Thursday, December 16, 2004

Labour Force Survey RDC Access


Does anyone know whether the LFS would be eligible for RDC access? Also - in our DLI files we have CMAs of Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver - is it safe to say that in the Master Files - all CMAs would be available?


The LFS is available on a special needs basis. Researchers interested in using the LFS microdata are advised that the LFS databases are complex and that support is generally required from the Labour Statistics Division to use these files. Therefore,
researchers with project proposals that require access to LFS microdata are requested to submit their application for access and proposal directly to the Labour Statistics Division of Statistics Canada.

As for the second question, all CMAs are available on the master file.

Provincial Trade Data


A student is looking for provincial trade statistics by commodity and total commodity for the period 1980-2000. We can only seem to find recent CANSIM information rather than older.


I think you need the print publication 'Interprovincial trade in Canada' (15-546-XPE). We have 2 volumes: 1984-1996 and 1992-1998. I am not sure whether or not there are earlier tables.

The CANSIM tables on interprovincial trade seem to only go back to 1992.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Same Sex Couples


A student at UBC would like to identify neighbourhoods in CMAs where the greatest concentrations of same-sex couples live. Neither she nor I can find any tables identifying same-sex couples at a level smaller than CSD. Can you confirm that this is correct? I went pretty carefully through the subset listings (407 occurrences of the term!) but could not find anything at a sub-CSD level, such as census tract.

I would appreciate either a confirmation that there are no such tables, or an indication where such information can be found.


Here's the answer from Census:
"the only standard product that contain data for same-sex couples is Presence of Other Household Members (5) and Sex (3) for Same-sex Common-law Partners in Private Households, for Canada, Provinces and Territories, 2001 Census - 20% Sample Data (97F0005XCB01040) --

It is possible to obtain custom tables for same-sex unions for smaller level of geographies than provinces and territories. However, it is important to note that data on same-sex couples is not available for geographic areas with 2B population in private households under 5,000."

You can access the tables down to CMA:

Monday, November 29, 2004

Adults with Living Grandparents


I have a grad student who is looking for Canadian stats on adults who have living grandparents. The only place I have found that deals with this is cycle 5 of the General Social Survey. Has anyone run across this kind of statistic elsewhere?


The National Population Health Survey has the following variables:


I found these using the keyword "grandparent* " in the question-text index at URL:

GSS 17 has a variable, multigen that identifies families with three or more generations living in the household.

Each of these files has a multi-generation family variable:
General Social Survey of Canada, 1995 - Cycle 10: Family. Main File
General Social Survey of Canada, 1998 - Cycle 12: Time use main file
General Social Survey of Canada, 1999 - Cycle 13: Victimization main file
General Social Survey of Canada, 2000 - Cycle 14: Access to and use of Information Communication Technology
General Social Survey of Canada, 2001 - Cycle 15: Family History (Main File)
Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, 1992/1993: person file
Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, 1992-1994: longitudinal person file

These ones have grandpar*:
National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, Cycle 1. 1994/1995: Primary file - variable AA1CQ08G
National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, Cycle 3 (1998-1999): Self-adminstered questionnaire file - variable CFFCQ08G
Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, 1992/1993: person file

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Census of Manufacturers


I've been looking around for some historical information about the "Census of Manufacturers".

[1] Whatever happened to the "Census of Manufacturers"? I looked in the "Historical Statistics of Canada" and have read "Section R: Manufactures" which gives me very detailed information up to the '70's, of course.

However, does anyone know if it is still being conducted? IF NOT, what was the last year it was done under that name?

[2] Did the "Annual Survey of Manufacturers" replace the "Census of Manufacturers" in 1983? (1983 is the first year of data available to us through the DLI file, "Annual Survey of Manufactures, 1983 * 1995".)

[3] Any chance that the DLI community can get data more recent than 1995 for the "Annual Survey of Manufacturers"?

If we can get it via another data source, please let me know. At the moment, I can only think of CANSIM and the publications 31-001, "Monthly Survey of Manufacturing"; 31-203, "Manufacturing Industries of Canada"; and the titles for specifically named manufacturing industries.


There's a description of the Annual survey of manufactures at:

It has links to the questionnaires, a note on comparability of data, etc., but no list of products that derive their data from it.

However, armed with the information that it is SDDS number 2103, you can go in to E-stat's version of CANSIM and search by survey number (ie. '2103') and find out which matrices are produced from it. A search of the Daily will tell you any other products produced from it since about 1996.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Microdata on debit card use


We have a user looking for data on debit card (Interac) use in Canada. So far, I have searched the variable-level databases at UWO, Sherlock, and Queens, as well as the TST, with no luck. I have also searched the Roper database, but the content abstracts are so brief that I suspect they would miss something like this.

Does anyone have any other suggestions, things I have missed?


I have found the very brief mention of 'automated banking machines' in GSS 9.

Also, General Social Survey 14: Access to and Use of Information Communication Technology - 2000
A13 - In past 12 months how often use ATM
Value Label
1 At least a week
2 At least a month
3 Less than a month
4 Never
9 Not stated

No controlled vocabulary, so you've really got to try every variation/permutation!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Request for Components of Growth


I've had a request from a faculty member for the following publication. It appears to be one that all would have to order, but I
wanted to be sure that was the case. Could one of you please clarify that for me? It would be nice, of course, if it were available through DLI. Here's the info from the online catalogue:

Product: Components of growth, Canada, provinces and territories, 1993-2016
Catalogue no.: 91C0019


Sorry to say no again but this product is a custom table. You will have to order it.

