Monday, February 24, 2014

Nunavut Census Data


I have a researcher looking for census data (various education/labour force/income numbers, by sex) for Nunavut back to 1991. Obviously it only became a territory in 1999, so that poses a problem for the 1991 and 1996 censuses. Is there any accurate way to reconstruct the current Nunavut boundaries using smaller census geography areas? Or has StatCan done any retrospective work in this area? I know that the Nunavut Bureau of Statistics has some excel tables with census data going back to 1996 (and there is comparative data for 1996 in the 2001 Community Profiles), so is it possible?


Prior to 1999, Nunavut was geographically part of the eastern portion of the Northwest Territories. The creation of the Nunavut territory was delineating using the same boundaries – Enumeration Areas (currently referred to Dissemination Blocks). Please note that smaller EA areas “roll-up” into the larger FED area – Nunavut only has one FED.

The relationship between geographies for the current census cycle can be seen below – just as reference:

Any type of “retrospective work” will appear as already described below – showing previous Census years data in the same table, similar to the comparative data for 1996 in the 2001 Community Profiles.

One of the Excel tables mentioned below has the following source notes in it – searching for those specific catalogue numbers might be of assistance.

Sources: Statistics Canada, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006 and
2011 Censuses of Population,
Catalogues #97-550-XWE2006002 - #93F0050XDB01003 and #98-310-XWE2011002 and Special Tabulations File prepared by Nunavut Bureau of Statistics, February 8, 2012

There also is mention on the other Excel table of Demography Division and CANSIM table providing earlier census data – perhaps getting in touch with them might also help. I would also suggest as well that the researcher contact the Nunavut Bureau of Statistics - particularly if they created “special tabulations”.

In summary those smaller levels of geography would be the researcher’s best bet for the previous census years. They can likely be run by the Montreal Regional Office, but would likely incur a cost-recoverable charge.