Friday, October 31, 2008

Frequency of Name Use by Time Period for Canada

A student here is looking for data on Given names and Surnames. He would like to have time series data showing the name's usage in Canada, from 1935 on to 2008 - preferably, annually. So, for example, how many children were born and given the name "Floyd" for each year. How many children were born whose surname was "Smith" ...

Any ideas?


I have received confirmation from the appropriate divisions that this type of information is not available through Statistics Canada.

My suggestion would be to contact the vital statistics offices of the individual provinces and territories.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Census Division (CD) and Census Subdivision (CSD) for Agricultural Land


I have a researcher who is looking for the area (in square miles, acres, etc.) of CDs and CSDs going back to 1871 in order to calculate the percentage of each that is made up of agricultural land. We have located this data using print and online sources for 1871, 1911, 1991 and 2001 but are having trouble with the other years (we only need censuses for years ending in "1").

Is there a way of getting this figure? I could swear that I have seen this information before, but we combed the old print volumes and could not find anything besides the years I mentioned.


I found land area information for CDs and CSDs in the following documents:

1981 CENSUS:

Catalogue no. 95-902 - Census divisions: Population...Selected characteristics
Catalogue no. 95-945 - Census subdivisions of 5,000 population and over:
Population...Selected social and economic characteristics

1971 CENSUS (Special Bulletin):
Catalogue no. 98-701 (SG-1) - Geography: Land Areas and Densities of Statistical Units

1961 CENSUS, Volume 1, Part 1: Population - Geographical Distributions

1951 Census, Volume 1: Population: General Characteristics

1941 Census, Volume 2: Population by Local Subdivisions

1931 Census, Volume 1: Summary


I have found a better print source for 1981.  Land area data for all census subdivisions for 1981 is available in Catalogue numbers 93-901 to 93-912, the Provincial Series, which consist of data published separately for each province and territory.  The relevant tables in this series are Table 1: Population, Land Area and Population Density, for Census Divisions, 1976 and 1981, and Table 6:  Geographical Identification, Population, Land Area and Population Density, for Census Subdivisions 1976 and 1981.

As for obtaining the land area for ALL census subdivisions from 1961 and earlier censuses, I am told by geography division that this data would only be available through a "lengthy and costly custom project" for which they are not currently resourced.  Other than that, the print sources I already mentioned are what is available.

I hope this answers your question.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Inquiry on EA Variables from the 1996 Census Analyser


We have a researcher who is experiencing difficulty with an EA variable taken from the 1996 Census Analyser. Can anyone verify what exactly is being measured in the variable for ‘gross rent spending 30% or more of household income’ for EAs in the 1996 Census. 1991, 2001 and 2006 data is not causing any problems, but I am unsure how to proceed in answering our researcher’s question regarding the 1996 entry.

Note: she is using the V1609 and V1607 variables for her calculations.


It is the count of tenant-occupied household which spend 30% or more of household income on rent. I went back to the B20/20 file, to see if there was a more informative footnote for that field, and the footnote in the
B20/20 file is just as misleading as the item label.

"Gross Rent as a Percentage of Household Income" refers to the proportion of average monthly 1995 total household income which is spent on gross rent (for tenant-occupied dwellings). Calculation - Gross Rent X 100 Total annual household income in 1995 12.

This implies that the item contains a proportion - it doesn't, it contains a count.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

SLID 2006 Release date


Unless I'm mistaken and, of course that is always a strong possibility, I don't see SLID 2006 available through DLI yet. Is it coming soon?


The 2006 SLID PUMF should be available in December 2008:

2008 Federal Election Boundaries


We have received a request for the 2008 Federal Election Boundary Files.
I note that the ESRI Shape File, the ESRI Arc/Info Export File, and the ESRI Arc/Info Coverage file, for the Federal Electoral Districts of Canada (2006 Election) appear to be freely available from the NRC web site at
In contrast, the web page for the 2006 Census Geography products at lists the federal electoral district boundary files with a ($). (see also:
As far as I can tell, these 2006 Census Geography Products have not been released to the DLI?
So… I am not sure how to interpret these two apparent sources of the 2006 Federal Electoral District “geospatial” files. But… the patron has requested the 2008 Federal Election boundary files. Are the above 2006 files the same as for the 2008 election?