A "C" in the catalogue number is Statscan's code for custom.

Friday, November 19, 2004

PALS 2001


A student who wants to use the PALS 2001 survey has asked me where or if there is a designation for province of residence. She could not find a variable relating to it. I have looked through the
questionnaire, where I saw that province information was collected at the beginning and the end of it. Using our access to IDLS, however, I do not see either a direct or derived variable relating to province. Have we overlooked something?

Looking at the user's guide, there is no province variable listed in the data dictionary.

Section 6.5, which talks about non-disclosure, mentions that "the level of detail of the pumf is not as fine as that of the master file ... Actions were also taken to make the microdata file more secure ... These actions concern the geography included in the file, ..." Is this the first PUMF where geography is completely suppressed?


It was decided that the richness of this survey was within the variables rather than the geography. A conscious decision was made to put as much detail as possible in the file
therefore sacrificing geography.

Unfortunately variable details that were released in previous versions of surveys do not always get approved for release with the current version. There could be a number of reasons for this including sample size, response rate, complexity and level of detail of questions asked etc. Most of all there are increased confidentiality concerns in all of our surveys. In fact I am of the opinion that previous surveys would not contain the same level of detail now if they were brought before the Microdata Release Committee.

Each time a survey manager makes changes to a public use file and brings it before the Release Committee requires the expenditure of a lot of time and resources. At this point in time it would be beyond the means of the budget to try and add even one additional variable to a released file.
Even one variable requires the manager to go through the entire release process - which could cost close to $50,000 and take months to do. Once a file is released, unless it is to fix an errors in the data, the actual data file is rarely altered.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Food Insecurity Supplement / Master and share files


A while ago, it was posted that the Food Insecurity supplement is not available in PUMF format (master & share only). Could you tell me what (master & share only) means?

I have a student who would like the PUMF - can I assume that it will never be available as a PUMF? Do you know if there have been any reports, with aggregate stats, produced from this supplement?


I just ran across, in Canada food stats (it uses Food Insecurity supplement data) -
Food Insecurity (in: Health reports (82-003-XIE), vol 12(4), August 2001) linked from:

As for the definitions related to master and share:

The master file is the final internal file containing all of the non-suppressed confidential data. It is from this file that the public use file is created. This is also the file used by divisions to do custom tabulations. It is the master file of some surveys that will go to the RDCs.

The share file is a subset of the master file. For some surveys we ask respondents if we can share their answers with other government departments - we have to name the other departments. Those that agree are kept on the share file and those that say no have there record removed. So the share file can contain the same level of detail as the file master file but less records. We do this whenever a government department that is sponsoring a survey has need of more detailed data than will be contained in the public use file. With the advent of RDCs and even a special RDC in Ottawa for federal departments the creation of a share file is becoming less frequent.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Population projections publication


We have a faculty member who has used "Projections of visible minority population groups, Canada, provinces and regions, 1991-2016" (Stats Can Pub no.: 91-541-XPE) which we have in our library. However, it did not have exactly what he needed regarding languages. I found in the Online Catalogue a publication entitled: "Detailed tables of projections of households and families for Canada, provinces and territories, 1994-2016" (Catalogue no.: 91C0024). It had the description: Categories: Ethnic origin, Migration, Languages, Religion, Population characteristics, Vital statistics, Citizenship, Census of population, Age groups, Aging population. With those descriptive categories we thought that it might provide what he needs. Would it be available via the DLI?


Unfortunately, this cannot be made available to the DLI as it is not a product but a service. Any STC catalogue number with a "C" as the third character indicates a cost recovery service and not a stand alone product. The output will depend on what each clients requests.

As indicated on the main page for this catalogue number: Pricing varies according to client specifications.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Professors giving students DLI data for course assignments


If a professor has DLI data, can he or she give it to his/her students directly? Assuming that the students are using it for a class project.


Yes, the use for class project is completely legitimate.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Resource Royalties for Nunavut


A student here wants to know what resource royalties were paid by the Nunavut territorial government to the federal government. From CANSIM, I can get the total royalties collected by the federal government, but I can't seem to find it broken down by payee (as it were). Not being sure of the terminology, I also tried looking for taxes or transfers, but didn't get anything that seemed to fit.

Does anyone out there have any ideas?


Provincial & Territorial governments don't pay royalties to the federal government. On the contrary, the federal government has jurisdiction on some non-renewable resource royalties and makes transfers to the provinces. (for example, offshore revenues in NFLD). Otherwise, the provinces look after their own royalty collection, (for example in Alberta, oil and gas royalties) and the federal government collects on its own behalf.

A good source could be Table 385-0002 for Natural resource royalties collected by the federal government for the breakdown between oil & gas, mineral, other, etc. We don't collect detail below this aggregate level, however.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Elevation of CTs or DAs


Is there any way to find out the average elevation (above sea level) of a census tract or dissemination area. I have a student who is trying to correlate socioeconomic status (from census
data) with elevation for our city. The thesis is that the higher up one lives in the physical sense, the higher their socioeconomic status. I think each census tract/dissemination area has a centroid which would have lat/long coordinates, but I don't think I have ever seen elevation data attached to this point. Any advice or help would be very much appreciated.


Statistics Canada does not have that information. Best we can provide is elevation of major lakes.

NRCan is normally the place to go.

I also tried the infamous google search. I found a neat product called zipcode world that has that
information by postal code. You can demo the product but I'm not sure for how long. Here is what it looks like:

Friday, November 5, 2004

Construction Workers by Trade


Where would I look to find out the number of worker by specific construction trade by province? As well is there information as to how many are union vs. non-union? I can find construction workers in general, but not by specific trade, so far.


