Canadian Survey on Disability (CSD)

Detailed information for 2022




Every 5 years

Record number:


The purpose of the Canadian Survey on Disability (CSD) is to provide information about the lived experiences of Canadian youth and adults whose everyday activities are limited due to a long-term condition or health-related problem. Participation will provide valuable insights into barriers that persons with disabilities face in their daily lives, helping to chart a course to a Barrier-Free Canada. This information may be used to plan and evaluate services, programs and policies for Canadians living with disabilities to help enable their full participation in society. The survey is sponsored by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

Data release - Scheduled for December 2023


The CSD is a national post-censal survey of Canadians aged 15 years and over whose everyday activities are limited because of a long-term condition or health-related problem. The survey is collected every 5 years following the Census of Population.

Information from the CSD may be used by all levels of government, as well as associations for persons with disabilities and researchers working in the field of disability. Data may be used to plan and evaluate policies and programs for Canadians with disabilities to help enable their full participation in society. In particular, information on adults with disabilities is essential for the effective development and operation of federal, provincial, territorial and local governmental programs. For example, CSD data are used as the basis for employment equity analysis of persons with disabilities, which enforces the Employment Equity Act. Specifically, the Employment Equity statistics for persons with disabilities rely on four key CSD-specific data concepts from the CSD: long term disability, employment disadvantage, perception of employment disadvantage and employment accommodations. Data on disability are also used to fulfill Canada's international agreement relating to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Additionally, new questions about the accessibility barriers will be used to evaluate the impact of the Accessible Canada Act which came into law in 2019.

The survey collects information on: the type and severity of disability, use of aids and assistive devices, daily help received or required, use of various therapies and social service supports, educational attainment, labour force participation details, requirements and unmet needs for accommodations at school or work, medication and cannabis use, accessibility barriers, the experience of being housebound, social isolation, food security, homelessness, Veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces with disabilities, Internet use, sources of income, sexual orientation and COVID-19.


  • Disability
  • Equity and inclusion
  • Health
  • Society and community
  • Work, income and spending

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The population covered by the CSD 2022 is composed of all persons aged 15 and over (as of Census Day, May 11, 2021), and who reported having difficulty "Sometimes", "Often" or "Always" to one of the Activities of Daily Living questions on the 2021 Census of Population, long form. This includes persons living in private dwellings in the 10 provinces and three territories. Persons living on a First Nations reserve are not included, nor are those living in collective dwellings, such as institutional residences or Canadian Armed Forces bases.

The target population for the CSD corresponds to a subset of the covered population, namely persons who report on the CSD that they are limited in their daily activities due to a disability.

Instrument design

The CSD questionnaire was developed in collaboration with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). A content review of the 2017 CSD was conducted with subject matter experts and stakeholders to identify any potential data gaps as well as areas where continuous and comparable data was required. Input was obtained from ESDC on disability which consisted of representatives from various community associations across Canada.

The 2022 CSD is designed to be as comparable as possible to the 2017 CSD, with many questions remaining the same. Additionally, there were a few new questions added, including a series of questions on cannabis, accessibility barriers, social isolation, food security, homelessness, and sexual orientation.

The 2022 CSD is being collected using Internet-Based Electronic Questionnaires (EQ), which were tested in both official languages throughout the development. Qualitative content testing was also conducted by the Questionnaire Design Resources Centre (QDRC) at Statistics Canada and virtually, with participants from across Canada.

This will involve two types of collection methods: a self-reporting method with the questionnaire completed directly on-line by the selected respondent (rEQ) and an interviewer-led method conducted by telephone (iEQ) for non-response follow-up or respondents who prefer to complete over the phone. Selected respondents who reside in Nunavut who do not complete the questionnaire online may receive a visit from a Statistics Canada interviewer (CAPI lite +). CAPI lite+ is a collection technique used by Statistics Canada in order to make contact with respondents, verify respondent information and encourage participation all while respecting the COVID-19 rules. The purpose of this visit is to establish contact with a respondent, confirm they are the correct respondent, confirm their contact information is correct and encourage them to participate in the survey.

Respondents will all receive invitations to participate in the survey, by mail. The letters include a link to the electronic questionnaire (EQ) and a secure access code. A brochure in English and French will also accompany the letters to inform respondents of the importance of the survey and what it could mean for them. Selected respondents residing in Nunavut will also receive the brochure in Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun.

Respondents may receive further reminders either electronically, or in the mail.

