Thursday, March 31, 2005

Maternal Weight Gain & Childhood Weight


A graduate student here would like to find a survey that looks at "maternal weight gain through pregnancy and childhood recorded weights"... I found a number of sources that dealt with birth weight, but did not have maternal weight gain as a variable. I'm not sure whether 'childhood recorded weights' means birth weight or a longer record of weights through childhood, but am sure either would be of potential use.


Statistics Canada does not have a survey which collects this information.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Religiosity in Canada


A student here at Concordia is doing research on the religious impact on politics in Canada. They are interested in finding some concrete numbers on how religious people are (the depth of their religiosity measured in some way, i.e. self-reporting, or some other measure of religiosity) in relation to the stated number of people of a certain religion from the census. For example, of the 12 million people who state to be Roman Catholic, how many of those 12 million are actually religious in their day to day lives?


1. One possibility is to use the Canadian election surveys, which include measures of religiosity:

Another option is Reginald Bibby's surveys of Canadian religiosity, at ARDA:

2. There is an article in Canadian Social Trends (spring 2003) called "Pockets of belief: religious attendance patterns in Canada". This lead us to the General Social Survey. In each year of the survey they ask "Other than special occassions (such as weddings, funerals, or baptisms) how often did you attend religious services or meetings in the past 12 months?"

Although this may not completely answer your question, it's probably the closest Statscan comes to asking how religious are you.

3. Another source may be the International Social Survey Programme. They did two religion surveys, 1991 and 1998. You can find the documentation at:
and scroll down to both years.

FED Cartographic Boundary File


I had a faculty member ask me for the FED Boundary Layer for the 2004 Federal Election. I found, on the FTP site a Cartographic Boundary file for Federal Electoral Districts (2003 Representation Order). Could someone please confirm that these would be the boundaries that were used for the 2004 election?


I just checked on Elections Canada's web site and it is stated at this precise link
that for the 2004 elections, the 2003 representation order was used.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Home-based Businesses


A student here has asked for data on the number of home-based businesses in Toronto. I can easily find the number of people
employed in home-based businesses, but not the number of such businesses. In the hope that I have somehow missed the blindingly obvious, is this information available somewhere?


The only information I found, which is fairly dated, is from the 1995 Survey of Work Arrangements 1995. There was an article written in Perspectives on Labour and Income (catalogue 95-001-XPE, Autumn 1998 - Vol. 10, no. 3) entitled "Home-based entrepreneurs" which reports findings from this survey and publishes some results at the Canada level.

Short of this survey, I can not imagine we have very much information to help you.

The issue stems from the fact that business counts primarily come from administrative data (from CRA). A business needs to register with CRA under two circumstances: 1) They have employees and need to register for a payroll account, or 2) the business makes more than $30,000 a year and needs to register for a tax number from CRA.

As you can see, home-based businesses are often entrepreneurs with a fairly low income and without employees. Unless we have a special survey seeking them out, it does not seem as though the information we collect covers your patron's needs.

Retail Sales or Household Spending - Children's Clothing


I am looking for either retail sales of children's clothing (NAICS 44813) or household spending on children's clothing for St. John's NL. I was able to pull some stuff out of the SHS in ESTAT, but it was at the provincial level. I took a quick look at the survey in IDLS and it appears to be the same options geography wise.

Can anyone give me any pointers to where I might look next?


You can try the hard way and use the SHS. It may only have the data by province but it also has a variable called URBSIZEP which breaks up the population size by over and under 100,000.

Your other choice which will be FAR easier is to hang on a little bit because we FINALLY got the OK to receive those wonderful SHS tables that everyone has been drooling over all these years. They have the breakdown for children's clothing (for under the age of 4) by CMA.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Average Air Transportation Costs


The student is looking for average air transportation costs (domestic) in Canada going back to 1990, and ideally monthly data. I checked the household spending survey and it wasn't there (that I could find), and I checked some other things, and the closest we could come was in CPI, but that was an index and he would prefer $

I checked the Canadian Transportation Agency web site, but couldn't see it there either.


Unfortunately, you are correct, the only thing that I found of interest in STC data was the Consumer Price Index's air transportation portion.