The LFS has everything you're looking for except a lot of detail for construction trades. You might have to go the custom table route because your other choice which would be the census pumf does not have union data.

Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Enumeration Areas and Dissemination Areas


Is an EA typically larger than a DA, or smaller - or is it impossible to generalize? I'm trying to get a sense of the comparative size of these two units. (From browsing the concordance between EAs and DAs, I get a sense that quite a few DAs fit into or overlap an EA, but I'd rather be sure)


DAs were brought in to replace EAs, so some are the same size, some are bigger, and some are smaller. Here is the explanation about them.

The dissemination area (DA) is a new standard geographic area. It replaces the enumeration area (EA) as a basic unit for dissemination. Dissemination areas are aggregates of one or more blocks. DAs respect several delineation criteria designed to maximize their usefulness for data analyses.

1. DA boundaries respect the boundaries of census subdivisions and census tracts. DAs therefore remain stable over time, to the extent that census subdivisions and census tracts do.

2. DAs are uniform in terms of population size, which is targeted from 400 to 700 persons to avoid data suppression. DAs with lower population counts (including zero population) may result in order to respect the boundaries of census subdivisions and census tracts. DAs with higher population counts may also result.

3. DA boundaries follow roads. DA boundaries may follow other features (such as railways, water features, power transmission lines), where these features form part of the boundaries of census subdivisions or census tracts.

4. A DA within a DA is formed when the population of apartment or townhouse complexes meets or exceeds 300 persons.

5. DAs are compact in shape, to the extent possible while respecting the above criteria.

6. Operational requirements limit to 99 the number of blocks that can be included in a DA. In order to meet the operational constraint of releasing population and dwelling counts in the spring following the census year, the population counts used to delineate DAs are taken from the previous census. To delineate DAs for 2001, sufficiently accurate block population counts based on 1996 Census data were only possible where block-face geocoding existed for the 1996 Census. Therefore, the 2001 DAs were delineated according to the above criteria only in CMA/CA areas where 1996 block-face geocoding existed. Everywhere else, the 2001 DAs are the same as the 2001 EAs used for data collection.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Canadian Civil Aviation


A faculty member is looking for data from the Canadian Civil Aviation - Annual Report, which is described here:

This survey does not seem to be available through the DLI. I have also searched the DLI List archives and found no mention of it. There is a publication available for download but this does not meet his needs because he is looking for actual data.

Could someone please confirm whether or not this is available through the DLI, or whether it will be available at some point in the future? And if not, how the professor can get his hands on it?


There is no microdata available for this survey. Your researcher will have to make a request for custom table.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Weight Variables in Old Census Files


For the 1986 Census PUMF - Family and Individual files AND 1981 Census PUMF - Individual file, there are no weight variables. Should these be here? Where can I go to get them?


In the 1986 documentation we found the following explanation. It turns out the '81 and '86 provides weights that are to be used for population estimates rather than to correct for sampling methodology. Unfortunately, the author division did not include a weight variable in the file so you must include it yourself.

For example, in SPSS you would include the following comand:
compute weightp=50.


Within each stratum, the sample was systematically selected with a random start and probability proportional to the first stage weight. Sample sizes within strata were determined such that each individual selected represented fifty individuals in the target population. Special procedures, described below, were required for temporary residents and overlap with other microdata files.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Pre-1971 Census PUMFs


A researcher would like to know if any of the censuses before 1971 had PUMFs.


At present, no. The CCRI project is working on that, however, and now there are, from various sources, 1901, 1881, and 1871 microdata files available. I understand there is also a preliminary version of a 1911 file out, but it's restricted access right now. Stats Can is proposing to do a 1961 pumf, and CCRI is doing 1911-1951.

Survey of Financial Security PUMF


Can we access the 1984 Survey of Financial Security PUMF under DLI?


Presuming you mean the Income, assets and debts of economic families and unattached individuals, 1984 (there's also a 1976 file), the reference year is 1983, and it's on the DLI ftp site and web site

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Life tables, life expectancy


A student is looking for:

Life expectancy at birth for 1960, Both sexes and male and female, Canada and Provinces
Life tables for 2001, Both sexes and male and female, Canada and Provinces


Life tables (which are very comprehensive tables looking at Life Expectancy at different ages, ie. The life expectancy of a one year old, a two year old etc.-these are often used by insurance companies) were not produced back in 1960. Life Tables are centred around a Census year and also require three years of mortality data. So, the next tables will be centred around the 2001 Census and require death data from 2000, 2001, and 2002. We now have a complete file for 2002, and so are beginning work on the Life
Tables. They will not be released until 2005 (they are extremely complex tables). The earliest I have is 1985-1987 (paper publication). The following link will take you to the most recent. As I said, they are fairly complex tables. Now in terms of life expectancy at birth (as opposed to life expectancy of one year olds, etc), we do produce that annually. It is included in our annual 'Deaths' publication (catalogue #84F0211). It is also usually included in the 'Daily' so if you do a Daily search under 'Deaths' it will
give you that info. The second link will take you there. We have also just released 2002 data, which is in the third link.

Friday, September 10, 2004

CCHS and the HUI


I am trying to find out which version of the HUI (health utilities index) is being used in the CCHS 1.1. From the documentation it states HUI is used and looks like version 3 but I cannot find anywhere where that is definitively stated. I am also assuming that the same is being used for 1.2 but again, I am not sure.


