Friday, March 30, 2007

IALSS Variables


In IALSS, there are variables PLEV1, PLEV2, PLEV3, PLEV4, PLEV5. I understand the literacy scale used for these variables - as explained in 4.1 of the user guide - but what I can't seem to dig out is what exactly these 5 different variables are - different questions/problems? Why are there 5?


The various questions show the level of success that they had on the questions of that difficulty level - the questionnaire asked questions of five different levels of difficulty. In the data file, if they have a 5 in PLEV1, they scored between 376 and 500 (highest) on the questions of difficulty level 1, while a 3 in PLEV4 would mean that the scored between 301 and 350 on questions of difficulty level 4.

IDLS shows the range of scores for the various questions (and not just level 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5, as in in the codebook).

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Electric Power Selling Price Index


A patron is looking for the electric power selling price index. Table 329-0050 covers the period from 1981-2006 but she would
like data from 1960-1980. I tried the concordance in CHASS, hoping to find an earlier table/matrix, but couldn't find one. Any suggestions?


There seem to be two more tables that may contain data you are looking for: 329-0024 and 329-0013. In the multidimensional CANSIM @ CHASS go to Text Search, type: "electric power" then scroll down until you find your 329-0050 table and look at the two that are listed just above it.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Aboriginal people and health statistics by CT


A researcher needs data at the CT level (Regina) for aboriginal health variables. At one point, I was hoping to utilize postal codes but have given up on this and have since wondered whether we should be using GeoSuite.

I think the problem, or one of them, is that the CCHS has the types of information she is looking for, i.e. depression, low self-esteem, on social assistance, etc. but this cannot be analyzed at a CT or even a CMA. Another problem is that the variable for race is either white or other. (I know there will be a listing of what health regions bought optional content but haven't found it yet. Any hints on this would be helpful though even if Regina-Qu'appelle bought into it the geography is too large.)


1 - GeoSuite only provides population and dwelling counts (as well as other nifty tools to identify the relationships within geographies - e.g., listing all the Das in a province, etc.). The product will not give you any demographic information.

2- CCHS will not release anything below the Health Region level - nothing at CT available at all.

3- Aboriginal People's profile is a special cross-tab from the Census. The Census does not ask questions about health (see Census long-form for questionnaire). It collects basic demographic information about language, education, income, etc.

4- The 2001 Aboriginal Peoples Survey did collect information about health (but very little) but the off-reserve sample is quite small, which means that CT level data is unavailable.

5- Any other survey that would have collected data on health would not be as specific as to ask for aboriginal identity (more than likely) and the fact that it would be a survey would make the size of the sample so small that it could not report at the CT level.

Therefore, there is really nothing that I can suggest to find this data. It is very detailed and more than likely unavailable through Statistics Canada.

Post-Secondary Education Data


I have a faculty member who would like the some of the Statistics Canada data that is in CAUT's Almanac of Post-Secondary Education 2006:
They have 2003/04 data in this issue; he would like more recent, if possible. He is specifically interested in the data in tables 4.6, 4.5, and 2.12.


When I visited the site in question, I noticed that the most recent data is 2004/2005 - which is the most recent information available at Statistics Canada as well.

You may need to do a little digging, but these tables could conceivably be reconstructed using the data we have listed under Education

This collection is very recent for the DLI. The division has been very generous in sharing this data with us as it is not a standard product. They also have a very neat system within the Excel sheet - it has a similar function to Beyond 20/20 in that pivot tables are available.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

DLI Update Volume 10 #1

DLI just released a new DLI Update (Volume 10, issue 1). You can retrieve the DLI Update from the following web address:

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Data Standards Article in D-Lib Magazine

D-Lib Magazine
March/April 2007
Volume 13 Number 3/4
ISSN 1082-9873

A Proposed Standard for the Scholarly Citation of Quantitative Data

Micah Altman
Associate Director, Harvard-MIT Data Center and
Senior Research Scientist, Institute for Quantitative Social Science
Center for Government and International Studies
Harvard University, Cambridge MA 02138
Gary King
David Florence Professor of Government, Institute for Quantitative Social Science
Harvard University, Cambridge MA 02138
An essential aspect of science is a community of scholars cooperating and competing in the pursuit of common goals. A critical component of this community is the common language of and the universal standards for scholarly citation, credit attribution, and the location and retrieval of articles and books. We propose a similar universal standard for citing quantitative data that retains the advantages of print citations, adds other components made possible by, and needed due to, the digital form and systematic nature of quantitative data sets, and is consistent with most existing subfield-specific approaches. Although the digital library field includes numerous creative ideas, we limit ourselves to only those elements that appear ready for easy practical use by scientists, journal editors, publishers, librarians, and archivists.

