five households also had to complete the 'long-form Census' with almost 60 questions. This 20% sample was representative of the full Canadian population. This mandatory 'long-form Census' was replaced in 2011 with the voluntary National Household Survey (NHS).

The NHS contained almost all of the same questions as the former 'long-form Census', but the survey method was different. A large sample of Canadian households was asked to complete the NHS, but because it was not required by law, many households did not do so. Hence, the NHS results may not reflect the full Canadian population as accurately as the former long-form Census.

Data from the 2011 Census and the 2011 NHS cannot be combined. Likewise, caution is advised in comparing data from the 2011 NHS and earlier Censuses. The long form census was reintroduced under the new Liberal government in 2016.