Yes it is. According to Health Statistics HUI-3 has been the standard since NPHS cycle 2.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Births by Geography


I have someone looking for number of births annually, 1977 - 2004, at the community level of geography (FSA? CMA?) for Newfoundland. I was able to find the data by CSD in CANSIM. Is there data available at a lower level through DLI?


Canada Health has a publication titled General Summary of Vital Statistics by Local Area which has live births by province, counties, census divisions and districts and urban places for Canada.

This only goes to 2001 for the paper version (Catalogue no. 84F0001XPB). The internet versions for 2000 to 2002 might be released at the end of the fall. This catalogue goes back to at least 1975 and is available through the DSP.

We only have the data by what I described above or by CD and CSD's. We could also do it by FSA (Forward sortation area) as a custom tabulation, but there are so many suppressions at that small level, that the client might not have a lot of data for his money.

Also, if the client wants a custom tabulation done, for the number of years they require, the price would be around $3,000 or more and the waiting period for our custom tabulations is up to October as of now. We try to get them done as quickly as possible, but we cannot promise sooner than that.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Crime Point Locations


Does anyone know if any government department or agency in Canada releases point locations of crimes committed as lat/long coordinates?


From Justice Division:

"We have never collected this type of information and we have no intention of collecting this location of crime data in the future. We only collect data by police department.That is the lowest level of detail we collect crime data for.

The only thing I can think of if a crime is committed in any major city, they may be able to do their own calculation as to what the latitude and longitude of that city where the crime was committed.Then then can get the crimes committed in each city to match the latitude and longitude of that city."

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Percentage of People Below Poverty Line


A faculty member here wants the percent of people below the poverty line in Canada and the provinces back as far as possible (ideally to the 50s, but he would be satisfied with as far back as possible).

I found an article on the Stats. Can. site entitled "On Poverty and Low Income" (,
which I printed up for him. Essentially it states that the only thing that Stats Can does is Low Income Cut-off data, which is very different than poverty line. We found data in CANSIM based on the Low Income Cut-Offs that goes back to 1980. I also found a Low Income Cut-Off variable in the Annual Survey of Consumer Finance (SCF) which would take him back to 1973.

I also found the Canadian Social Research Links Poverty Measures Web site
which I also referred him to. This site discusses different measures of poverty in Canada.

Is there anything obvious that I am missing, or have I covered all bases?


1) From Income division:

Consumer Income and Expenditure Division Un-catalogued (Window Cover) Publication, Released December 17, 1973: History of LICOs

LICOs were initially developed for the 1961 Census Monograph (Catalogue 99-544) "Income of Canadians" and were later used by the Economic Council of Canada in the 5th and 6th Annual Reviews. These lines were originally set at $1,500, $2,500, $3000, $3,500, and $4,000 for families of sizes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5+ respectively for 1961. Each year since 1961, these cut-offs have been updated by the CPI and the characteristics of the low income population defined by the resulting cut-offs have been presented and analysed in various reports produced by the Consumer and Expenditure Division.

Note 1: The Consumer and Expenditure Division Publication 13-207, Annual since 1971, page 72, Table 53 provides the incidence of low income among families and unattached individuals by province of residence.

Note 2: There was a paper note in the ISD binder indicating that the following low income publications, Catalogue 13-536 (1967) and Catalogue 13-553 (1969) were borrowed in the past, unfortunately, they are still missing. The content would have to be confirmed and provided by our STC Library if they still have a copy.

Consumer Income and Expenditure Division Un-catalogued (Window Cover) Publication, Released January 1986: Background

STC's LICOs were introduced in 1968 on 1961 Census income data and 1959 national family expenditure patterns. (National FMX data have only been produced for 1959, 1969 and 1978. Between these years the cut-offs could only be updated through the use of the CPI). They were updated each year from 1961 based on price changes as reflected in the CPI, and were revised in 1973 based on the next national expenditure survey, which had been taken for 1969.

2) You may also want to try this free STC publication, it is a "classic" on the subject:

Friday, August 13, 2004

Historical Input-Output Tables


I have a patron who wants historical input-output tables by province between 1980 and 1997. There is no trouble finding canada I/O data, but the provinces seem elusive prior to 1997.

I know that it is muggy in most areas of the country, but does anyone have any ideas on the best place to find these stats?


Statistics Canada has provincial I/O Tables for the years 1997-2000 only. They are available on CANSIM in tables 381-0012 & 381-0013. These tables are also available in publication 15-201-XIE.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Universities: Enrollment & Degrees


Is the following available through DLI? I can't find record of it anywhere on the StatCan site, and our Library Catalogue indicates the print publication ended in 1991.

Catalogue No. 81-204, Universities: Enrollment and Degrees -- Table 12: Enrolment by Level, Home Province of Canadians and Permanent Residents, Province of Study, Registration Status and Sex, for the most current two years.


I believe that the information you are looking for is not available via the DLI but from STC Centre for Education Statistics directly. In July I sent out the message below that I had received from them about their latest release on university enrolments. I have also included the link to the Daily that they mentioned in this news release. If the product they mention that is available to download does not meet your needs then you should contact the division directly.

Previous message:


Data on university enrolments will be released on Friday, July 30, 2004 in the Statistics Canada Daily.

The Daily can be downloaded at no charge from the Statistics Canada website.

The following variables will be available:

* Province of study*
* Institution of study
* Gender
* Age
* Mother tongue
* Province or state of permanent address
* Immigration status of student
* Country of citizenship
* Student registration status*
* Field of study (Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP))*
* Program level*

Data for variables marked with an asterisk (*) above will be available in the CANSIM table 477-0011.

