Friday, October 2, 2009

Socio-economic data for small geographic levels


A bit of a broad question, but I’m more looking for advice on how to proceed rather than references to specific datasets (though the latter are always welcome!).
I have a faculty member engaged in research looking at expectant mothers’ distance to hospitals in Canada. He is working with CIHI to obtain hospital administration data by postal code. He would also like to develop a ‘vulnerability’ factor using socio-economic variables (income, crime, education). Because it has to match the CIHI data, geography is the most important variable. I have a vague understanding that census data is not available at the DA level unless it’s aggregated. Is this true? Are there other sources I should be looking at for DA level social-economic variables?
Thanks for your help. On the plus side, more questions I can’t answer means more complex data use is happening here!

The Census BST data, including average income and various education measures, are available through the DLI at the DA level. This data can then be matched to Postal Code data through the Postal Code conversion files. Crime data is more challenging. There is a Sociology Professor here at McGill who is developing an crime index measurement for all the census tracts in Canada. He has made use of the PCensus Crime Risk Data (CAP Index), which as I remember is also at the CT level. It might be that the mapping that Professor Burgos has been doing could be of interest to your researcher.

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