Census records can be found in the Statistics Canada fonds, formerly known as RG31.
Prairie Provinces censuses generally follow the same pattern. They include similar types of questionnaires known as schedules from year-to-year, such as:
Only the original records for Schedule 1, Population were preserved.
Most censuses contain the following information:
Find out more about specific censuses below.
Upon joining Confederation, a separate census for Manitoba was taken in 1870.
The newly-created province of Manitoba was enumerated shortly after joining Confederation. The census officially began on October 27, 1870, but information was collected based on residence as of July 16, 1870. This Census is sometimes called the Archibald Census.
The 1871 federal census does not include Manitoba. When researching between 1871 to 1881, use the Census of Manitoba 1870.
There was only one schedule for this census, and it had 20 questions.
If you want to look at multiple pages, the images are on microfilm C-2170.
The census is also indexed in these books:
The first Prairie Province Census was in 1906. It counted people living in Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. It began on June 24, 1906 and had 18 questions in the Population and Livestock Schedule. This is the only schedule that has been preserved.
The 1906 Census contains a new question about the post office address for the head of the household. This Schedule also collected information about livestock. You can find out how many horses, cows, sheep, and pigs were on each farm.
Some pages were completely dark and illegible, so they were not digitized.
The second of the Prairie Province Censuses began on June 1, 1916. Only the Population Schedule has survived and had 26 questions.
In addition to standard questions, this census asked questions about:
It also has extra information about occupations.
The third of the Prairie Province Censuses began on June 1, 1926. Only Schedule 1, Population has been preserved, and it had 25 questions. It was the first Prairie Province Census to ask about time spent at school. It did not include questions about occupation or religion.
Within each District, each Sub-district is identified by unique number. Each one also has a Sub-district Name and/or a Sub-district Description. The descriptions are usually for rural areas and cities. Examples:
In 1955, the Dominion Bureau of Statistics was authorized by the Public Records Committee to microfilm and destroy the original records from 1881 onwards. As a result, only microfilm copies census records exist.
The original paper copies that still exist for census before 1881 are fragile and not available for consultation.
All of the Prairie Province census records from 1870 onwards are available on digitized microfilm and can be searched using the Census Search.
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