To preserve confidentiality, the available data will be rounded to the nearest five (5) and figures below five (5) will be identified as

University enrolment data for 2001-2002 are obtained using information from the Enhanced Student Information System and the University Student Information System.

Preliminary data on university enrolment for 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 were previously released in The Daily on March 31 and April 17, 2003. This release provides the final data for the same periods.

Data on Field of Study are coded according to the new Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP). Before the ESIS was implemented, the Postsecondary Education and Adult Learning Section of the Centre for Education Statistics (CES) used the University Student Information System (USIS) for fields of study at the university level. USIS-to-CIP and CIP-to-USIS conversion tables are available on request.

Data on education levels, citizenship and immigration status were coded using the new classifications in the Enhanced Student Information System (ESIS). Conversion tables are also available for these variables.

For the purposes of the release, a foreign student is defined as a non-Canadian student who does not have "permanent resident" status and has had to obtain the authorization of the Canadian government to enter Canada with the intention of pursuing an education.

Historical data on enrolments for 1992-1993 to 2001-2002 were converted using ESIS variable definitions and code sets, so as to maintain the historical continuity of the statistical series.

You may also wish to look at:

Chapter D: Postsecondary education are the tables in .xls

Some updated tables:

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Generation Definition


A researcher would like more details concerning the definition of "generation status". Here is the definition in the census dictionary:

Generation status of the respondent, i.e. "1st", "2nd" or "3rd" + generation, refers to whether the respondent or the respondent's parents were born in or outside Canada.

I'm probably missing something but how do they know if they are the 3rd generation living in Canada?

I'm assuming they use answers on grand-children (3rd generation), children (2nd generation) and parents (1st generation).

Is this answer derived from other questions?


Census questions on birthplace of parents and birthplace of respondent are used to define the first, second and third-plus generations in Canada. Data on generational status refers to the population aged 15 and over, as the 2001 parental birthplace question is asked only of this population.

First generation refers to people aged 15 years and over who were born outside Canada, that is the foreign-born. For the most part, these are people who are now, or once were immigrants to Canada. Included in the foreign-born are a small number of people born outside Canada to parents who are Canadian citizens by birth. In addition, non-permanent residents are included in the foreign-born in this study for the 2001 Census. (Non-permanent residents were not
enumerated in the 1971 Census.) Non-permanent residents are defined as people from another country in Canada at the time of the Census on employment and student authorizations, MinisterĂ¢€™s permits and refugee claimants, as well as any family member living with these temporary residents.

Second generation refers to people aged 15 years and over who were born in Canada and had at least one parent born outside Canada. These are the adult children of immigrants. The definition of second generation does not distinguish whether it was the mother or father who was foreign-born.

Third-plus generation refers to people aged 15 years and over who were born in Canada and their parents were born in Canada. As such this group can be described as the third and subsequent generations.

Place of birth (including Canada) is based on current national boundary.

Thursday, August 5, 2004

Foreign Students Entering or Residing in Canada


I am looking for the numbers of international students entering and/or residing in Canada by year and country of citizenship. CIC has these numbers, but the ones I have been able to find are either aggregated or include only the top ten source countries.


Education can provide international students enrollments by institution and province, ft/pt, etc.
They don't have the data published so you have to contact them directly for it.

Provincial Statistics on Urban and Rural Population Counts


I'm looking for provincial statistics on urban and rural population counts. I found this table in CANSIM (terminated table which ends in 1971) but I was wondering if we can get the same statistics between 1971-2001?

Table 075-0010 - Historical statistics, urban and rural population, every 10 years (Persons)


If you just want provincial level totals, have a look at the National Overview pubs, otherwise you may have to go through census by census.

National Overview Publications:
2001 Census 93-360 Table 9(Can prov CMA) or Table 10 (Can prov CD CSD), 1996 Census pub 93-357, 1986 Census pub 93-301, etc.

If you need this electronically for the later census years, GeoSuite can again help, bearing in mind the urban rural flags for the pop counts are at extremely low levels of geo (eg. EAs for 96 and blocks for 2001).

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

EA concordance file


Is there a EA concordance file for 1996 and 1991 that has been produced by Stat Can?


Yes there is a concordance file, you can get it using the 1996 Geosuite. If you go in under Name search, use Canada, then ask for the EACorr on the next window you get the concordance list, it can be exported as a text file(or Lotus or Excel.)

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Products that fall through the cracks


Late yesterday afternoon I received a phone call from a professor in Recreational Administration who wanted access to the average household spending on recreational items in CMAs. He had some prior assistance from the Edmonton STC Regional Office and our Reference Desk, which had identified for him a catalogue number for a table that contained just what he wanted: 62F0031. He had been told that this didn't not appear within the DSP and should be a DLI product... hence his phone call.

I went directly to the Online Catalogue of Products and Services and, even though the catalogue number that he provided seemed a bit short, searched for 62F0031 within Catalogue #. No results.

I repeated the search for 62F0031 within a page. No results.

Next I conducted a site search for 62F0031 and was presented with one result: the Labour Market and Income Data Guide

A search for 62F0031 on this page discovered the following information:

Products and services:
1. Spending Patterns in Canada (Catalogue no 62-202-XPB or 62-202-XIB)
2. Standard data tables (62F0031, 62F0032, 62F0033, 62F0034, 62F0035, 62F0041, 62F0042, 62F0043, 62F0044, 62F0045)
3. Public Use Microdata File (62M0004XCB)
4. Custom tabulations

The term "Standard data tables" is close to "standard data products".