I did however perform a little more research, and I found an article related to JetsGo's bankruptcy and the Globe and Mail makes reference to Desjardins Securities publication "Airfare Pulse" which was used to compare fares over time.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Definition for Census "20% Sample"


Sometimes I get asked how the "20% sample" for the results from the 2B Form of the Census can be construed as answers for the "whole" (ie. 100%) Canadian population.

Would anyone care to give me a phrase or two about how they would explain that the results of the "20% sample" can be trusted as an extrapolation for Canada as a whole?


1) Depending how technical of an answer you wish to provide, the 2001 Census Handbook has a straightforward explanation for the use of the 20 percent sample in the Census on page 3. For more technical explanations of the sample and coverage in the Census, check out the technical reports, 92-395-XIE (about sampling and weighting) and 92-394-XIE (about coverage). Section 4 of 92-395-XIE addresses the estimation methodology used in the Census. It may be useful to read Section 2 in this same report first because it describes the data processing used with the Census. There are a lot of techniques employed in providing Canadians with the final Census results and this section might help put in perspective the overall process used.

2) Here is a brief description of weighting from a census FAQ we have...

Many of the census questions are asked only for a sample of 1 in 5 households. In order to make the results for the sample refer to the total population, the answers to these questions for each household in the sample are multiplied by a weight. The weight for each household depends on the exact characteristics of the household, but is generally around 5.

For an in-depth explanation on sampling and weighting in the census please refer to the technical report:

Census Microdata for Eastern European Countries


I have a grad student looking for Census micro data for eastern European countries ie: Hungary, Bulgaria, Ukraine, etc. Does anyone know where I might find this. So far all we could come up with was aggregate tables.


IPUMS is doing it, but have only recently received funding. They apparently hope to begin releasing microdata beginning in 2006:

If you are a member of ICPSR, you may obtain the following:

Central and Eastern Eurobarometers
World Values Survey -- Wave 4

Both of these contain several Eastern European countries.

Also the newly released European Social Survey, available from:

It includes data from: Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Commercial consumption of diesel fuel oil


I wondered if anyone had any suggestions for this question - Commercial consumption of diesel fuel oil by province (Ontario) and NAICS.

I have looked at CANSIM, Energy Statistics Handbook, the End-User energy data and analysis centre sites and NRCan Office of Energy Efficiency sites. I have found the data for the manufacturing sector but not for others.


The publication 57-003-XIB (Report on Energy Supply-Demand in Canada) presents energy balance sheets in natural units and heat equivalents in primary and secondary forms, by province. Each balance sheet shows data on production, trade, interprovincial movements, conversion and consumption by sector. Analytical tables and details on non-energy products are also included. It includes explanatory notes, a historical energy summary table and data analysis. The publication also presents data on natural gas liquids, electricity generated from fossil fuels, solid wood waste and spent pulping liquor.

I looked in this publication and there are data by province for diesel fuel (and other fuel types) by sector such as pulp and paper, iron and steel, cement, chemicals, forestry, construction, railways, agriculture, residential, etc. Unfortunately, it is not available by NAICS codes. This data is also available in CANSIM tables 128-0002 and 128-0003.

We also have fuel consumption data by NAICS but for the manufacturing sector only. This data is from the Annual Survey of Manufactures and the most recent information available is for reference year 2002. A customised table (31C0025) can be done by NAICS and by province. The cost varies between $100 and $500 for one year of data.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Rural FSAs


A researcher at McMaster needs data on rural FSA's from Census 1991. I looked into the Census 1991 Profiles CD that we received from Stat Can and it has data on Urban FSA's only. Is there a different source where Census data on rural FSA's be available from?


The '91 Census Profiles CD contained data only for urban FSA's. No data products were produced for rural FSA's. The client could be referred to the Regional Office to obtain info on what might be possible as a custom retrieval.

Corporate Tax Rates


A student is looking for historical data on federal corporate tax rates, ideally going back at least to 1980. All I've been able to
find so far are data on the amount of taxes paid, not the rates. Any ideas?


1. I found similar results to yours when searching StatsCan - aggregate amounts collected in taxes, but not the rates used.

I then visited Canada Revenue Agency's web site and found the rates back to
1998 at the following address:

If you are looking for more historical data, perhaps they could be a good source as they are the ones dictating the tax rates?