In addition to information collected directly from respondents, the CSD 2022 also plans to use the 2021 Census file, tax information, as well as a potential linkage between the CSD and the data from the Registered Disabilities Savings Program (RDSP) to enhance the analytical potential of the CSD. Survey participants are informed of potential record linkages through the generic record linkage statement, directly in the CSD survey application.


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

The sample design is a stratified two-phase design based on the 2021 Census. The first phase is the Census itself, and corresponds to the sample of households selected to receive the long form (about one household out of four, systematically selected across Canada). Phase 2 corresponds to the sample of persons who reported having difficulty on the Activities of Daily Living questions on the long form Census.

The sampling unit for phase 1 (the Census) is the household, while that of phase 2 is the person.

Strata are defined so as to guarantee sufficient sample sizes in each domain of estimation and optimize sample allocation. The domains of estimation consist of the provinces and territories cross-classified with the following age groups: 15 to 24, 25 to 44, 45 to 64, 65 to 74, and 75 and over. In Prince Edward Island, those aged 15 to 24 are grouped with those aged 25 to 44 into a single domain. In the territories, all age groups are combined (15 years and over).

Strata are formed within each domain by taking into account the Census sampling design so as to group together persons with similar preliminary sampling weights (i.e. remote areas vs non remote areas) and potential severity of the disability (i.e. mild, moderate or severe) which is approximated by considering the answers to the Activities of Daily Living questions (No, Sometimes, Often or Always) and the number of them which were positive. Hence six strata are potentially created within each domain by crossing three severity levels by whether or not the respondent lives in a remote area.

Allocation method:
Sample allocation is done to be able to estimate a minimum proportion with a maximum coefficient of variation (CV) of 16.5% in each estimation domain. A CV of 16.5% corresponds to the upper limit for a CV so that the estimate is considered to be of an acceptable quality. The minimum proportion to estimate is set to 10.5% for those in the group aged 15 to 24 years old, to 9% for the groups aged 25 to 44 and 45 to 64, to 12.5% for those aged 65 to 74, and to 13.5% for those aged 75 years and over. For Prince Edward Island, the minimum proportion to estimate for those aged 15 to 44 years old is set to 10.5% while in the three territories for those aged 15 and over, it is set to 9.5%.

Sample size:
Sample sizes computed with these parameters are further increased to compensate for two types of losses: the false positives (persons who reported difficulties to the Activities of Daily Living questions on the Census but who do not have a disability according to the CSD) and non-responses.

The total sample size for the CSD is about 54,000 persons.

The sample is drawn using systematic sampling with the frame being sorted by dissemination block to minimize the chance of selecting more than one person per household.

While the CSD does not cover persons who responded "No" difficulties or conditions on the Activities of Daily Living questions on the Census questionnaire, a sample of these individuals (called the NO sample) will nonetheless be included in the final CSD data files. These people are all considered to be people without a disability. This sample allows the computation of disability rates, which requires estimates for the entire population, not just persons with disabilities.

An additional sample of approximately 5,000 persons (NO test-Sample) is also drawn as part of a methodological research project. This sample of persons is also drawn among persons who did not report any difficulties or conditions on the Activities of Daily Living questions on the 2021 Census. The Disability Screening Questions are asked of these persons to see if they had a disability or not. This allows methodologists to determine the extent to which the questions on the Census covered persons with a disability.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2022-06-03 to 2022-10-30

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents and derived from other Statistics Canada surveys.

In addition to information collected directly from respondents, the CSD 2022 also plans to use the 2021 Census file, the T1FF and 2022 TI, as well as a potential linkage between the CSD and the data from the Registered Disabilities Savings Program (RDSP) to enhance the analytical potential of the CSD.

Data is obtained directly from the selected respondents, but proxy interviews are allowed under some conditions.

The CSD questionnaire is available in English and French. The EQ is uniquely designed to follow pre-determined paths depending on answers given by the respondent at certain questions. Time to complete the interview will vary depending on those answers, in addition to how many disabilities a respondent may have. To reduce interview time, Statistics Canada will combine information from the CSD to selected data from the 2021 Census. It is possible that data from other surveys or administrative data sources may be added at a later date.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

The metadata will be provided upon release.


The metadata will be provided upon release.


The metadata will be provided upon release.

Quality evaluation

The metadata will be provided upon release.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects that could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Data accuracy

The metadata will be provided upon release.

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