OTTAWA - Statistics Canada will release the first batch of data today from the 2016 census.

This batch -- the first of seven to be released during the year -- will focus on population as of May 10 last year and helps determine how much money Ottawa transfers to provinces and territories for services like health care and to cities for infrastructure.

Wednesday's release will also look at where new homes are being built across the country.

In May, Statistics Canada will release data on age and sex, to be followed in August by household and marital status data.

Data on immigration and Aboriginal Peoples will be released in October, then figures on education, jobs and work patterns will be available from the federal agency in November.

The data, drawn from the mandatory short-form census, will assist decision-making across all levels of government and provide sociologists, demographers, urban planners and businesses with a wealth of information.