My questions are:

Are standard data tables a subcategory of standard data products? If they are, can we obtain these tables for distribution within DLI?

I checked CANSIM to see if there was any connection between these standard data tables and any of the series in CANSIM. While Table 203-0010 contains household spending on recreation by province and territory, there is no table for CMAs.

Looking on the STC website under Canadian Statistics / Families, housholds and housing / Expenditures, there is a table for average household expenditures for seleced metropolitan areas. This table unfortunately has no table number or catalogue number by which to reference it. Furthermore, the patron wanted more recreational items than it contains. There are over 60 items identified for recreation in CANSIM 203-0010.

How do I know that the patron had the right standard data table number for CMA?

As a last hope search, I checked the Statistics Canada downloadable publications on the DSP site for Spending Patterns in Canada. In the 2002 edition of this pub, a search for 62F0031 found an appendix with the title, Related Products and Services containing the table number. All of the standard data table numbers listed above were identified in the appendix WITH titles. 62F0031 has the title, Detailed average household expenditure for Canada, provinces and selected metropolitan areas. It appears that I replicated someone's earlier work for this patron but was similarly deadended.

This brings me back to the question, can we get these tables through DLI?


What we have sometimes found out is that even though the name "standard tables" is given to s product or set of products they are in fact not "standard". That is they are not "off the shelf" tables ready to be disseminated but still require manual intervention based on the clients

Tony Moren here in the Library did some further checking and found this

The product number you mentioned 61F0031 is actually 62F0031XDB. Looks like these are tables they send out on diskette. We will ask for this product as it is in neither DLI or DSP.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Definition of Income Class


A researcher at McMaster is looking for definition on what constitutes a lower, middle and higher income class in Canada. She needs the income range of families belonging to each class (lower, middle and upper). I have looked through Census guides and many other publications but could not come across anything that she wants.


The classification of income into low, middle and high, is a very difficult concept. What is a high income in one area of the country (say an annual income of $100,000) could be considered as middle or low in another area of the country or province. Setting aside actual income dollars, even the "median" income of people in one part of the country could be considered as "high" or "low" in other parts of the country.

Similarly there is no standard as to what is poverty or the poverty line. Again a number of factors have to be taken into account when trying to identify individuals and families who are "below the poverty line". For these reasons Statistics Canada instead publishes something called the "low income cut-offs. to help users in identifying people who are in financially difficult situations. As stated in

"For many years, Statistics Canada has published a set of measures called the low income cut-offs. We regularly and consistently emphasize that these are quite different from measures of poverty. They reflect a well-defined methodology which identifies those who are substantially worse off than the average. Of course, being significantly worse off than the average does not necessarily mean that one is poor."

A 1994 article in the US based "Monthly Labor Review" states that: "Intuitively, income is a natural choice for a classifying variable because it is an indicator of consumers' financial ability to purchase goods and services and therefore is assumed to be a measure of their economic well-being. However, there are theoretical and practical drawbacks pertaining to income that make alternative measures more attractive, at least for some applications."

Also an article in the Winter 2002 issue of the STC publication "Perspectives on Labour and Income" states that; because the same income can affects different families in different ways " make comparisons between different family types, it is necessary to look at both income pooling and economies of scale within families. An equivalency scale is the device most commonly used to level the playing field."

In any case, if you can not find an acceptable definition or classification of high, middle and low income it probably because there is no universally acceptable standard. Income Division has told us, for example, that "in SLID there are no definitions of lower, middle and upper incomes." In fact what they suggest is to use quintiles to divide the population. They also suggest that the researcher define their own groups using previous employed/published groupings, either their own or those of someone else.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Food Expenditure Survey


We have a grad student who has been using the Food Expenditure Survey for expenditure at restaurants by country of birth. This variable has been dropped for the 2001 survey. Is there any other data source for this type of information? He has collected data to 1996 and now cannot find more current data.


Income division (responsible for Food Expenditures) confirmed that you are correct, there is nothing after 1996 on this and they are not aware of any other resources to be able to assist you.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Economic families vs. Census families


A student who wants to use the SLID2000 data has asked me about the differences between 'census families' and 'economic families'. As I read the definitions, I do not seem to find a major distinction, yet they are maintained as two separate files, so there must be a reason.

As I interpret the definitions, it seems that most households would be both 'economic families' and 'census families'. Only cases of siblings residing together would seem to be outside the definition of a census family.

Somehow, this does not seem to be enough to justify having two separate files -- what am I missing?


1) A census family consists of a couple and their children in a home. An economic family extends this definition to include all relatives (by blood or adoption) also living in the home. An example of this would be in the situation with grandparents living
with a couple and their children. All of them together consist of the economic family whereas using the census definition you would actually have two families; the grandparents are one and the couple with the children would be the second.

2) Many definitions (plus questionnaires, plus concepts, plus classification codes; plus survey descriptions, plus more) can be found at:

They have the following definitions for Census and Economic family. As you will see in a Census Family only kids under 25 and without their own spouse or child are counted, but in an Economic Family there is no age restriction, they just have to be all related (so could include grandparents as well!)

