Monday, September 26, 2005

International Cost of Living


I have a user who is looking to compare cost of living in France, New Zealand, Australia, Italy, Scotland, Japan, and Canada. She wants comparable figures for basic categories like food, housing, clothing, etc.

The only things I could come up with were tables showing household final consumption figures (i.e., not per capita or per household, but total figures per country). I don't think this would be useful for her. I think she just wants to know how much someone would spend on housing, for instance, in each of these countries, and she wants the figures to be comparable.

Anyway, what I was able to find were the following:

1. Statistical Yearbook (United Nations): The 48th issue (2004). Table 24, starting on page 194, shows household final consumption figures by country. It also shows a breakdown in terms of percentage spent on food, clothing, furnishings, etc.

2. World Development Indicators (World Bank), 2004. Table 4.10, starting on p. 218 also shows household final consumption by country. Here, the figures are standardized into US dollars, but, again, this is total consumption, not per capita or by household, and there is no breakdown in terms of food, housing, etc.

Can anyone tell me if anything exists that would be more useful for this student, who is, I believe, is an undergrad, not an advanced researcher?


1. World cost of living survey (Gale publisher), 2nd edition, 1999.

Conveniently arranged by country and then by cities within that country, World Cost of Living Survey provides quick, comparative analysis of such major topics as:

*Child care, Clothing, Communications, Education, Energy and fuels, Groceries, Health care, Housing, Travel, Utilities, and many others for 740 locations throughout the world. You will find a more complete description in the Gale catalog.

2. I found interesting statistics in SourceOECD (database that contains books, periodicals and statistics from the OECD). If you don't have it, you probably have OECD subscriptions.

There is also the International Financial Statistics (paper and database) from the International Monetary Fund but there is only a few data that could be useful (by country: labor force, employment, consumer prices).

Other suggestions:

- International Marketing Data & Statistics 2005 from Euromonitor

- World Consumer Spending 2005/2006 from Euromonitor

3. The United Nations also keeps detailed and up-to-date indexes on cost-of-living of its employees. You can download their data free of charge at The cost-of-living is not available at the national level, but at the 'duty station' of the UN (e.g. Paris, Canberra and Melbourne, Montreal, Toyko, and so on). There is no data for New Zealand. Data is available as indices and US $ and covers:

Food and non-alcoholic beverages
Clothing and footwear
Housing, water, electricity, gas and fuels

*If encounter problem with this data: Go to Tools -> Macro -> Security, and then decrease your security level to Medium to enable macros. Restart your Excel and you will have access to the pull-down menu.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Using 1971 Basic Summary Tabulations


We have researchers working on Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick. They would like to utilize 1971 Census data. In print, this is easy, as Grand Manan is a Census Subdivision on CD5 (Charlotte).

However, as I interpret the BST files, they do not refer to CD's or CSD's. Is there a way to find the Electoral District for Grand Manan, or its EA code(s) for 1971?


There were actually a number of BST files at the CSD level (called 'municipality' in 1971. See:

And according to the Geography tape file from the 1971 census, Grand Manaan NB is in CD 3, CSD 05A, which as far as I can tell, would seem to be FED 1=Carleton-Charlotte (1966 representation order), and EAs 9 and 10.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

1901 Aggregate Data on Occupations


A graduate student is looking for census data about occupations in 1901, and I can't find that information in our 4 volumes of the 1901 census. We'd really prefer aggregate data if it exists. I know the microdata is available through the Canadian Families project - and I see that there are fields for occupation, so we can aggregate these ourselves if necessary, but I thought I'd check first to see if it's already been done.

So am I missing something, or was the occupational data not published in aggregate form for that year?


1. Have you tried table D86-106 in Historical statistics of Canada? It includes 'gainfully employed' by occupation (7 categories only) and sex for census years 1891 thru 1961, including 1901.

