1931 Census of Canada to be released on June 1, 2023
After the legislated 92 years in the vault, the highly anticipated 1931 Census of Canada will be made available to the public. Collected during the Great Depression and at a time of significant immigration, the census provides a snapshot of the more than 10 million people living in Canada in 1931. On June 1, 2023, Canadians can expect to browse the digitized census images by geographic district and sub-district on the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) website. Following the initial release, LAC will work collaboratively with Ancestry® and FamilySearch International to create an advanced searchable database for Canadians and those with Canadian heritage who wish to look for their ancestors.
In this collaborative effort to increase access to the 1931 Census of Canada, LAC has digitized all 234,687 pages of the census, and Ancestry will apply its state-of-the-art handwriting recognition technology to the digital images to create a full index of the entire census. FamilySearch will then review the computer-generated index to ensure a complete and accurate index of all fields at a level never achieved before. The images and indexes will be available and searchable online for free through Census Search, Library and Archives Canada’s new one-stop shop for national census records. The images and indexes will also be available on Ancestry.ca and FamilySearch.org.
LAC has been working in collaboration with external organizations including Ancestry and FamilySearch for over 20 years to help preserve, and provide access to, its genealogically significant historical records. Today, collaborations between private organizations and public institutions are the meeting ground of cutting-edge technology and subject-matter expertise. This collaborative partnership is key to meeting public demand and ensuring that the 1931 Census of Canada can be viewed and searched online more quickly than previous censuses.
Users can bookmark LAC’s Preparing the 1931 Census web page to stay up to date on the project’s status.
About Library and Archives Canada
The mandate of Library and Archives Canada is to acquire and preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations, and to be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, contributing to the cultural, social and economic advancement of Canada. Library and Archives Canada also facilitates cooperation among communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge, and serves as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions.
Ancestry®, the global leader in family history, empowers journeys of personal discovery to enrich lives. With our unparalleled collection of more than 40 billion records, over 3 million subscribers and over 23 million people in our growing DNA network, customers can discover their family story and gain a new level of understanding about their lives. For over 40 years, we’ve built trusted relationships with millions of people who have chosen us as the platform for discovering, preserving and sharing the most important information about themselves and their families.
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. It is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to make joyful, personal, and family discoveries. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 5,000 FamilySearch centres in 129 countries, including the main FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Library and Archives Canada is very excited to announce that it will be making the eagerly awaited 1931 Census of Canada available to the public in just a few months. Our partnership with Ancestry and FamilySearch will give us the opportunity to provide our users with an improved experience when searching and browsing the 1931 Census. This is directly in line with our goal to provide online, reliable and trusted access to Canada’s documentary heritage.
—Leslie Weir, Librarian and Archivist of Canada
Ancestry is delighted to work with Library and Archives Canada and FamilySearch to bring the 1931 Census of Canada to the public and digitize these precious records for future generations. The release of the 1931 Census could enable millions of Canadians over the age of 60 to find census data for their parents for the first time. For those aged between 35 and 49, the census offers the first opportunity to access records for their grandparents. This will be game-changing for people building their family history and making connections with their ancestors.
—Todd Godfrey, VP Global Content at Ancestry
FamilySearch is excited about the release of the 1931 Census of Canada. We are honoured to work with Library and Archives Canada and Ancestry to make its pages easily searchable for those individuals worldwide with Canadian roots to extend the branches of their family tree and make fun personal and family connections.
—Stephen Valentine, Senior Vice President, FamilySearch International
Online censuses are very popular databases for family researchers and valuable resources for historians. Many Canadians and people with Canadian roots have ancestors who lived in Canada in 1931. Finding these ancestors in the census can lead to discoveries about other ancestors and new family connections.
The 1931 Census of Canada is 234,687 pages in length and includes 10,376,786 people.
More than 40 fields of personal information were recorded in the 1931 Census of Canada. These include typical questions found on previous census returns, such as family names and relationships, age, gender, and racial origin. There were also five new questions, touching on matters like unemployment and radio ownership.
The 1931 Census of Canada was the seventh comprehensive 10-year census following Canada’s Confederation on July 1, 1867.
For more information (media only), please contact:
Library and Archives Canada
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