Census family is defined as a now-married couple, a common-law couple or a lone-parent with a child or youth who is under the age of 25 and who does not have his or her own spouse or child living in the household. Now-married couples and common-law couples may or may not have such children and youth living with them. Now-married couples and common-law couples are classified as husband-wife families and the partners in the couple are classified as spouses. For a more detailed definition go to:

Economic family is defined as a group of two or more persons who live in the same dwelling and are related to each other by blood, marriage, common-law or adoption. By definition, all persons who are members of a census family are also members of an economic family. Examples of the broader concept of economic family include the following: two co-resident census families who are related to one another are considered one economic family and two co-resident siblings who are not members of a census family are consider an economic family. For a more detailed definition go to Economic Family

3) The economic family concept requires only that family members be related by blood, marriage, common-law*** or adoption. By contrast, the census family concept requires that family members be either a male or female spouse, a male or female common-law partner, a male or female lone parent, or a child with a parent present. The concept of economic family may therefore refer to a larger group of persons than does the census family concept. For example, a widowed mother living with her married son and daughter-in-law would be treated as a non-family person under the definition of a census family. That same
person would, however, be counted as a member of an economic family along with her son and daughter-in-law. Two or more related census families living together also constitute one economic family as, for example, a man and his wife living with their married son and daughter-in-law. Two or more brothers or sisters living together, apart from their parents, will form an economic family, but not a census family, since they do not meet the requirements for the latter. All census family persons are economic family persons.

Input-Output Tables


What is an input-output table?


There is a basic lecture about input output tables at the following URL.

Also at

Canada has been one of the world leaders in the building of these tables. For instance, we developed a rectangular table as opposed to the traditional square ones. Kishori Lal has published some articles on the evolution of the Canadian tables but you need the above primers to undertand what he is talking about. See

Basically, an I/O table allows the researcher to do 'what if analysis'.

They can be constructed at various different levels and for different sectors of the economy.

Information on the interprovincial IO tables is at:

Also see the publication:
15F0077GIE - A Guide to Deflating the Input-Output Accounts: Sources and methods

Monday, July 19, 2004

African Professors in Canadian Universities


A professor in sociology is presently conducting research on Africans scholars in Canadian universities. He is looking for recent and relevant data on African Professors in Canadian universities.


The Education Division has something called the "University and college academic staff system" which should have the information you need.

Please contact them directly because the data is only available by special request.

Friday, July 9, 2004

Citing maps, aerial photographs, satellite images, etc.


I was wondering if anybody had any helpful hints on the following topic? Mount Royal College is attempting to use APA citation format to reference maps and graphs created by Stats Can raw data, and aerial photographs, and satellite images. We are also trying to cite maps made from data collected by the author (or person who created the data). Does anyone use this type of citation style to reference spatial data?


Work is currently being done on a StatCan citation guide. The plan is to build bibliographic references examples from their standards (public) products including maps and geospatial data files. In doing the preliminary work (inventory), I found a good Canadian web site at McMaster on the subject:

Other good examples include:

More, the classic on the subject of maps citation seems to be:
Clark, Suzanne M., Mary Lynette Larsgaard, and Cynthia M. Teague.
Cartographic Citations: A Style Guide, MAGERT Circular No. 1.
Chicago: American Library Association, 1992.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Life Insurance Data


A student is looking for microdata on life insurance. More precisely on the amount of "life insurance bought" along with some demographic data.

Would someone have an idea if a survey would cover this topic?


A student at McGill was able to get data on life insurance by contacting the Life Insurance Institute of Canada directly. There is also an item in Survey of Household Spending for life insurance premiums.

Monday, June 7, 2004

Census Geography Reference Material


A user here is hoping to find a non-PDF machine readable source that lists all changes in Census Subdivisions from 1981 through 2001, together with the coding and the CSD Type after each change. I suspect that she will have to go through each of the Standard Geographical Classifications, but hope to be pleasantly surprised.


The same information in a somewhat more usable format, ie as xls files, is available from the Interim list of changes to municipal boundaries, under DLI. We have pulled the files as per:

On the DLI ftp site, the files are (or rather were) in
/dli/geography/1991/document/interim/ and in /dli/geography/1996/interim/

Monday, May 10, 2004

New Name for this Blog

The Data & Statistical Reference Interview blog was renamed to the Data Interest Group for Reference Services blog, or DIGRS for short. At the May 2004 Data Liberation Initiative (DLI) External Advisory Committee (EAC) meeting, a contest was held to find a new name for this blog that had a more memorable acronym. Mark Leggott proposed DIGGER as the acronym. This was shortened to DIGR when Mary MacLeod, also of the EAC, suggested "Interest Group" for the IG in DIGR, which was expanded to: Data Interest Group Resources. Subsequently, the name was changed to Data Interest Group for Reference Services or "diggers" for short.

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

The Trade Analyser and Units of Measurement

The metadata are not always conveniently located with the data, which can lead to problems. Here is an example of trying to understand the units of measurement associated with statistics from the Trade Analyser.

A patron was referred to the Data Library from the Business Reference Desk. She was using the Trade Analyser database, which is supported online through CHASS at the University of Toronto. She had retrieved some statistics for the quantity and value of fruit puree imported to Ontario from California. The statistics, however, were listed without reference to their unit of measurement. She wanted to know the unit used for the quantity of fruit puree imported. Is it pounds, tonnes, kilograms, or some other weight or volume measurement?

Read the comments for different approaches to answering this question. You are invited to contribute your own solution, too.

Tuesday, May 4, 2004

Statistics on Vegetarians in Canada

Part of the Data Reference Mystery Series:

A patron would like statistics on vegetarians in Canada.

What constraints have they provided?

Geography: Canada
Population: Individual
Characteristics: Vegetarians

What further information might you like from this user?