The table gives as it's source:
Notes to Accompany Tables of Working Population by Industry and Occupation Group, R. Marvin McInnis, Queen's University.

2. There are "Census of Industry" statistics on our web site, Baldwin-Green Study Canada-US Census of Industry 1867 - 1940.

See URL:

to access these data. There are figures for numbers of employees in various industrial sectors. Not "occupation", but perhaps of some use.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Mortality Rate 2001


I am looking for total mortality rate for 2001, by cause of death, ideally by age group (mainly 15-24 years old + general population). Is Health Status in 2005 Health Indicator good for me (Mortality by selected causes => Total mortality) ?

In Canadian Statistics the information is older - tables from 1996, 1997 etc...

What about age groups?


If you subscribe to SourceOECD, you can get it from the 2004 edition of the OECD health data base - those data, at least for health and mortality statistics, are more up-to-date than those on the STC site, although they come from the same source.

Of course, on the SourceOECD site, the 2005 edition of Health data is available as well, for even more up-to-date mortality figures for Canada.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Health Region Boundary Files


A researcher at UBC is looking for health region boundary files dating back to 1994. I searched very thoroughly I think, and could find the 2000 CD-ROM and the 2003 Health regions boundaries and correspondence with census geography, available for free on the Statistics Canada website. Are there any more - did I miss anything?

As a fallback I recommended she contact BC Stats for the BC regions. But I am curious to know whether Statistics Canada has anything earlier than 2000.


The HR 2000 product on CD-ROM was the first, at least produced by Statistics Canada. I think the advice to follow-up with the province is worthwhile, to find out about earlier files. Certainly the health regions in some provinces existed back in '94, but it would take some research to determine if the boundaries of that vintage were reflected in the HR 2000 product. There have been numerous boundary changes and complete regional restructuring across the provinces over the past 10 years.

Friday, September 9, 2005



Does anyone have any good places to look for homelessness data for Canada at any level and for Montreal in particular?

As far as I can tell, the census does not really pick up citizens with no fixed address unless they have been living in a shelter for more than 6 months; and there is no counting of citizens actually living "on the street".


1. For francophones, an important site is:

They are a community group that advocates on behalf of the homeless.

2. The Census, for the first time in 2001, attempted to get some population counts for persons without a fixed place of residence. The homeless component was investigated in the large urban centres of Canada.

There are some strict reservations about using the data collected. Only one report was created and it is available on the Census web site at the following address:

This cautionary note accompanies the data:

In view of the classification issues related to collective dwellings and the census concepts related to usual place of residence, care must be taken in interpreting the data on the census population enumerated in shelters. The census count of the population in shelters should not be interpreted as a count of the "homeless" since homeless persons may well have been enumerated in other types of collective dwellings e.g. hotels, motels, YM/YWCAs, etc. Furthermore, the census count of persons in places classified as shelters does not represent the total population of persons who slept in a shelter on Census Day, since in some cases persons temporarily residing in shelters would have been enumerated at their usual place of residence.

Asian Immigration in New Brunswick


My patron would like to have as much information as possible about the asian immigrants in New Brunswick for the last 10 years (who, when, why, where etc.) The tables that I could find contain only general numbers of immigrants, where should I go?


I found a great product that I think will meet your needs for 2001 - 97F0009XCB2001040

Selected Demographic and Cultural Characteristics (69), Immigrant Status and Place of Birth of Respondent (21B), Age Groups (6), Sex (3) and Immigrant Status and Period of Immigration (11) for Population, for Canada, Provinces, Territories and Census Metropolitan Areas, 2001 Census - 20% Sample Data

It is available on the web as an html file, but I would strongly recommend that you download it from the FTP or the web in Beyond 20/20 format. It will be a lot easier to manipulate the data and paint the picture you want.

The path to follow is:

For 1996, You will need 94F0004XCB - Dimension Series (Ethnocultural and Social Characteristics of the Canadian Population - Package # 10 , Profile of Immigrants).