The FED 2006 are the based on 2003 representations and they were the ones used for the 2008 elections. They are revised every 10 years. There are no such thing as 2008 FEDs. These FEDs boundary and cartographic files are available on the DLI FTP site under the 2006 Geography. They are part of the national coverage.

Statistics Canada sells the boundary files and this is why you see the $ sign when you get to download them from the site. DLI members have them for free from the DLI FTP site.

As for the FED files from NRC, I cannot tell you if they are different or not from what StatCan is offering. Other organizations may have created their own boundary files and it's up to them to decide to make them available or not. Furthermore, secondary distributors have paid royalties to StatCan for boundary files. It's then their choice to sell it or make available free. They may have chosen to have the FED made available free in this case since it can be a good marketing strategy.

The next revision for FED 2003 representation may happen shortly so we may have a new representation for 2011 Census.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Canadian Business Patterns Question

A researcher is interested in the following information:
1. Number of retail food outlets in British Columbia, by the smallest area unit possible (e.g. by Census Division, Census Consolidated Subdivision, whatever is available).

2. The above data broken into types of food outlets (e.g. grocery stores, at the same area unit.
The researcher sent her request directly to and they redirected the researcher to me, with the following accompanying information:

To obtain the information you have requested, it is available from the

Canadian Business Patterns (Catalogue No.: 61F0040XCB).

The Canadian Business Patterns (CBP) contains data that reflect counts of

business establishments for nine (9) employment size ranges, including

"indeterminate", for Canada, the provinces/territories, census divisions,

census subdivisions, census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations.

The establishment counts are divided by industry based on the North

American Industry Classification System (NAICS 2, 3, 4 and 6-digit level)

and the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC 1, 2, 3 and 4-digit


A second product called "Canadian business patterns - revenue ranges"

(catalogue no.: 61F0102XCB) expands the basis of CBP. This product

provides a count of businesses based on revenue ranges. Users can thus

analyze businesses on the basis of industry, revenue and geographic area.

Data are provided at the three-digit level of the North American Industry

Classification System, encompassing about 99 industries, or sub-sectors,

and by six revenue ranges.

These products are available for free to Canadian educational institutions

participating in the Data Liberation Initiative. Please note, however,

that the DLI is limited to students, faculty and administration for

academic research and teaching purposes.

Problem #1: I had already downloaded the Canadian Business Patterns (CBP) data from the FTP site but I have never tried to use this product. I have now installed it on my PC, using the install instructions at but I am getting an error. (The error message tells me to install the CDROM in the appropriate drive. Both the NAICS and CBP folders are on my C drive, in their respective folders, as installed.) I phoned the folks at and apparently someone will help me troubleshoot this on Monday. Unless, you can help troubleshoot?

Problem #2: I am not sure where to find the second product "Canadian business patterns - revenue ranges" on the DLI FTP site. Is this product part of the DLI Collection?


As far as the Canadian business patterns - revenue ranges is concerned, this product was last released in 2002 as the Canadian Business Pattern is released frequently. I am not sure of the relevance of using this one while using the last CBP.
I did check with Subject-matter and the latest version released was the 2000 issue released in 2002. That copy is on the FTP site at the following link:

As mentioned, it may not be relevant to the latest copy of the CBP that you will be using.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Statistics on First Generation Students

I have a request for statistics on ‘first generation students’ (i.e. students who are the first in their family to pursue post-secondary education) in London, either current or future. I haven’t found anything that specific, so I have been trying to find data that links education with family size.

The only statistics I’ve come up with so far is a 2001 table: Highest Level of Schooling of Father (9), Highest Level of Schooling of Mother (9), Age Groups of Children (5) and Family Structure (3) for Children Under 18 Years of Age in Couple Families, for Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2001 Census - 20% Sample Data - Cat. No. 97F0021XCB2001003

I found this under the 2001 topic: Social and economic characteristics of individuals, families and households. I haven’t located anything similar, either table or topic, in the 2006 Census.

Any suggestions on further statistics, either from the 2006 Census or otherwise, would be greatly appreciated.

Questions pertaining to education on the census questionnaire changed substantially between 2001 and 2006, principally to reflect developments in Canada's education system. These changes mean that comparisons with data from previous censuses is not always possible. That may be why you are having trouble finding an equivalent table from the 2006 Census. More information on the changes is provided at the following link:

Household Spending by Census Subdivisions

A professor at Mount Saint Vincent University wants to create a course module in which the students will have to locate household expenditures for various census geographies in Nova Scotia including census subdivisions. Spending Patterns in Canada (62-202) provides stats for the province as a whole and Halifax. Canadian Demographics, a Financial Post annual, provides stats for municipal districts and CAs. Is there a DLI survey where I can define small areas? Would the Survey of Household Spending files provide more detail than Spending Patterns in Canada?

