2011 National Household Survey: Data Quality and Confidentiality Standards and Guidelines (Public)

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Chapter 1 – Introduction


Information previously collected by the mandatory long-form census questionnaire was collected as part of the new voluntary National Household Survey (NHS). Approximately 4.5 million households received the NHS questionnaire.

Data disseminated by the NHS are subjected to a variety of automated and manual processes to determine whether the data needs to be suppressed. This is done primarily for two reasons, (1) to ensure non-disclosure of individual respondent identity and characteristics (which will subsequently be referred to as confidentiality) and (2), to limit the dissemination of data of unacceptable quality (which will subsequently be referred to as data quality).

Additionally, suppression of data may be applied for product-specific reasons due, typically, to formatting issues. The term product refers, primarily, to tabular output. Data may either be modified in the product or removed from the product altogether to reflect the suppression rules required.

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