Monday, June 5, 2017

Definition of "Suburb"

A researcher is asking for the definition of suburb. A few articles, such as mention suburbs, but I am not finding a definition of it in the Census Dictionary or elsewhere and certainly I have never seen it mentioned as a standard geography.

Is there a definition? Is it possibly a “popular” term which might be a MIZ?

The Geography division has confirmed that there is not an “official” definition of suburb. You are correct that this is not a standard geography. In the example provided, it seems they are using CT’s to “build” the suburbs.

Additional Resources This article by Prof. David Gordon at Queen's might provide some insights:

Followup to this question
"We recently had a request come in from a DLI Researcher regarding the exact definition of the term «suburb», which seems to be recurring in many StatCan articles. It seemed to be considered by many as a “popular” term as opposed to being an official level of geography. For those interested, here are some clarifications from Subject Matter which may be useful in the future:

With help from the Geography division, the Demography division have on many occasions distinguished in its analytical documents linked to census (2006, 2011 and 2016), the city centres and the suburbs. This classification is not an official standard geography but serves our need to produce meaningful and easy to understand analysis to the general public. The city centres was then defined as the municipalities (CSD) giving its name to the CMA. For some reason, this explanation was not clearly expressed in our latest release. For example, in the Montreal CMA, the city centres would be defined as being the Montreal CSD and the suburb everything outside this CSD within the Montreal CMA."