Real, personal disposable income


I have a question about CANSIM Table 384-0013. We have been looking for REAL personal disposable income (i.e. personal disposable income adjusted for inflation). It appears that this table has these numbers, but the footnote makes no mention of any inflationary adjustments. Could we have an assurance that these are, indeed, adjusted for inflation and if not, what multipliers should be used to do that here?


Sorry, the personal disposable income on this table is in current dollars, not real terms. We do not produce income-based estimates in real terms.

For more detail please refer to our website and select "Income and expenditure accounts" from the left-hand bar. On the next page choose the link "about the income and expenditure accounts" (or go directly to

Educational Recycling


I have a researcher interested in educational recycling which is obtaining and additional post secondary credentials at lower to equivalent levels. He is particularly interested in those who have either (a) diplomas or (b) degrees in engineering fields?


The first thing that came to mind was the National Graduate Survey. Granted the data is fairly dated at this point - the most recent data is from 1995.

I did notice that the questionnaire had a section called Section H. Education after graduation

One of the questions was: HA1
Since your graduation in 1995, did you complete diploma or post-secondary degree since graduation in 1995?

Starting on Page 237 of the PDF document for the Codebook, the relevant information is available

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Annual Data on Immigration to CMAs


A patron would like to find the 20 year data on foreign immigration to cities (CMAs) by year. That is the total foreign immigration to each major city, each year. They believe they have seen this data on a cd-rom before.


There is a cd-rom that comes with "Annual Demographic Statistics", 91-213, which contains additional data. It has statistics on immigration to CMAs from 1986 to current.

DLI Research Paper Release - SHERLOCK: Five Years of Use of Survey Data from Statistics Canada's Data Liberation Initiative in Quebec Universities

"SHERLOCK: Five Years of Use of Survey Data from Statistics Canada's Data Liberation Initiative in Quebec Universities," by Gaëtan Drolet, is now available for downloading as DLI Research Paper 2E ( Gaëtan is well-known to the DLI community through his work as DLI Contact at Laval University, as a DLI trainer and the moving force behind the extremely useful guide, How to Cite Statistics Canada Products (Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 12-591-XWE).

In this research paper, the author describes how the creation of the Data Liberation Initiative's (DLI) program allowed libraries from Quebec Universities to develop a common infrastructure (Sherlock) to facilitate access to Statistics Canada's Public Use Microdata Files (PUMF). The report presents five years of utilization of surveys' microdata from Statistics Canada in the Quebec Universities.

The author highlights survey data usage by the Quebec Universities community based on information from their extraction system Sherlock. Trends are observed and he presents the most consulted surveys based on four Sherlock functionalities (access to documentation and metadata, file transfers, extraction and analysis). In order to raise discussion, this document concludes in presenting potential avenues for contributing to the improvement of access to DLI survey microdata in the Quebec universities.

The DLI Research Paper Series includes analytical papers, reports and research relating to the use of Statistics Canada survey data files and documentation in research, teaching, and provision of data services to researchers, students and faculty.

Papers published in this series generally incorporate primary research, often as part of a broader program of research in progress, and include analysis of data training and education techniques and programs, evidence of secondary data use in knowledge transfer activities, secondary archiving and preservation issues as well as bibliographies and literature reviews.

Same-sex Couples in PUMFs


I have been looking at same-sex couples in Canada and thought I would be able to tease them out of the 2001 Census PUMF (either the individual or the family file). I have not been able to do so, presumably because of confidentiality considerations. I know that there is a question on the long census form about same-sex common law status, but this seems to have been aggregated with all common law partnerships in the PUMF. Am I missing something, or has in fact this information been suppressed? If so I assume that it would be available at one of the RDCs.

I know that other surveys (the CCHS and the GSS) contain info on same-sex marriages, sexual behaviour, etc., which I may also find useful, but is this information also suppressed in the public use files?


There is no variable that defines same-sex couples in the 2001 Census PUMF. Same-sex couples are grouped under Common-law couples.

RDC access to the master file should remove this problem, but you should verify with them

Please also find the following information from the University of Toronto's Data Library Service:

You can't get a 'count' but you can generate an estimate, not from census, but from GSS 15 main file, in which you have the following variables:

- sex of the respondent (sex)
- sex of the respondent's partner in the household (sexpr)
- sample weight (wght_per) or bootstrap weights

Before releasing that estimate, however, make sure you read very carefully chapter 8 of the user guide, which covers release guidelines and data reliability.

