Prince Edward Islanders had the lowest response rate to the new census replacement survey released by Statistics Canada, and that doesn’t surprise the premier.

'I want to see who really responded and who didn't.' — Premier Robert Ghiz

Canadians' non-response rate was five times higher than the last census. Islanders had the lowest response rate in the country to the National Household Survey, at about 60 per cent.

"I think probably because it is not a mandatory census anymore and obviously when you make something voluntary, people are going to be less likely to fill something out," said Premier Robert Ghiz.

"When it was changed a number of years ago, a few years ago, the big issue that everyone said was, 'We are not going to get the data we need to make the right public policy decisions in our country.' And we are seeing that that is happening."

Ghiz wants to take a closer look, and he's hoping there's enough information there so he can at least get a sense of what's missing.

"I want to see who really responded and who didn't, because if we're not going to get a good cross section of our population filling out this census then we're going to have difficulty making good public policy decisions, or we could be making public policy decisions that are going to negatively affect a certain portion of our population," he said.

Ghiz said he would like to see a compulsory census again.