Data Blog

You’re reading our Data Blogs, a great way of getting quick facts, and the latest data, on different public health topics.

Schizophrenia in Canada Published: ()

What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder that affects about 1% of Canadians Footnote 1.

Affecting the way a person interacts with and understands the world, key symptoms of active schizophrenia include: Footnote 2

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganized speech and/or behaviour
  • Impaired cognitive ability

The severity, duration and frequency of these symptoms can cause social and occupational challenges Footnote 3.

The cause and course of schizophrenia are unique for each person, which make it difficult to identify the exact cause of the condition. Genetics, along with structural changes in the brain, combined with lifestyle and environmental factors, are some of the identified factors that may play a role Footnote 4 Footnote 5 Footnote 6 Footnote 7 Footnote 8 Footnote 9 Footnote 10 Footnote 11 Footnote 12 Footnote 13 Footnote 14 Footnote 15 Footnote 16 Footnote 17 Footnote 18.

While there is no cure for schizophrenia, programs and treatments are available to help manage symptoms in the community and at work. Reducing public misunderstanding and fear of the disease can reduce stigma and support affected individuals Footnote 3.

Using national data from 2016-2017Footnote 1

How many Canadians live with schizophrenia?

1 in 100

About 1% of Canadians aged 10+ live with diagnosed schizophrenia.

50 per 100,000

About 50 per 100,000 Canadians are newly diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Profile of schizophrenia in Canada

Men vs women

Schizophrenia affects more men (56%) than women (44%) during their lifetime.

Younger population

About 3 out of 10 newly reported cases of schizophrenia occur between 20 to 34 years of age

  • Among this group, men were twice as likely to be diagnosed than women
  • In general, men experience an earlier onset of schizophrenia than women

Use of health services for schizophrenia

Over 147,500 Canadians aged 1+ used health services for schizophrenia.

  • Among this group, usage was more common in men (60%) than women (40%).

Have rates of schizophrenia changed over time?

Between 2002 and 2016, the number of Canadians living with diagnosed schizophrenia increased by an average of 3% per year. The number of new cases declined during this period Footnote 1 Footnote 19.

In 2016-2017, the all-cause mortality* rate in people diagnosed with schizophrenia was 2.8 times higher than those without.
* The age-standardized rate of death from any cause among individuals with and without schizophrenia.

Dive into the data

Use the map below to discover schizophrenia estimates in Canada's provinces and territories. Navigate the map using Tab or Hover.

rate of schizophrenia for in


Source: Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System (CCDSS)

The Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System (CCDSS) is supported by a pan-Canadian partnership between the Public Health Agency of Canada and all provinces and territories. Schizophrenia data in CCDSS are updated biennially.

Learn more about schizophrenia in Canada

Visit and SEARCH ‘Schizophrenia’

Get data in the data tool

Follow us @GovCanHealth

Like us @HealthyCdns