How the pandemic made the 2021 census unlike any other: Expert available

Canada’s 2021 census is promising to show fascinating population trends due to the data being taken from a full year of the pandemic.

Michael Haan, director of the Statistics Canada Research Data Centre at Western University, is available for comment following Wednesday’s release from Statistics Canada.

He says several factors such as a loss of immigration and increased mortality will make this population count less predictable than past counts.

“This will be a population count unlike any other. Never in Canada has there been a census taken in the midst of a pandemic,” says Haan, professor in the department of sociology.

“There was a lot of internal migration spurred on by the pandemic. Toronto, for example, lost an estimated 60,000 people to other parts of Canada. The same thing happened in our other major cities.”

Michael Haan is a demographer whose research includes immigrant settlement, labour market integration and data development. He is widely consulted by provincial and federal governments for policy advice in the areas of immigration, settlement services, the Canadian labour market and population aging.

Commentary reflects the perspective and scholarly interest of Western faculty members and is not an articulation of official university policy on issues being addressed.

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