2021 Veteran Identifier in the Canadian Census
The 2021 Canadian Census, Canada’s 23rd national census, was conducted in May 2021. The Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) was highly involved in developing the 2021 Canadian Census Veteran Identifier questions included in this year’s census. This was the first time since 1971 that Canadian Armed Forces Veterans were identified in the census.
In partnership with Veteran Affairs Canada, CIMVHR highlighted the importance of developing the questions to identify Veterans – questions that will lead to a better understanding of Canada’s Veteran population and to better research outcomes down the road. The Veteran identifier questions were developed through consultation with military members, Veterans and their families.
The new questions and the answers gathered on the 2021 Canadian Census will offer a wealth of previously unavailable information about the quality of life of military members, Veterans and their families, filling existing gaps in knowledge about these populations. Veteran Identifier data will be of utmost importance to CIMVHR and many of our research partners, stakeholders and other organizations, and will provide a solid foundation for growing the evolving body of knowledge that allows us to continue improving the health and well-being of our beneficiary population.
Accurate information is critical to meeting the unique needs of military and Veteran populations, especially in the areas of mental and physical health, the transition from service, and family life. CIMVHR is excited to see how researchers will combine other new census information with military and Veteran data to form a robust and evergreen portrait of military families in Canada. There will be opportunities for combining data on Veteran and military populations with other data holdings from Statistics Canada, while providing safeguards to protect privacy and confidentiality.
We look forward to this opportunity to continue to advance Veteran and military research and understand more about these populations. Collecting more data about our Veterans and their families ultimately means creating and informing better programs and policies, and better research outcomes – and this, we believe, will create important opportunities and meaningful change for the future.
View the Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health’s Editorial on CIMVHR’s involvement with the Census to capture vital information on military-connected families