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Archived Content

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Data sources

Survey types

Census-related topics

Data sources

Major data sources

Major data source on the topic indicates that the survey is strongly focused on a particular topic. For example, the Labour Force Survey is clearly focused on the topic of labour market activities. Please note that some surveys cover more than one census-related topic.

Secondary data sources

Secondary data source indicates a survey whose main topic was another theme but still touched significantly on the topic. For example, the Labour Force Survey focuses on labour market activities, however, in collecting data, several questions are asked on the education and income of the respondent.

Limited data sources

A distinction was made between secondary data sources and data sources containing limited information on the topic as in some cases, the survey touches various themes. For example, the Labour Force Survey is listed as having some data on family and housing because there are a few questions relating to family and on the type of dwelling and rent paid.

Survey types

Administrative data sources

Administrative data sources are collected by organizations other than Statistics Canada for their own purposes.

Cross-sectional surveys

A cross-sectional survey provides a portrait of a sample or population at a precise point in time.

Longitudinal data sources

A longitudinal data source collects information on the same respondents at repeated intervals.

Postcensal surveys

A postcensal survey usually takes place shortly after a census. One or more screening questions on the census questionnaire are used to select the sample to be surveyed.


Aboriginal peoples

The Aboriginal peoples of Canada, as defined by The Constitution Act, 1982, include the Indian, Inuit and M├ętis peoples of Canada.

Activity limitation

The topic Activity limitation includes the reduction in activities due to physical or mental conditions or other health problems.


The topic Education relates to activities whose purpose is to develop knowledge, skills, understanding and values.

Ethnic diversity and immigration

The topic Ethnic diversity and immigration includes information on ethnic groups, visible minority population, immigrants, the Canadian-born population and non-permanent residents in Canada, as well as the generational status of Canadians (Canadians who have been in Canada, for example, for one, two or three or more generations).


The topic Family includes the two family types: the census family and the economic family. The census family refers to a married couple or a couple living common law with or without children, or a lone parent, with at least one child living in the same dwelling. The economic family refers to a group of two or more persons who live in the same dwelling and are related to each other by blood, marriage, common law or adoption.

Housing and shelter costs

The topic Housing and shelter costs includes the number of persons in a household, household type (family or non-family households), tenure (own or rent), household maintainer (who pays the rent or mortgage), number of persons per room, and shelter costs such as mortgage or rent payments, electricity, oil, property taxes, and condominium fees.


The topic Income includes the financial well-being of Canadian individuals, families and households.

Labour market activities

The topic Labour market activities provides information on how many people are employed or unemployed, the unemployment rate, which industries or occupations people work in, the hours they work, wage and non-wage benefits, and many other labour-related topics.


The topic Language presents information on the language composition of Canada including information on English, French, Aboriginal, and other language groups living in Canada.


The topic Mobility includes information sources that describe where people living in Canada are moving to and from, both within and outside Canada, and who is moving in terms of age, sex, education, occupation, language, etc.

Place of work and mode of transportation

This topic is two-fold: Place of work refers to anyone who works at home, works outside of Canada, has no fixed workplace address, or works at a specific address; Mode of transportation is the main means that a person uses to travel between the home and the work place, for example, by car, on foot, on public transit, or by some other means.

Population and demography

The topic Population and demography contains data sources on human populations (for example, population estimates and projections), as well as the evolution factors of these populations (births, deaths, migrations).


The topic Religion refers to the number and distribution of people belonging to various religious denominations and beliefs. Although the census is conducted every 5 years, the data on religion are collected every 10 years.

Unpaid work

The topic Unpaid work provides information on the number of hours spent doing housework, caring for children, or providing care to seniors, without pay.