2006 Census Topic-based tabulations

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Topic-based tabulation: Commuting Distance (km) (9), Age Groups (9) and Sex (3) for the Employed Labour Force 15 Years and Over Having a Usual Place of Work of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2006 Census - 20% Sample Data

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General information

Catalogue number:97-561-XCB2006010
Release date:March 4, 2008
Topic:Place of work and commuting to work
Data dimensions:


Note: Comparability of 2006 Place of work data

Working at home can be measured in different ways. In the census, the 'Worked at home' category includes persons who live and work at the same physical location, such as farmers, teleworkers and work camp workers. In addition, the 2006 Census Guide instructed persons who worked part of the time at home and part of the time at an employer's address to indicate that they 'Worked at home' if most of their time was spent working at home (e.g., three days out of five).

Other Statistics Canada surveys such as the General Social Survey, the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, and the Workplace and Employee Survey also collect information on working at home. However, the survey data are not directly comparable to the census data since the surveys ask respondents whether they did some or all of their paid work at home, whereas the census asks them where they usually worked most of the time. Consequently, census estimates on work at home are lower than survey estimates.

The place-of-work question has remained in virtually the same format in each census since 1971. However, in 1996, the category 'No fixed workplace address' replaced 'No usual place of work.' In 1996, the census questionnaire was modified by adding a check box for the 'No fixed workplace' response category. In previous censuses, respondents were asked to write 'No usual place of work' in the address fields. It is believed that previous censuses have undercounted the number of persons with 'No fixed workplace address.'

Annexations, incorporations and amalgamations of municipalities could create some difficulties when comparing spatial units and structures which change over time.

For additional information, please refer to the 2006 Census Dictionary, Catalogue number 92 566-XWE or 92-566-XPE.

Note: Institutional residents

People in seniors' residences in the 2006 Census are classified as 'not living in an institution'. This is a change from the 2001 Census where they were classified as institutional residents, specifically, 'living in an institution, resident under care or custody'.

Note: Non-permanent residents and the census universe

In the 2006 Census, non-permanent residents are defined as people from another country who, at the time of the census, held a Work or Study Permit, or who were refugee claimants, as well as family members living in Canada with them. In the 1991, 1996 and 2001 censuses, non-permanent residents also included persons who held a Minister's permit; this was discontinued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada prior to the 2006 Census.

From 1991 on, the Census of Population has enumerated both permanent and non-permanent residents of Canada. Prior to 1991, only permanent residents of Canada were included in the census. (The only exception to this occurred in 1941.) Non-permanent residents were considered foreign residents and were not enumerated.

Total population counts, as well as counts for all variables, are affected by this change in the census universe. Users should be especially careful when comparing data from 1991, 1996, 2001 or 2006 with data from previous censuses in geographic areas where there is a concentration of non-permanent residents.

Today in Canada, non-permanent residents make up a significant segment of the population, especially in several census metropolitan areas. Their presence can affect the demand for such government services as health care, schooling, employment programs and language training. The inclusion of non-permanent residents in the census facilitates comparisons with provincial and territorial statistics (marriages, divorces, births and deaths) which include this population. In addition, this inclusion of non-permanent residents brings Canadian practice closer to the United Nations (UN) recommendation that long-term residents (persons living in a country for one year or longer) be enumerated in the census.

Although every attempt has been made to enumerate non-permanent residents, factors such as language difficulties, the reluctance to complete a government form or to understand the need to participate may have affected the enumeration of this population.

For additional information, please refer to the 2006 Census Dictionary, catalogue number 92-566-XWE or 92-566-XPE.

For counts of the non-permanent resident population in 1991, 2001 and 2006, please refer to the 2006 Census table 97-557-XCB2006006.

Data table

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This table details commuting distance , age groups and sex for the employed labour force 15 years and over having a usual place of work in CanadaFootnote 1
Commuting distance (km) (9) Age groups (9)
Total - Age groups 15 to 24 years 25 to 54 years 25 to 34 years 35 to 44 years 45 to 54 years 55 to 64 years 65 to 74 years 75 years and over
Total - All commutersFootnote 2 13,069,895 2,063,650 9,158,130 2,656,505 3,221,480 3,280,140 1,599,685 209,515 38,915
Less than 5 km 4,741,630 968,940 3,085,075 928,640 1,046,900 1,109,535 582,695 88,075 16,840
5 to 9.9 km 2,962,810 442,465 2,102,445 609,850 737,270 755,325 364,315 45,285 8,300
10 to 14.9 km 1,738,750 216,035 1,281,480 362,555 463,590 455,340 212,220 24,815 4,190
15 to 19.9 km 1,095,465 127,795 818,125 231,185 296,015 290,925 132,560 14,320 2,665
20 to 24.9 km 693,645 73,655 526,540 147,450 192,800 186,290 82,645 9,235 1,565
25 to 29.9 km 461,250 49,045 350,550 97,940 128,860 123,745 54,375 6,155 1,125
30 km or more 1,376,340 185,705 993,915 278,885 356,045 358,985 170,875 21,625 4,220
Median commuting distanceFootnote 3 7.6 5.4 8.2 7.9 8.6 8.2 7.6 6.4 6.2


Footnote 1

Excludes census data for one or more incompletely enumerated Indian reserves or Indian settlements.

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Footnote 2

Commuting distance
Part A - Plain language definition
Straight-line distance between a respondent's home and place of work.
Part B - Detailed definition
Refers to the distance, in kilometres, between the respondent's residence and his or her usual workplace location. The variable relates to non-institutional residents 15 years of age and over who worked at some time since January 1, 2005. The variable usually relates to the individual's job held in the week prior to enumeration. However, if the person did not work during that week but had worked at some time since January 1, 2005, the information relates to the job held longest during that period.

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Footnote 3

The median distance of a specified group of distance units is that distance which divides their distribution into two halves, i.e. the distances of the first half are below the median, while those of the second half are above the median.

The distance is calculated as the straight-line distance between the residential block representative point and the workplace location representative point. For persons who work outside the areas covered by census metropolitan areas or census agglomerations, the workplace location is usually coded to a single representative point for the census subdivision of work. This can affect the calculated commuting distance, particularly when the census subdivision of work has a large area. This is most apparent for members of the labour force who live in smaller, resource-based urban areas and work outside the census metropolitan area or census agglomeration.

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Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population, Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 97-561-XCB2006010.


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Footnote a

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Footnote b

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Footnote c

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Footnote d

XML (SDMX - ML) - Is a statistical data and metadata exchange standard for the electronic exchange of statistical information. Two extensible mark-up language (XML) files are provided in a compressed bundle.

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