The Survey of Household Spending microdata files only provide data by province and a rural/urban breakdown. It does not contain any data at the CMA, CA, or census subdivision levels.

The detailed tables (aggregate statistics) from the Survey of Household Spending give summary expenditure statistics by province and for 17 CMAs (including Halifax) in the 62F0031XDB tables. You can access these tables via the DLI FTP and Web sites:

FTP: /ftp/dli/shs - Survey of Household Spending

My next step would normally be to ask the author division if CSD-level expenditure data is available as a custom tabulation, but I wasn't sure if that would be helpful given that it is for a course module. Please let me know if you would still like me to enquire about the possibility of a custom

Municipal Water Data


A researcher from Brock University (in St. Catherines, Ontario) wants to know where to find data for annual expenditures and revenues by Canadian municipal water utilities and sewage treatment utilities.

I have confirmed with the author division that CANSIM Table 385-0024 is the best source available on this topic from Statistics Canada. Here is their response, followed by a link to the CANSIM table for your reference.

"Statistics Canada published annual water sale revenue and water and sewer expenditures in CANSIM table 385-0024 . . . these are all the data we have and can release. The series are annual and it goes back to 1988. The latest year for which we have data is 2007."

More on Census 2001 and 2006 Tables


A researcher at York University needs to get the 2006 equivalents of the ethnic group profile tables 97F0010XCB2001040, 97F0010XCB2001041, 97F0010XCB2001042 and 97F0010XCB2001043, as these were far and away the most used tables at York (other than the CT profiles).


I forwarded your email onto the Census Team, and they referred me to the following Special Interest Profiles (SIPs) tables. These SIPs are scheduled for release on December 9, 2008 and will contain some if not most of the data as in 2001.

Ethnic Origin (101), Age Groups (6), Sex (3) and Selected Demographic, Cultural, Labour Force, Educational and Income Characteristics (309), for the Population 15 Years and Over of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2006 Census - 20% Sample Data (Catalogue no. 97-564-XCB2006007)

Immigrant Status and Place of Birth (38), Immigrant Status and Period of Immigration (9), Age Groups (6), Sex (3) and Selected Demographic, Cultural, Labour Force, Educational and Income Characteristics (277), for the Population 15 Years and Over of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2006 Census - 20% Sample Data (Catalogue no. 97-564-XCB2006008)

Population Groups (28), Age Groups (6), Sex (3) and Selected Demographic, Cultural, Labour Force, Educational and Income Characteristics (309), for the Population 15 Years and Over of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2006 Census - 20% Sample Data (Catalogue no. 97-564-XCB2006009)

Place of Work Status (6), Class of Worker (6), Age Groups (10A), Sex (3) and Selected Demographic, Cultural, Labour Force, Educational and Income Characteristics (253), for the Employed Labour Force 15 Years and Over of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2006 Census - 20% Sample Data (Catalogue no. 97-564-XCB2006010)

Updated Products - Input-Output Tables

National Input - Output Tables (Catalogue no. 15F0041XDB)

Level L, M, S, W

The Input-Output accounting system consists of three tables. The input tables (USE tables) detail the commodities that are consumed by various industries. Output tables (MAKE tables) detail the commodities that are produced by various industries. Final demand tables detail the commodities bought by many categories of buyers (consumers, industries and government) for both consumption and investment purposes. These tables allow users to track intersectional exchanges of goods and services between industries and final demand categories such as personal expenditures, capital expenditures and public sector expenditures.

There are four levels of detail: the "W" or Worksheet level with 303 industries, 727 commodities and 170 final demand categories, the "L" or Link level (the most detailed level that allows the construction of consistent time series of annual data from 1961 to 2002) with 117 industries, 469 commodities and 123 final demand categories, the "M" or Medium level with 62 industries, 111 commodities and 39 final demand categories, and the "S" or Small level with 25 industries, 59 commodities and 16 final demand categories.


FTP: /ftp/dli/input-output-tables_entrées-sorties-tableaux

Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) File Inquiry


A researcher at Laurentian University wants to know if it's possible to get the Individuals file (2001) data for the Kingston Census Metropolitan Area (CMA). She was looking at the Individuals file documentation and Kingston is not available. Is it included somewhere else?


