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How census data are disseminated


Dissemination of 2006 Census data began less than six months after Census Day, with the release of selected geography products in October 2006. The data are disseminated in different ways and in various forms. This chapter provides a description of the products and services developed for the 2006 Census and the various media on which they are available. Other sources, such as the 2006 Geography Catalogue, the Statistics Canada website ( and the Statistics Canada Online Catalogue, contain detailed information about the full range of 2006 Census products and services.

Overview of 2006 Census products and services

Many census products and services are based on 2006 Census variables described in previous chapters. These products are supported by reference documents and geographic tools designed to make the data easier to use. The Preview of Products and Services, 2006 Census describes the five basic components of products and services for the 2006 Census:

Three young adults attend a graduation.

Standard data products

These products contain statistical information about each characteristic of the population, households, dwellings and families as measured in the census.

Specialized products

These products, specifically designed for the electronic medium, provide data for selected characteristics and selected geographies with a focus on special geographies or populations.

Jacques Cartier Bridge, on a clear moonlit night, Montréal.

Reference products

These products are designed to help users make the most of census data. They cover various aspects of the census and are intended to support the use of census data.

A snow-covered field surrounded by a fence.

Geography products

Geography products for the 2006 Census reflect both the changes to geography concepts as well as the more precise geometry and more detailed cartographic features (such as water, roads and road names). For 2006, digital boundary files (DBFs) are reintroduced. The road network file (RNF), which covers all of Canada, is now available annually at no charge. Reference maps and other geographic products are available in a variety of media, including the Internet. Tools are provided for users to find and view their geographic area of interest on the Internet.

A hydroelectric dam controls the water falls in a rocky valley. A logging truck travels across the prairie.

Custom services

This service allows for products and services to be tailored to more demanding and complex requests than can otherwise be accommodated by the standard products.

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