Time frame: How recent must the statistics be?
Characteristics: Is the type of vegetarian important (e.g. vegan)?
Purpose: How are the statistics to be used? For example, to define or describe a population, to assess market impact, to study consumer spending patterns?

See the comments for strategies, tools, and results.

Monday, May 3, 2004

Gender Distribution of University Faculty

Part of the Data Reference Mystery Series:

A patron wants statistics on the gender distribution of university faculty in Canada.

This request seems to be for statistics and has the following constraints:

Time frame: ideally 2000 to 2004
Population: Canadian university faculty
Characteristics: gender

What further information would you like from this patron?

Geography: Does she or he require provincial breakdowns as well as the figures for all of Canada?
Characteristics: Will she or he need this broken down by discipline, too?

See the comments for strategies, tools, and results.

Saturday, May 1, 2004

Data Reference Mystery Series

At the Atlantic DLI Workshop on April 22-23, 2004, Elizabeth Hamilton taught a session called Reference Mysteries. She discussed a model for conducting a data or statistical reference interview, including the types of follow-up queries to be asked of patrons, and then presented the group with a series of real reference questions.

Organized in small groups of three or four people, questions were disseminated to these teams to apply the data reference interview model and to propose materials or sources that would help the patron with her or his question.

The model consists of structuring the reference interview around four basic steps. First, determine if the patron is asking for data, statistics, or something else. Statistics are defined as quantitative summaries, facts, or figures that someone or some agency has produced from data. Statistics are often found in published tables in print or electronic formats. Data, on the other hand, is the raw material that is used to produce statistics. Data require processing to be of practical use.

The second step involves identifying any constraints that the patron has in mind. What is the unit of analysis or the object described by the data or statistics? Has the geography been constrained? Has a specific time period been requested? What are the characteristics that make up the data or statistics in the request?

The third step is to identify further information that you would like from the patron to help clarify her or his request. What is the intended use of the statistics or data? What resources have they already checked?

Fourth, compose a list of the resources or tools that might be useful to the patron in finding an answer. This will include the strategies employed in searching for material and resources as well as the tools used in the course of conducting the search.

This model treats the reference interview as a process and not as an end-state where an answer pops out of the information-gumball machine. The incorrect assumption with many statistical or data questions is that the outcome will consist of a single number or file at the conclusion of the reference interview. While this may be the case in some instances, there are many times when the patron will need to examine the resources that were located to see if an answer can be found.

With Elizabeth's permission, the series of questions that she circulated in her workshop session will be posted on this Web Log.

Recent Training in Ontario on Data & Statistical Reference

Three presentations at the Orientation for new DLI Contacts, which was held in conjunction with the Ontario DLI Training Workshop at Queen's University on April 5, 2004, addressed different aspects of reference for data and statistics. First, Chuck Humphrey outlined two conceptual frameworks that offer a vocabulary useful in describing the resources in this area. The first framework divides statistics and data into separate categories of statistical information. This model can be helpful in identifying statistical information products. The second model presents a way of thinking about the different dissemination channels used by Statistics Canada in providing access to its statistical information resources.

Secondly, Laine Ruus, in her discussion about the DLI Tool Kit, spoke about methods for finding the right data. She reviewed the elements important in the data reference interview, including the:

  • Geographic area to be covered

  • Smallest geographic area to be described

  • Time period

  • Population (unit of observation) to be described

  • Subject matter (variables), in terms that can be expressed in numbers

  • Objective: what the user intends/needs to do with the numbers

  • What software the user intends to use?

  • How would the user like the data delivered?

She also described tools useful in finding aggregate data and microdata from Statistics Canada and summarized the information required to locate specific data products:

  • Title of the data set/data file

  • The appropriate subfile (physical file)

  • Are aggregate data/anonymized microdata disseminated?

  • Who disseminates the data; who has a copy?

  • Under what conditions are they disseminated?

  • How much do the data cost?

  • What format are they in? What metadata comes with them?

Third, Vince Gray spoke about handling reference questions. He circulated an updated copy of a handout produced by Elizabeth Hamilton entitled, The DLI Reference Shelf. This annotated bibliography provides a helpful list of reference tools for locating and using Statistics Canada products. In his presentation, Vince reminded everyone that the degree of reference service one provides is dependent on the overall level of service that your institution offers. He then discussed questions helpful in the reference interview:

  • Why does the patron need data?

  • What type of data does the patron need?

  • What is the patron looking for?

  • What geographic area(s) does the patron need?

  • What time period does the patron want?

After discerning the patron's needs, Vince presented several approaches for locating a source that the patron might find helpful.

Copies of Powerpoint files for these presentations and a Word document of Elizabeth's pathfinder are available on the Ontario's DLI workshop website.

Friday, April 30, 2004

The Origin of this Web Log

In early March 2004, a Train-the-Trainers workshop was held in Montreal as part of the ongoing instructional program of the Data Liberation Initiative (DLI). During this session, the point was made that librarians at smaller institutions have fewer data and statistical reference questions. Consequently, they have less opportunity to practice what they have learned at DLI workshops or to develop the level of skill that comes with repeatedly fielding these kinds of questions.

As an approach to provide more exposure to the range of reference questions and responses in the areas of data and statistics, this Web Log has been created to document a variety of reference interviews and the types of answers that have been given.

People working in data reference are invited to post their interviews on this Web log. As we all know, the reference interview is a process that may lead to a single answer, but not necessarily. Therefore, we also invite people to add their approaches to addressing the data and statistics questions that are posted.