There is also a count in table 97f0005xcb2001040:
Presence of other household members (5) and sex (3) for same-sex common-law partners in private households

Friday, March 9, 2007

1971 Census Family Income at CD


A student here is looking for something which I thought would be realtively easy to find, "1971 Census of Canada Data at the Census Division level for Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta - Family Income". We have been able to find information on income for "Household Head", but not for "Family Income" and not at this level of geography. Am I missing something, or is that just what they collected back then?


a) For 1971, there were more tabes released based on Household Head. There was a basic summary table produced called income by economic families at EA level. You would have to aggregate to the CD level and because of the data was produced for EA, the only information is the aggregate and average income.

b) Census of Canada, 1971 volume 2 part 2: families (Bulletin 2.2-12)(STC cat no. 93-724) contains Table 85: "Families by 1970 income groups for census divisions, 1971" (pages 86-5 to 86-6) - which is a table of numbers of census families by 11 categories of income, plus average income by census division.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Property Taxes


I have a request from a patron from the department of Commerce who wants the most recent data on property taxes as a percentage of GDP Canada and GDP by Province.


Take a look at CANSIM table 384-0007 - it has a category for "Real and personal property tax" under the heading "Local taxes on factors of production" - dollar values, 1981 onwards, by province - could combine it with a GDP table.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Annual crop yields for M.D. Taber and S.A.#2 in Alberta


I have a graduate student and researcher working on the drought impacts on some Canadian communities. The patron is interested in annual crop yields for the Municipal District of Taber under CD 2 and Special Area No.2 in CD 4 in Alberta from the year 1954 up to now.

Alberta Agriculture and Food do not have and suggested contacting StatsCan.


You need the crops small area historical data (22f0004xdb), which contains area seeded, area harvested, yield, and production statistics annually. It is yet another standard product that is not available under DLI. I bought it about 4 years ago (after having tried to get it under DLI), and at that time, only the years 1976 through 2003 were available. The price at that time was $995.

The data comes from the Crops section of the Agriculture Division. Producing them involves a bit of 'data fiddling'. The area is based on the Census and the intersectional estimates are created by joining together a number of indicators. The yield information comes from the yield surveys (which I believe are collected through a telephone survey. There stratified by CD/ag. areas (combinations of CD's or CSDs.) The survey level information at the CD level is weak but they are created to that they are consistent with the overal crop estimates. While not perfect, they are the best available.

Updated Products - PEA

Public Economic Accounts

This product provides a regional perspective on Canadian economic developments. It includes separate sets of statistical tables, organized in a manner similar to those in the Income and expenditure accounts, for each of the provinces and territories, catalogue no 13-001-PPB. The focus is on each region's gross domestic product, final domestic demand, personal disposable income and government sector accounts.

FTP: /dli/pea

New Brunswick Small Business Information


There is quite a lot Statistics Canada information on small businesses when defined by the number of employees. Can anyone suggest how to find information on small businesses, preferably in New Brunswick, based on company assets or total wealth and yearly profit but not related to number of employees. The link that is trying to be made here has to do with small business tax reforms in N.B. and its effects to small business growth as defined above. Bankruptcy is another variable being looked at.


Have a look at Financial Performance Indicators for Small Business. Volume 3 has information on a provincial level for firms with sales $30,000 to $5 Million. It has profit information and many other useful financial pieces.

As well, Strategis has good information in a number of places.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Population Projections for Southern Ontario


I have someone looking for pop proj for 1995-2005 (yes, old ones) for southern Ontario at the CSD level. I can only find info at the CD level and I have searched Ontario wesites as well. Would these be available at all and if so via DLI?


You can get estimates on a cost recovery base from 1996 to 2005 from the Demography division of StatsCan.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Community Profiles for Reserves


I've found the page for 2001 Census Aboriginal Population Profiles for Saskatchewan:

I think it's really great, however, the student wants this data for almost 500 reserves (not all are in Sask) and I don't know how she can get it without going through this page and clicking on each and everyone individually. Shouldn't I be able to provide her with this information in raw data format so she can extract all of the variables through SPSS? If so, please tell me how. If not, please explain.

I'm also confused because somewhere a long the line I got the idea that the APS 2001 was for off-reserve population only.


The following description provides you the information on the APS 2001:

See page 12 and 13 of the User Guide.

The survey was covering off reserve and some on reserve but the PUMF is only off-reserve:

The PUMF covers the off-reserve adult Aboriginal population only, that is, people living either on- or off-community, but not in a First Nation community or reserve (see box on page 3). First Nation communities (reserves) were excluded from the PUMF for two reasons:
* Because of confidentiality concerns, it would have been impossible to include an indication of the First Nations community (reserve) which eliminates the possibility of doing analysis at the community level;
* Because of cost constraints, the sampling strategy focused on the larger reserves in each province, and hence these were not representative of the entire on-reserve population.

The link you have provided directs you to the 2001 Census Aboriginal Profile, that is the source is the Census not the Aboriginal People Survey.

As for extracting the raw data, the Census Operations Division doesn't seem to have a product created from which you can pull all areas as shown on the 2001 Census Aboriginal Profiles. It was created specifically for that purpose and to be looked at only one area compared to the province or Canada.