Friday, November 13, 2009

Urban/ Rural?


I've got a researcher who wants to know how to determine what's urban, what's rural within the Gr. Sudbury CMA. Is this possible? The census geography is, well, rather complex!


I am forwarding an off-list reply to your question to the dlilist as I am sure that others will be interested in the suggestions.

If you run the Geosuite 2006 application, and go to chart search, select 'CMA/CA and non CMA/CA' box and
select 'Sudbury' from the resulting list, then click on the 'UA/RA' box you will get a listing of the communities (CSDs, sort of) that make up Greater Sudbury. The UARA type tells you whether each is urban, rural, etc. If you then want to get a list of the blocks that make up each one.

Another alternative is to use the PCCF. At:

I have a list of FSAs and the CMAs (SAC codes) that each belongs to, extracted from the PCCF. If an FSA has a '0' as the second digit, eg 'P0M' then Canada Post considers it rural. If you sort the file in excel, the list of FSAs will indicate which CSDs in Greater Sudbury are urban and which are rural.

I also have a file at:

which shows CMA/CA code and census tracts names for each postal code. Find the Sudbury cts, and again the postal code FSA will tell you if its rural or urban.

Yet another option is to use the full PCCF, which you should be able to access at: and do the same thing at the postal code level.

Yet another option, which I find easier than the Geosuite product, is the to use the Geography attribute file for the 2006 census. This will give you Stats Can's rural/urban classification, rather than Canada Posts. The UAtype variable in that will do the same thing as Geosuite, in a less cumbersome manner. You will find the user guide, and a set of SPSS syntax at:

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