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Census and Enumerations

1940 National Registration

Sample of questionnaire for men. Courtesy of Statistics Canada.


Sample of questionnaire
for men. Courtesy of
Statistics Canada.

The 1940 National Registration resulted from the compulsory registration of all adults in Canada from 1940 to 1946. This information was originally obtained under the authority of the National Resources Mobilization Act and the War Measures Act to permit the mobilization of all the human and material resources of the nation for the purpose of the defence and security of Canada. The records are in the custody of Statistics Canada.

The registration included all persons who were 16 years of age or older, except for members of the armed forces and religious orders, or those confined to an institution. If a person died between 1940 and 1946, it might be possible that their questionnaire was destroyed.

Sample of questionnaire for women. Courtesy of Statistics Canada.


Sample of questionnaire
for women. Courtesy of
Statistics Canada.

The questionnaires include the following details:

  • name;
  • address;
  • age;
  • date of birth;
  • marital status;
  • number of dependents;
  • place and country of birth of individual and his or her parents;
  • nationality;
  • year of entry into Canada (if an immigrant);
  • racial origin;
  • languages;
  • education;
  • general health;
  • occupation, employment status, farming or mechanical skills; and
  • previous military service.

There was a different form for males and females regarding questions about occupation, work history and military service. The records are arranged by electoral district; however, a soundex-format index exists.

Inquiries about the records and requests for searches should be directed to:

Census Pension Searches Unit
Census Operations Division
Statistics Canada
B1E-34 Jean Talon Building
Tunney's Pasture
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0T6
Tel.: 613-951-9483
Fax: 613-951-4574

Please note that:

  • Requests must include the full name, place of residence in 1940, and identifying details, such as country of birth, date of birth or approximate age, and occupation.
  • The request must be accompanied by proof that the individual has been deceased 20 years. Proof of death can be a copy of a death record or a newspaper obituary. The only exceptions are when an individual is requesting information from his or her own record, for the executor of a will or when the person would be over 110 years of age.
  • Prepayment of $45 (plus applicable taxes) per search, payable in advance by credit card or by cheque or money order to Statistics Canada is required. The fee will be refunded if the search is not successful. There is no charge for individuals who require their own record or for an executor of a will.

Important Note

Library and Archives Canada does not hold copies of the 1940 National Registration records. All requests and inquiries must be addressed to Statistics Canada at the above address.

First World War

A similar national registration was undertaken during the First World War in June 1918; however, those records have not survived.