Ever wonder how many people lived in your home community in 1935? Need to know the area’s long-term population trends for a research project? Or maybe you just want some numbers to help understand the social context during a given time period?
Check out the Labrador and the Census project. First announced by the Labrador Institute back in 2016, the project compiles community-level census data for over 300 (!) communities in Labrador in every census year, going back to the very first government census in 1857. The initial version contained data up to 2011, but as of today, May 1, the dataset has been updated to include the full results of the 2016 census, which were not yet available when the project was first completed. Both the full dataset and original report are now available right here on LILA Online.
Recent census data is of course best accessed via Statistics Canada directly, where the data is not only most complete, but also best placed in its appropriate interpretive context, with a great deal of supplementary information. For long-term historical trends, however, the Labrador and the Census tool is quite useful, and to our knowledge it remains the only way of accessing older community-level census data online.
And while our team had great fun putting this together, laboriously cross-checking heavy printed volumes in far-off reference libraries doesn’t appeal to everyone.