Canadian Health Survey on Seniors (CHSS)

Detailed information for 2020





Record number:


The Canadian Health Survey on Seniors (CHSS) is a supplement to the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) - Annual component. It collects information related to health status, health care services, supports, as well as social and health determinants for the Canadian population aged 65 and over.

Data release - Scheduled for 2021


This survey collects health-related data on the Canadian population aged 65 and over.

The objectives of the Canadian Health Survey on Seniors are:

1. To better understand what contributes to healthy aging by collecting data on the health and well-being of seniors, including their use of health care services and supports, as well as social, demographic, geographic and economic determinants.
2. To produce estimates on the health of seniors aged 65 and over at the provincial level, and for seniors aged 85 and over at the national level.
3. To produce a cross-sectional dataset on the health of seniors that permits analysis on a range of research questions and surveillance activities.
4. To evaluate changes on certain aspects of health from the CCHS - Healthy Aging (HA), 2008/2009.

The data collected in the survey will be used by Statistics Canada, Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, provincial ministries of health, as well as federal and provincial health planners across the country.

The CHSS will help policy makers, researchers and planners to make informed decisions regarding health care, social services and support programs for the aging population and that will affect all Canadians.

Reference period: Varies according to the question (for example, "in the past 12 months", "in the past month", etc.)

Collection period: January to December


  • Diseases and health conditions
  • Health
  • Health care services
  • Lifestyle and social conditions
  • Mental health and well-being

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The CHSS covers the population 65 years of age and over living in the ten provinces. Excluded from the survey's coverage are: persons living on reserves and other Aboriginal settlements in the provinces; full-time members of the Canadian Forces; the institutionalized population, and persons living in the Quebec health regions of Région du Nunavik and Région des Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James.

Instrument design

The Canadian Health Survey on Seniors questionnaire was developed in collaboration with stakeholders at Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada and an expert advisory group.

The questions are designed for computer-assisted interviewing (CAI), meaning that, as the questions were developed, the associated logical flow into and out of the questions was programmed. This includes specifying the type of answer required, the minimum and maximum values, on-line edits associated with the question and what to do in case of item non-response.

In collaboration with Statistics Canada's Questionnaire Design Resource Centre (QDRC), the questionnaire was subjected to qualitative testing in May 2018, which consisted of one-on-one interviews. The objective was to evaluate respondent reactions to and understanding of the survey, as well as their willingness to respond to the questions.


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

The CHSS is a combination of the CCHS - Annual component respondents from all provinces who are at least 65 years old, along with an oversample in all provinces except Ontario and Quebec (no oversample was required to achieve the sample targets in those two provinces). A description of the CCHS - Annual component sample design can be found on that survey's IMDB page. The oversample for CHSS is selected from a list frame of dwellings with a valid telephone number that have at least one occupant aged 65 years or older.

Sampling unit:
Both the CCHS - Annual component for respondents 18+ and the oversample for CHSS for respondents 65+, have the dwelling as the sampling unit. Once contact with the household has been established, a roster of household members is taken, from which one person is randomly selected to complete the survey.

Stratification method:
The oversample of the CCHS for CHSS purposes is stratified by province. The stratification method for the CCHS - Annual component can be found on that survey's IMDB page.

Sampling and sub-sampling:
The oversample of the CCHS for CHSS purposes is 10,000 dwellings per year. When combined with the CCHS - Annual component sample (15,000), it is estimated that overall there will be approximately 25,000 respondents to the CHSS per year.

The oversample was allocated to all provinces except Ontario and Quebec. The aim of the allocation is that when the oversample is combined with the CCHS Annual sample, it will be possible to obtain at most a 16.5% coefficient of variation when estimating the same minimum proportion at the provincial level for all provinces.

Details of the procedures that account for the overlap of the two frames will be made available once the data is released.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2020-01-02 to 2020-12-24

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Data are collected using computer assisted personal and telephone interview software. Proxy reporting is allowed, although some modules will be skipped.

Respondents are initially offered to complete the interview in either English or French. To remove language as a barrier to conducting interviews, each of the Statistics Canada Regional Offices recruits interviewers with a wide range of language competencies.

The average time to complete the survey is 15 minutes.

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

Error detection

Details will be provided once the data is released.


Details will be provided once the data is released.


Details will be provided once the data is released.

Quality evaluation

Details will be provided once the data is released.

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

Details will be provided once the data is released.

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