According to the User Guide, the 2001 Census PUMF (Individuals) contained information for selected CMAs only:

"The user will find information only for selected census metropolitan areas, the provinces and the territories".

Kingston was one of the smaller CMAs not selected for inclusion in the 2001 PUMF. However, microdata for Kingston would be available through the Research Data Centres.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Access to Beyond 20/20

I am a little unclear about who can have access to B 20/20. I have a request from a professor who would like his students to have access to B 20/20 available to load on their personal (i.e. laptop) computers. I suspect if this were possible we would not have it on our FTP server but have it more freely available elsewhere, but I want to be sure.

It's available for students via the ESTAT page on the Statistics Canada site. It's also available at the bottom of every 2006 census data product (TBT or Profile) page, if viewed from a computer authenticated to DSP. Outside the authentication area, the links do not appear.

Union Involvement and Ethnic Groups

I have a student who wants to know the level of ethnic group involvement in unions. I did some searching, but haven't found any stats on this from Stats Canada. Does anyone have suggestions as to where we might
find this type of information or if it is even collected. Perhaps one would have to take a couple of surveys or Census pieces and match them together.

I have a couple of suggestions. The User's Guide for the Ethnic Diversity Survey refers to a derived variable called PC_JOBRE. I have cut and pasted selected information about that variable:

Position: 365 Length: 2
Derived - Group or organization - Business or job related association
01 Yes 986 523,189
02 No 18,320 9,712,812
96 Not asked 851 547,529
97 Not applicable 21,513 12,295,094
98 Refused 11 6,481
99 Don't know 14 7,539
------------ ------------------ 41 ,695 23,092,644
Note: Derived from PC_0030 and PC_S030.

"Yes" indicates that the respondent belonged to, or was a participant in a "Business or job related association" ..."Business or job related association" includes responses indicating participation in groups or organizations such as business clubs or professional associations; unions; Chambers of Commerce; etc.

As you can see, the PC_JOBRE variable does not differentiate between union membership and membership in other types of job associations. I am fairly certain that this could be done as a custom tabulation. Please let me know if a custom tabulation would be of interest and I will confirm with the author division.

If your student is interested in older data, the following study from 1998 contains a table comparing union membership of immigrants and native-born Canadians:

Data/Statistics on Adult Distance Learners


A researcher at the University of Victoria needs information on the number of part-time adult learners (over the age of 25) who are taking Distance Education at Canadian and U.S. universities, broken down by province/state or nationally.


I was also unable to find a source so I asked one of our Education consultants to look into your question. He has investigated and confirmed that the data is not available from Statistics Canada.

2006 Census Data by Health Region


A researcher wants to find data by Health Region and Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN). The 2001 Profile table in Beyond 20/20 format was found here:

He wants to know when the equivalent table for 2006 will be available.


If you go into 2006 Community Profiles and search for a place name (such as Toronto) one of the options that comes up is the Health Region (or LHIN in Ontario).

Maybe Stats Canada could somehow make it more obvious that Health Regions are an option.

Census 2001 and Census 2006 Tables


A researcher at the Universite du Quebec a Trois Rivieres has an inquiry regarding finding a list of all the tables from the 2001 Census of Canada that are now custom tabs for the 2006 Census.


The Census Team will be providing us with a concordance list that shows which 2001 tables were produced in 2006, as well as any amalgamations or cancellations. I will forward that on to the list recipients as soon as it is available.

The Census Team also explained that some tables produced in 2001 were not produced in 2006 as a result of a consultation with various partners including the DLI. This consultation sought to improve the integration and promotion of tables in high demand, and to offer a better picture of all the products available through the internet. Accordingly, for 2006, not all standard levels of geography have been applied to the topic-based tabulations. It was recommended that we disseminate only information for appropriate or significant geographic levels. It was noticed that many tables from 2001 were used either infrequently or not at all. Therefore, it was proposed that we apply the following 3 geographic levels to topic-based tabulations:

- Canada, provinces, territories, census divisions and census subdivisions
- Canada, provinces, territories, census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations
- Census metropolitan areas, tracted census agglomerations, and census tracts.

Only certain major or basic tables were produced for other geographic areas according to the demand from the 2001 dissemination cycle. However, the tables that were not produced for all geographic levels in 2006 should be available as semi-custom tables.