Usual place of residence in Canada of person

Status: This standard was approved as a departmental standard on September 24, 2021.

Definition

Usual place of residence in Canada refers to the main dwelling in which the person lives most of the time. It is used to identify the person as a member of a particular household and, potentially, family (depending on the composition of the household).

Person refers to an individual and is the unit of analysis for most social statistics programs.

Usage

In this context, 'person' refers to a Canadian citizen (by birth or by naturalization), a landed immigrant (permanent resident), a person who has claimed refugee status (asylum claimant) and a person from another country with a work or study permit. Family members living with work or study permit holders are also included. Foreign residents are excluded.

A person is considered to be a member of the household at their usual place of residence, only.

For persons with only one residence, that residence is their usual place of residence.

For persons with no residence, their usual place of residence is where they stayed on some specified date.

For persons with more than one residence in Canada, their usual place of residence is the place where the person lives most of the time, with the following exceptions:

- The usual residence of spouses or common-law partners who stay elsewhere while working or studying is the residence where their family lives, if they return periodically.

- The usual residence of students is that of their parents, if they return to live with their parents during the year even if they live elsewhere while attending school or working at a summer job.

- The usual residence of persons who have lived in an institutional collective dwelling for six months or more is the institutional collective dwelling in which they currently reside. Institutional collective dwellings include correctional institutions, hospitals, nursing homes, chronic and long term care hospitals and related institutions. The usual residence of persons who have lived in an institutional collective dwelling for less than six months is the private dwelling to which they can return. If they do not have a private dwelling to which they can return, then the institutional collective dwelling is their usual place of residence.

- For persons who spend equal time at each residence (as in some cases of joint custody), their usual place of residence is determined by where they stayed on a specified date.

For persons with a residence in Canada and a residence outside of Canada, their Canadian residence is their usual place of residence.

Canadian government employees, including Canadian Armed Forces personnel, residing outside Canada for all of the reference period are out of scope for most surveys. The census, which does include them, determines a geographic location for their usual place of residence using the address they used for election purposes, or their last permanent address if they are not already included in the residence of their families.

Conformity to relevant internationally recognized standards

This standard is compatible with the recommendations for censuses contained in the United Nations' "Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses, Revision 3", 2017. The UN recommends that a threshold of 12 months be used in defining 'usual residence' and suggests as one option for doing so, "The place at which the person has lived continuously for most of the last 12 months (that is, for at least six months and one day), not including temporary absences for holidays or work assignments, or intends to live for at least six months." The recommendations provide guidance for special cases where additional explanation may be required, such as students living at school and persons who work away from their family home.

Classifications

Relation to previous version

  • Usual place of residence in Canada of person September 24, 2021 to current

    This is the current standard.

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