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Civic Census Frequently Asked Questions


Census Collection

  1.  What questions are being asked in the 2018 Civic Census?
  2. This year's Census includes the following questions:

    • Total Number of Residents
    • Ownership
    • School Support
    • Pre-school aged children born between 2012-2018

  3. Why does The City conduct the Civic Census every year?
    • The data collected is valuable for all citizens to ensure adequate programs and services are available to meet citizens' need.
    • The information collected is used by The City for the planning of services, such as roads, transit, recreation and water services. It is also used by the public and separate school boards for enrolment predictions, decisions on future schools, and by the provincial government for determining per capita grant allocations where available.

  4. When did The City start conducting the Civic Census annually?
  5. The City of Calgary has been conducting an annual Civic Census since 1958. The City is proud to acknowledge 60 years of Calgarians help in planning Calgary's future.

  6. When does the Civic Census collection period begin?
  7. The Civic Census is collected annually in the spring. In 2018 Census collection begins on April 2.

  8. When can I start my Census Online?
  9. Online census data collection for 2018 will begin April 2 at 7:00 am.

  10. When can I expect Census Takers at my door?
  11. The Door-to-door census data collection will start April 20 and will last approximately 3 weeks. If you complete your census online you should expect to not see a Census Taker at your door unless it is for a Quality Assurance Check.

  12. Where do I get an access code for the Census Online?
  13. Access codes are mailed to all Calgary households during the first week of April. If you did not receive one, or have misplaced it, you can request a new access code on

  14. What if I get an error message on the Census Online?
  15. If you receive an error message while completing the Census Online please contact us for assistance or wait for door-to-door census collection.

  16. I live in a house with multiple suites. How do I complete the Census Online?
  17. The Census Online collects information for main floor suites of houses only. Other suites will have to wait for door-to-door census collection, or they can contact us to provide census information over the phone.

  18. Where can I find Census results from previous years?
  19. For access to the most recent Census Results books, please visit our results page.

    If you are interested in historical Census information, please visit the open data catalogue or learn more about Calgary's Geodemographics.

  20. Is the information provided confidential and secure?
    • Census Data is available on a city-wide basis or by geographic areas such as communities, never identifying individuals or single dwellings.
    • Census online is also secure - All information provided during this process is secure and encrypted during transmission

  21. What happens with the census data after?
  22. The data that is collected during the annual civic census is used by The City for the planning of services. These services include roads, transit, recreation and water services. It is also used by the public and separate school boards for enrolment predictions, decisions on future schools, and by the provincial government for determining per capita grant allocation where available

  23. When will the census data be release?
  24. The census data will be released approximately three months after census collection has completed.

  25. Who can I contact for additional information?
  26. For additional information, please contact Election and Census at or 403-476-4100 (Option 3).

  27. What is the difference between Civic Census and Federal Census?
  28. The annual Civic Census is NOT related to the Census done by the Federal Government pursuant to the Statistics Act (Canada). The Federal Census collects different information than the Civic Census and is conducted once every five (5) years in the month of May (ie. 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016 etc.). In the Federal Census, Census Questionnaires or links to an online questionnaire are mailed. The Federal Census collects more detailed information than the annual Civic Census on many topics including ethnicity, language, income and education. For data about Calgary from the Federal Census, please visit the Data about Calgary webpage, or for more specific questions contact

Door-to-Door Census

  1. What if someone doesn't complete the census online between April 2 and April 19?
  2. Census takers will be going door-to-door beginning April 20 for the remaining households.

  3. What kind of impact do you expect on the door-to-door census collection as a result of the Online Census?
  4. We have not made significant modifications to the number of Census Takers hired because of the uneven distribution of online uptake and the size of the City. Census Takers are paid for information collected.

  5. When a census taker comes to my door what should I know?
    1. Census takers will always have a City ID badge. If you are not sure you can ask to see their badge.
    2. Census takers do not need to come into your house.
    3. It should not take more than a few minutes.