2. The CCH's guide to "Income Tax in Canada" is very good. I have definitely found charts of historical rates within. Also, the Canadian Tax Foundation's "The National Finances" (1955-1994) and "Finances of the Nation" (1995 to 2001) also publish the rates. You can go year by year, or sometimes, they publish a chart with "selected" historical years. At any rate, they provide the federal and provincial corporate tax rates. [Be aware though: their index is not the greatest. Some years, you can find the topic under "corporate", some years it's under "corporations" or "business" or "tax rates", etc. At any rate, persevere, because those rates are there.] The publication is also now available online at:

3. Corporate tax rates, both federal and provincial are usually at the front of any annotated income tax act (e.g. Carswell, CCH). I seem to recall that one of them had a couple of year's worth, but at the worst, the student would have to look at each volume.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Lettuce Production and Cost


A graduate student here is trying to find the amount of lettuce produced in Canada and the average market cost for the years,
1940, 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000. Can anyone out there help?


Ag Canada produced a "Handbook of food expenditures, prices and consumption," which contains 'retail prices' for lettuce. We carry 1973-1990 in print, however, it also carries the price index for lettuce beginning with 1949.

Usually STC does not have much if anything on actual prices of consumer goods to avoid the data being used for illegal price fixing. There was a table in the Consumer price index pubs (62-001) with a selection of prices for a small number of retail consumer goods such bread and milk. The up to date source for this is the Canada Food Statistics CD-Rom 23F0001XCB. It will not have the price of lettuce, but it will have the cpi for lettuce as well as production info. Production data can be also found in Fruit and Vegetable production 22-003 xib and xpb. Census of ag data would just give you acreage, not actual amounts of lettuce produced.

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Cosmetic Surgery Data


We have someone looking for data on number of cosmetic surgeries performed in Canada, types of surgeries, etc. She's just at the beginning stages of her search and is trying to get a feel for what is available in terms of Canadian data.


This link may help you, as it gives all kinds of plastic surgery stats for Canada:
(cosmetic surgery statistics for Canada)

Also, from the "Cosmetic Surgery Canada" Website

"While some Canadian companies publish Canadian plastic surgery statistics their stats are subjective and skewed to the segment of the public they serve. There are currently no published stats sanctioned by the Canadian plastic surgery professional bodies. However, there is a unique formula to calculate Canadian plastic surgery statistics, one that is used by all the Canadian plastic surgery professional organizations. Please inquire and we will be happy to share the information with you if you are a member of the media."

2001 Census - Income Information at DA Level


I'm wondering if 2001 census income data at the DA level is available in the same detail as the data is for other geographic levels, e.g. CMAs. When I look through the Electronic Profiles
using the link "Income of Individuals... ," I see that for CMAs I can use the table Cat. No. 95F0492XCB2001004 with 285 variables, which includes everything I'm looking for (esp. variables 5-26 and 197-211). However, for the DA level, there are only 52 variables available, and these don't include the ones I'm looking for.

Does this mean that what I'm looking for doesn't exist at this level for me to download from the DLI server? Or that it's just not available for 'free' (& if so, what would the cost be)?


For individuals, your variables 5-7 and 24-26 from the CMA/CA profile, are available at the DA level from Basic cross tabulation Table 431: Presence of Income (6) , Age Groups (5A) and Sex (3) for Total Population 15 Years and Over - 95f0431xcb2001001

And for households, your variables 197 and 209-211 are available at the DA level from Table 437: 2000 Household Income (4) and Household Size (3) for Private Households - 95F0437XCB01001

Rule of thumb: the finer the geography, the fewer variables available; the broader the geography, the more variables available. This is because of confidentiality. With the tables you have identified, for instance, the finer the geography, the more likely one would be able to identify a particular individual's income. Statistics Canada does not want this to happen.

If someone wants data for a finer geography and this data is not available through DLI, they would have to custom order the data. And, Statistics Canada would only give (well, actually sell) them the data if there was no problem with confidentiality.

To purchase data from STC contact infostats

Friday, March 4, 2005

Mixed Marriages


The student I am currently in contact with wants information on trends in intercultural or mixed marriages either locally, by province, or for Canada. I found something earlier, two tables in the 1996 census on disc 5 of the Dimensions Series.

One table is called Husband-wife Census Families in Private Households by Selected Characteristics of Spouses and another table is Husband-wife Census Families in Private Households by Visible Minority Groups of Spouses.

