1911 Canadian Census

The 1911 Canadian census saw nine of current ten provinces and territories participating in the census in much the same shape as they are today, with the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador (which entered Confederation in 1949) and Nunavut (which was carved out of the Northwest Territories in 1999). The North West Territories still included large parts of current Manitoba and Northern Ontario.

The 1911 Canadian census included the following:

  • British Columbia
  • Alberta
  • Saskatchewan
  • Manitoba (its territory has expanded, but it is still not as large as it is today)
  • Ontario
  • Quebec
  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Yukon Territory
  • the Northwest Territories

Map of Canadian provinces and territories, 1911.
Source: Wikipedia Commons
Map of Canada, 1911

The questions on the 1911 Canadian census were to be answered as of June 1, 1911, no matter what date the enumeration actually occurred. Everyone who normally resided in the household as of that date was to be included, regardless of whether they actually spent the night there.

While the questions on this census did not change substantially from those in 1901, the questions themselves were refined or expanded somewhat. Month and year of birth were required, but not the day of the month. Place of birth of the person’s parents was no longer required, although the person's own nationality, year of immigration, year of naturalization, and racial or tribal origin were.

"Legally separated" was added as a category in marital status. There were also expanded questions regarding employment status. Questions also were asked about life, sickness and accident insurance owned.

And finally, there was a question as to whether a person was "crazy or lunatic", or "idiotic or silly". I hope the enumerators were well armed with the definitions of these four words, and taught how to distinguish between them!

The questions asked on the 1911 Canadian census were as follows:

  • Numbered in the order of visitation
    • Dwelling house
    • Family, Household or Institution

  • Residence and Personal Description
    • Name of each person in family, household, or institution
    • Place of habitation (township or parish, city, town or village; range or concession and lot or cadastral number in township or parish; street and house number if in city, town or village; or other description)
    • Sex
    • Relation to head of family or household
    • Single, married, widowed, divorced or legally separated
    • Month
    • Year of birth
    • Age at last birthday

  • Citizenship, nationality and religion
    • Country or place of birth (if Canada, specify province or territory)
    • Year of immigration, if an immigrant
    • Year of naturalization, if formerly an Alien
    • Racial or tribal origin
    • Nationality
    • Religion

  • Principal occupation, trade, or means of living
    • Chief occupation or trade
    • Employment other than at chief occupation or trade, if any
    • Employer
    • Employee
    • Working on own account

  • Wage Earners
    • State where person is employed (as “on farm”, “in woolen mill”, “at foundry shop”, “in drug store”, etc.
    • Weeks employed in 1910 at chief occupation or trade
    • Weeks employed in other than chief occupation or trade, if any
    • Hours of working time per week at chief occupation
    • Hours of working time per week at other than chief occupation or trade, if any
    • Total earnings in 1910 at chief occupation or trade
    • Total earnings in 1910 other than from chief occupation or trade, if any
    • Rate of earnings per hour when employed by the hour – cents

  • Insurance held at date
    • Upon life $
    • Against accident or sickness $
    • Cost of insurance in census year $

  • Education and language of each person five years of age and over
    • Months at school in 1910
    • Can read
    • Can write
    • Language commonly spoken
    • Cost of education in 1910 for persons over 16 years of age
    • Years of age at convent, college, or university

  • Infirmities (specify age when infirmity appeared)
    • deaf and dumb
    • blind
    • crazy or lunatic
    • idiotic or silly

Go from " 1911 Canadian Census " to "Canadian Census - an Introduction"

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