  6. What happens if a dwelling gets missed?
  7. Once the collection period is over, if a dwelling is missed the resident can call the Elections and Information Services office at 403-476-4100 (option 3)

  8. How will census takers know which houses are remaining?
  9. Census Takers will use their tablets to get an up-to-date address list of households who have not yet completed the census.

Release of information

  1. When is the census information released to the public?
  2. The 2018 census results will be available approximately three months after census collection has completed.

Working as a Census Taker

  1. What are the requirements to be a Census Taker/ Enumerator?
  2. To be a Census Taker/Enumerator you must be:

    • 18 years of age or older.
    • Available to collect census and voter registration information starting late April.
    • Able to complete online training at home and in-person in March.
    • Able to walk in seasonable weather conditions.
    • Able to operate a tablet (training is provided).

  3. How much do Census Takers/Enumerators get paid?
  4. Census Takers/Enumerators are paid based on the questions asked and information collected. The amount made will vary depending on the number of homes and questions they collect answers from and how many questions are in the Census that year.

  5. How do I apply to become a Census Taker/Enumerator?
  6. Census Taker recruitment takes place January 22 to February 9 ,2018. Applications must be submitted in-person at the Election and Census Office at 1103 55 Ave NE. A written assessment test must be completed at the time of application drop-off. Applications are available at during the application period.

Access Codes

  1. Why do you need an access code?
  2. The access codes help ensure that the information received is legitimate and submitted by residents of Calgary.

  3. What if I am at work and I forgot my access code at home?
    1. You can go to to request a new access code; or
    2. You can call the Elections and Information Services office at 403-476-4100 (option 3)

  4. What if someone loses or misplaces their access code? What if I never received an access code?
  5. You can request a new access code on beginning April 2. The code will be provided to you via the email address you provide. New access code requests are limited to one code per email and one code per address.

  6. Can people use more than one access code?
  7. Census information for each address can only be submitted once. You will see an error message if information for an address is entered more than once. If you have questions or concerns about the information submitted for an address you can contact the Census Office for assistance.

Online Census System

  1. What technology is being used for the online census?
  2. The web application has been designed using the City's Mobile Application Framework.

  3. If I complete my Census online, will the Census Taker still visit during door-to-door collection?
  4. For quality control purposes a small portion of households that complete their Census Online will still be visited by Census Takers. If your household is chosen to participate for this purpose, you will not be required to provide your Census data again, just to confirm completion.

  5. Is the online system secure?
  6. All information provided during this process is secure and encrypted during transmission. Census Data is available on a city-wide basis or by geographic areas such as communities, individuals and single dwelling are not identified.

  7. How long will it take me to complete the Census Online?
  8. Using Census Online is a quick, easy and convenient way for Calgarians to submit their census information. It should only take you a minute to complete.

  9. What is the benefit to going online?
  10. Census online gives citizens the convenience of completing the census at a time and location that is convenient to them. It will also help shorten the collection of door-to-door census information as there will be fewer households to visit.

  11. How long has The City of Calgary collected census information online?
  12. The City's Census has been completed online since 2013, with the introduction of tablet based collection. This is the next progression of enhancements to the system as a whole, enabling self-serve completion of the Census. The City of Calgary has developed the online Census application in house to ensure full integration. Most of the other Municipalities do not utilise their own infrastructure to conduct the Census in their jurisdictions. By doing it this way, the City of Calgary has developed a system works seamlessly with our existing databases.


  1. Trying to add an address to Census Online but system says my address does not exist?
  2. Call the Census Office during business hours as that address will have to be added by the office staff.

  3. I live in an apartment/ condominium and the system does not recognize my address?
  4. Make sure you enter your unit/suite number, along with the building address.

  5. I am on the "Building Type" screen of Census Online. I am being asked if my dwelling is an apartment. What if I live in a condominium?
  6. For the purposes of conducting the census, an apartment structure is defined as a structure originally designed and built to contain at least three dwelling units on three or more levels. The dwelling units share outside entrances.

    The answer to this question provides insight into the physical building or structure in which the dwelling is located. It is not a reference to the use of the dwelling. If your condominium unit matches the definition for an apartment structure please select Yes to this question.