Thursday, February 28, 2013

Labour Force Historical Review


Are B20/20 tables from the 2010 Labour Force Historical Review available online, or only on CD (71x0004x)?


Most, but not all of the tables are available free in CANSIM. The LFS series starts with 282. You can download the CANSIM tables in IVT.

Unfortunately there is no list of which tables are missing. There is limited space on CANSIM and some of the tables had too many blank cells for the provinces, so only Canada data was loaded.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Survey of Household Spending


When will the 2011 Survey of Household Spending (SHS) be available through DLI? It appears to be available according to Statistics Canada January 30, 2013:


There are no plans to produce a PUMF in the future, including SHS-R 2010 and 2011.

There was no 2010 PUMF for Survey of Household Spending and Income Statistics Division will not produce a Public-use Microdata File of the 2010 SHS, due to resource constraints. The 2010 SHS confidential microdata file will be available to authorized researchers through the Research Data Centres as of October 2012.

Information on other releases can be found in the Daily: Home>The Daily>Wednesday, January 30, 2013

When a PUMF will be available to the DLI can be found on the follow page: Tentative release dates of DLI products

Postal Code Boundary Data


I have a researcher who is looking for postal code boundary data for Ontario. She has postal code point data right now but needs to know the boundaries of each postal code. Where can I find this information?


The Postal Code Conversion File (PCCF) provides a link between six-character postal codes and standard Census geographic areas such as dissemination areas, census subdivisions and census tracts. It also provides a latitude and longitude coordinate for a point representing the approximate location of the postal code to support mapping. You can access the PCCF files on the DLI FTP and EFT sites.

For more information, review the PCCF reference guide

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

ATIP Writing


Does anyone here have any kind of "best practices" webpage published on how to structure the nature of the ATIP request? I'm thinking in particular about the sections where he is given space to provide more details on the information sought. Right now, I'm suggesting that he use clean, plain language with bulleted items, etc., in order to make it easier to read, but if anyone's got a resource he could turn to, I'd appreciate it.


Here are some tips with writing ATIs. It's a mix of abstract/practical. The purpose of the abstractness is to drive home the message that librarians have knowledge for thinking about how to use the method of access that Parliament has set down in the Access to Information Act.

The Access to Information Act defines general parameters of a method of information retrieval. This method of retrieval can be examined using existing concepts, like recall and precision. The concepts have a very practical effect on how to write ATIs.

Recall is the ratio of returned relevant documents to all relevant documents while precision is the ratio of returned relevant documents to returned documents. When using the method of access in FOI legislation, people often try for high recall (e.g., "Send me any and all documents, memos, faxes, telegraphs, .... from 1867 to the present"). The problem with this strategy is that recall ignores the amount of returned documents. This isn't a big deal with computers but it becomes a problem when it's an institution returning the materials. The amount of returned documents can slow the process down, can come with search fees, etc. So writing ATIs that go for high recall can inadvertently create barriers/frustrations.

Tip: Avoid the temptation of trying to get everything imaginable

A better strategy is to aim for high precision. Since it factors in the number of returned documents, high precision can reduce the barriers/frustration that high recall ATIs create. The goal here is to be as specific as possible (e.g. "Send copies of forms AB-1235 that were completed in April 2012 where the tick-box 'Atlantic Canada' is checked off"). This strategy, however, requires having sufficient bibliographic description of the documents. To get this level of description can involve using the method of access in the ATI Act to acquire materials that contain bibliographic description. The trade-off with high precision is that getting this level of description can take some time. But once you have it, it's like having a mini-catalogue.

Tip: Do use the method of access in ATI Act repeatedly to gather material that contains bibliographic description and then be super specific.

Tip: Bibliographic description can often be found in government manuals. It's not uncommon for people to order copies of unpublished government manuals (e.g. search for "manuals" on this page

I'd like to mention that if anyone is interested in what librarians and library associations have to say about the Access to Information Act, the Information Commissioner recently received submissions for a public consultation to modernize the Access to Information Act. There are submissions from the CLA, BCLA, the Progressive Librarians Guild (London Chapter), BC librarian Heather Morrison and one from myself.

This might help although much of the information is BC-centric.

