Tavia Grant reviews the Danish and Dutch models.
But before Europe is held up as an example in showing censuses are archaic, a second look may be worthwhile. Canadians who fear the census is an intrusion of their privacy would swoon at data collection in countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark, where the government tracks every move from a new address to changes in income or education levels.
“It is an entirely different technique that is stunningly more invasive and presents a greater privacy challenge,” said Ian McKinnon, Victoria-based chair of the National Statistics Council. “To our sensibilities, it’s absolutely remarkable.”