Friday, February 7, 2020

Transgender and intersex people in Canada


I have a student looking for demographic information on transgender and intersex people in Canada.

Is there any survey/census/reliable estimate or other sources of information I can point them to?

There was a similar question asked here in 2015 and the answer was that there is no information collected by StatCan, but maybe something has changed since then.


There is no data available on the Intersex population in Canada from Statistics Canada.

However, the Survey on Safety in Public and Private Spaces did publish an estimate of 0.24% for Transgender Population in Canada in December 2019.

Here is the link to their analytical document:


This isn’t the same concept that your researcher is looking for, but it may be helpful to bring up all the same.  (i.e., it won’t stand in as a proxy…)

The latest CCHS has Variable SDC_035, where R’s have the opportunity to state whether they consider themselves to be heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. 

From the questionnaire:

SDC_Q035   Do you consider yourself to be...?

INTERVIEWER: Read categories to respondent.
1 Heterosexual (sexual relations with people of the opposite sex)
2 Homosexual, that is lesbian or gay (sexual relations with people of your own sex)
3 Bisexual (sexual relations with people of both sexes)

I don’t think this would hit the mark for your researcher as the Q specifically talks about “sexual relations” as opposed to gender and sexual fluidities and identities.  That said, I think this may be the one of the few times (or only time?) in recent memory that StatCan has posed a question on sex/gender and then released into a PUMF, perhaps partly because the concept can be difficult articulate into a categorical variable without misrepresenting R’s opinions on this very personal identity question..