The wording is visible minority groups of spouses, both spouses visible minority (Chinese, South Asian, Black etc.), one spouse visible minority (husband visible minority, wife not visible minority and vice versa).

Will this information be available in the 2001 tables? I have searched the dictionary twice, using the terms I found in 1996, with no success. The Dimensions Series appeared as special tables late in the 1996 publishing cycle and I wondered whether something similar is planned for 2001?


You may want to look at the recent analysis "Mixed Unions":

There is also data on # of marriages by religion of bride by religion of groom.
Even though spouses may have different visible minority statuses, this is not necessarily the same as different ethnic origins or identities.

Job Vacancy Survey


I have a grad student who is interested in using the Job Vacancy Survey data from the 1970's - are these files available to us?


After some digging we have learned that this survey was a business based survey that asked business to list vacant positions which they were actively looking to fill. As you know, business based survey do not produce a public use microdata file. This means that to get at these data the student will have to go through the custom table route for which there will be a cost. I can't even estimate what the cost might be but given the difficulty we had in finding out even this information I expect it might be high.

There were some publications produced out of this survey that might contain some data. Check out the information on the product description page of the online catalogue. (there is even a contact us link that may help).

The student might also want to look at accessing the WES data at the RDC's. Some of the job vacancy information is:

Deaths by Age Group by CMA


Does anyone know where I could find number of deaths by age category for CMA geography? I've found death rates by cause of death by province and health region, and death by age for the provinces, already. Would this be a custom tabulation?


Annual demographic statistics - which you should have received on a cd-rom via the DSP. In the 2003 edition, files ascm9601.xls and ascm0103.xls. The 2003 edition contains estimates for 1996-2001, and 2001-2003. The 1998 edition contains 1991-1996.

Thursday, March 3, 2005

Farm Operators


I have a user who wants to find age breakdown of farm operators at the **sub-provincial** level. It looks as if this might have been compiled in subsequent years through the linked files of Census of Agriculture and Census of Population. Though we can get a breakdown for 1996 and 2001, we cannot find subprovincial age groups of farm operators in the Census of Agriculture for 1991. Can anyone help?


I've found the following information for your client. Table 4 (Farm operators by age and number of farms...) was not produced at the sub-provincial level in 1991. The information however is available on a cost-recovery basis. The basic price is $125 + ($1.25/geography * number of tables requested).

Working from home involuntarily


I have a student looking for data on the number of people who are being forced by their employers to work from home. The Survey of Workplace Arrangements 1995 had a question regarding this, but unfortunately, it has been discontinued. Does anyone know of another survey or source that would provide this information? I've done a cursory check of the LFS and WES and neither appears to cover the reasons people work from home.


General Social Survey of Canada, 1998 - Cycle 12: Time use main file - variable F32 (main reason do some of work at home) has a response that it "is a condition of the job".

Canadian professionals moving from and returning to Canada


I've got a student who is looking for data on the number of Canadians professionals who move back to Canada after moving away. He would be interested in figures for Canadians who have moved anywhere in the world and also Canadians who have moved to the U.S.

Another thing he is interested in is how many exchange students (all of them combined -- at the high school level and at the post secondary level) go out of Canada to anywhere in the world on any given year.

For the first, so far the only thing I have found is a Statistics Canada study entitled _South of the border: graduates from the class of '95 who moved to the United States_ (81-587-XPB). According to this, 18 percent of the graduates had moved back between the summer of 1997 and March 1999. I also found a couple of articles describing the results of this study.

The student may use the 2001 Census PUMF to determine how many professionals moved back to Canada who were Canadian born citizens, but that doesn't really give him exactly what he is looking for, as he will be making assumptions about these people (as to when and why they moved in the first place).

For the second request, the only thing I have found so far is an HRDC report
in which there is the following statement:

"For example, during the 1997/98 academic year, institutions reported 5,058 Canadian students studying abroad as part of an exchange. However, even this level of participation means that less than one percent of Canadian university students (full-time graduate and undergraduate students) were studying abroad in an exchange program during the 1997/98 academic year."

A note clarifies that "Knight notes that institutions are not systematically keeping this data, so this is an estimate."

Can anyone help?


I had a similar question from a patron on the number of Canadians living abroad by foreign country, and I had to go the Canadian Consul for this information. They have a database with all this information and may be able to help you.