On June 1, 2023, the long-awaited 1931 Census of Canada will finally be released to the public after spending 92 years in the vault.

This census, which was taken during the Great Depression and a period of significant immigration, provides a snapshot of the more than 10 million people who lived in Canada in 1931. Canadians will be able to view the digitized census images by geographic districts and sub-districts on the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) website, with a searchable database to follow in collaboration with Ancestry and FamilySearch International.

Leslie Weir, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, commented:

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

LAC has digitalised all 234,687 pages of the census, and Ancestry will use its handwriting recognition technology to create a full index of the entire census, which FamilySearch will then review to ensure accuracy. The images and indexes will be available for free on Census Search, LAC’s new one-stop-shop for national census records, as well as on Ancestry.ca and FamilySearch.org.

Collaborations between public institutions and private organisations have been crucial in providing online access to historical records, and LAC has been working with Ancestry and FamilySearch for over 20 years to preserve and provide access to its genealogically significant historical records.

The 1931 Census of Canada is a valuable resource for family researchers and historians, with over 40 fields of personal information recorded, including new questions about unemployment and radio ownership. It was the seventh comprehensive 10-year census following Canada’s Confederation on July 1, 1867.

The mandate of Library and Archives Canada is to preserve Canada’s documentary heritage 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.

Stephen Valentine, Senior Vice President of FamilySearch International, commented:

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 seeking to extend the branches of their family tree and make fun personal and family connections.

Stephen Valentine, Senior Vice President, FamilySearch International.

Library and Archives Canada is online at https://library-archives.canada.ca/.

Image Source:

  • canada 1936: Picryl