Dictionary, Census of Population, 2016
Distance from home to work

Release date: May 3, 2017


'Distance from home to work' refers to the straight-line distance, in kilometres, between a person's residence and his or her usual place of work.

Statistical unit(s)

Employed person
Experienced labour force person
Person with recent work experience


Not applicable

Reported in

2016 (25% sample); 2011Note 1 (30% sample); 2006, 2001 and 1996 (20% sample). For availability prior to 1981, please refer to Appendix 2.0.

Reported for

Population aged 15 years and over, in private households, who worked at some time since January 1, 2015, and who reported having a usual place of work. The variable usually relates to the individual's job held during the week of Sunday, May 1 to Saturday, May 7, 2016. However, if the person did not work during that week, but had worked at some time since January 1, 2015, the information relates to the job held the longest during that period.

Early enumeration was conducted in remote, isolated parts of the provinces and territories in February, March and April 2016. When enumeration has taken place before May 2016, the reference date used is the date on which the household was enumerated.

Question number(s)

Derived variable: Question 42


Not applicable


Workplace locations are coded to a geographic point location. This geographic point location is a blockface, dissemination block, dissemination area or census subdivision representative point. Distance from home to work is calculated as the straight-line distance between the residential block representative point and the workplace location representative point. In most cases, this underestimates the distance travelled to work because workers seldom have a route that minimizes the distance they travel (such as a straight line) between their home and workplace.

For persons who work outside the areas covered by census metropolitan areas or census agglomerations, the workplace location is coded to a single representative point for the census subdivision of work. This can affect the calculated distance from home to work, particularly when the census subdivision of work has a large area. These representative points may change from survey to survey, therefore users should be cautious when comparing commuting distances between surveys.


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