Canada’s 2021 census numbers are in—and they’re good news for Jews

(Photo by Loozrboy/Flickr Creative Commons)

When The CJN Daily launched in May 2021, one of our first stories was about Jewish organizations urging community members to fill out their census forms. It was important, they said, because the 2016 census was so poorly designed that it didn’t ask about religion—only ethnic origins—which left out Judaism, halving the reported number of Jews living in Canada.

Last year’s census was different. Having taken the advice of Jewish community advocates, census organizers gave Canadians the option of marking “Jewish” as their religion and their ethnic identity. Experts hoped the data would align with perceived trends in the Canadian Jewish population—which it has.

The stats, released Oct 26, show that more than 335,00 people described themselves as Jews by religion—up nearly 6,000 from 10 years ago. And while it’s only incremental growth, researchers like Morton Weinfeld, a sociologist and professor at McGill University, are optimistic about the key takeaways. Weinfeld joins the show to explain the meaning behind the numbers.

What we talked about:


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, please watch this video.