Percent of Houshold Income Spent on Energy


I am trying to find a comparative statistics for percent of household income spent on home energy (home energy is the sum of a) electricity, b) natural gas and c) other fuel for heating and cooking). The comparison I am looking for is between the Canadian household average, vs. the household average in Nunatsiavut, northern Labrador. The five communities that make up Nunatsiavut are: Nain, Hopedale, Postville, Makkovik and Rigolet.

I was able to find the desired information for Canadian household average, and Newfoundland and Labrador through consulting the Survey of Household Expenditure and CANSIM.

Would an RDC be able to provide statistics for percent of household income spent on home energy preferably with a breakdown for electricity, natural gas and other fuel for heating and cooking) for the smaller geographies? So, Nunatsiavut (and, if possible, Nain, Hopedale, Postville, Makkovik and Rigolet). Alternatively is there another way of getting these data?


We hope to have an internal database available in the RDC’s in March or April 2013. Note: Due to low sample counts, the smallest representative geography that SHS data produce, as a general guideline, is at the CMA or Economic Region level. After consulting the rules of suppression, maybe the E.R. or a combination of E.R.s containing the desired community or communities may be a possibility. Another possible solution would be a custom tabulation, which is cost recoverable.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Centre of Population


I have a researcher interested in mean and median centre of provincial and national populations, but not population figures - geospatial information.

One of the items the US produces in conjunction with its census is geographic information on the center of population <>. Do we produce anything similar to the maps or the data files (lat/long) which the US Census Bureau provides <>?

No, we do not produce anything similar to this.

CMA/CA Reference Maps


Why are the overview CA/CMA reference maps on the STC site the only ones available for viewing? When I go in to the "Geography" section of the 2011 Census page <> and select "Reference maps" I'm taken to a page where you can choose to view pdfs of the CT maps for CMAs and CAs (2001, 2006, 2011). Regardless of which year I choose, I'm only presented with the option of viewing the first map, which is an overview. No insets are linked for any of the three years. If, however, I go to the 2006 or the 2001 pages directly (listed in the "Previous censuses" side bar) and follow the links for the reference maps the entire sets are available.

Was the decision made to make only the overview maps available to the public or is this a glitch? I assume it's okay to download these maps using the EFT and host them locally, correct?


You need to click on the insert / carton title.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Income Status for Persons with Disabilities


I'm looking for information regarding post-injury poverty status of workers and I'm having trouble finding the following:

Before and After Tax LIM ( low income measure), LICO ( low income cut off) and MBM ( market basket measure of poverty) for 2002 to 2009, for both Canadians with disabilities and Ontarians with disabilities.

Of the years requested 2008 and 2009 are the most important and "before" taxes is particularly important.

Any information would be very useful.


The PALS 2006 data base contains both “before” and “after” tax LICO. This information would need to be addressed trough a custom data request with our client services or by access to the RDCs. There is also the CCHS which contains injury specific variables, income (grouped), and geography (province & health regions). This survey has a fairly large sample of injured respondents. However determining the post-injury quality of life / income may not be captured in this dataset well.

A longitudinal dataset (like the NPHS - ) via the RDC, or custom tab may be more appropriate since a lot of people still receive work benefits up to a certain point post-injury.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Young Children with Disabilities


A student is looking for the number of children in Nova Scotia under the age of 5 with diagnosed/ suspected disabilities or special needs. PALS (2006) does offer some tables for the 5 to 14 age group, but I can’t see anything for the youngest ages. Is there a source that I should be exploring?


There are the following tables, from this publication: Participation and Activity Limitation Survey 2006: Tables and the 0-4 age group is available at the provincial level.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

2011 Census Tract Numbers


When I access the 2011 census tract profiles for London CMA, I am seeing some problems with the numbers, specifically with Age Characteristics.

If you go here, I can describe what I mean:


Here are a couple of errors I have noticed for 5550045.00 profile:

Age characteristics 17 years: Total 5/Male 5/Female 5

18 years: Total 25/Male 10/Female 20

40-44 years: Total 30/15/10

The math does not seem to be adding up.


This is a rounding technique to ensure confidentiality, for more information please see
Data Quality and Confidentiality Standards and Guidelines (Public)

1. When a sum is specified for age, then the program multiplies the unrounded average of the group in question by the rounded frequency. Otherwise, if a sum is specified for a variable other than age, the program rounds the actual sum.