|The Census in Canada began with the colony's first census in 1666. In the years leading up to 1871, Canada's first national census, a total of 98 colonial and regional censuses were conducted. The number and types of questions have varied over the years, to suit the times and purposes of collection.|
Today, Statistics Canada uses the census to obtain a demographic snapshot of Canada's population, both socially and economically, living in the various census divisions. And because censuses are conducted every 5 years, longitudinal study of current census data with previous census data yields insight into trends. In addition, census information is also used to plan public services including health care, education, and transportation, and determine federal transfer payments.