Friday, June 4, 2021

Older Census Data - EA Level and Reference Maps

June 29, 2020


I have a research team looking at sub-municipal population trends for Prince George, BC/Regional District of Fraser-Fort George hopefully going back to the 1940s. We get back to 1981 just fine, but prior to that I am running in to a wall looking for EA-level data/statistics and corresponding reference maps. Do these exist somewhere? I have found the EA-level files available from U of T, and I swear I’ve looked at the documentation but I can’t find a map of Enumeration Areas. If anyone could point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.


The library compiled information, available here.

I searched the Library’s collection of published census reports from 1941 to 1976, and I found limited information on enumeration areas. That said, many of the instructions for enumerators mentioned that maps had been distributed to the enumerators; some of the census reports included lists of EA codes; and I found EA-level data from other resources online. I feel all this suggests that EA-level data might exist for 1976, 1971, 1966, 1961, and possibly 1956. Have you tried contacting demography or DLI to see if they might have it?

While I could not find maps in StatCan reports showing EA boundaries, I found records of EA maps at Library and Archives, as well as the University of Toronto. Furthermore, there are a couple of maps on Scholars GeoPortal that contain EA-level data; these maps do not seem to delineate the boundaries of the EAs, but if you zoom in close enough, you can see numbered blocks on the maps. From the datasets, could a user figure out which blocks are included in each EA? I’m not familiar enough with GIS, but maybe Geo Help would know? (Links to Scholars GeoPortal are in the attached document.)

In general I think that most of the information that is held at Statcan is from 1971 to currently however it might be worth it for you to check with demography anyhow.

Geography had this to say about 1976 and 1971 data when I reached out to see what was available.

In terms of digitally, our data in fichiersGEOfiles go back to 1971. Each folder does have the Geographic Attribute File (GAF) that contains census geographic information at the Enumeration Area level for all of Canada. It may not have everything your client is looking for but each record includes population and dwelling counts, land area, names, unique identifiers, and geographic codes for linkages with other census boundaries. Unfortunately we do not have access to our own library of historical documents at the moment for information prior to 1971.

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