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Population and Dwelling Count Highlight Tables, 2011 Census

Content considerations

The 2011 Census population counts for a particular geographic area represent the number of Canadians whose usual place of residence is in that area, regardless of where they happened to be on Census Day. Also included are any Canadians who were staying in that area on Census Day and who had no usual place of residence elsewhere in Canada, as well as those considered to be 'non-permanent residents' (see Notes). For most areas, there is little difference between the number of usual residents and the number of people staying in the area on Census Day. For certain places, however, such as tourist or vacation areas, or those including large work camps, the number of people staying in that area at any particular time could significantly exceed the number of usual residents shown here. The population counts include Canadians living in other countries, but do not include foreign residents living in Canada. Given these differences, users are advised not to interpret population counts as being the number of people living in the reported dwellings.

The dwelling counts refer to total private dwellings and private dwellings occupied by usual residents in Canada. The census dwelling counts do not include collective dwellings, which are dwellings of a commercial, institutional or communal nature. The usual residents in collective dwellings are, however, included in the population counts.

For the 2011 Census, a private dwelling is defined as: A separate set of living quarters designed for or converted for human habitation in which a person or group of persons reside or could reside. In addition, a private dwelling must have a source of heat or power and must be an enclosed space that provides shelter from the elements, as evidenced by complete and enclosed walls and roof and by doors and windows that provide protection from wind, rain and snow.

Changes occur to the names, boundaries, and other characteristics of geographic areas (e.g., census subdivisions may amalgamate, or there may be an annexation or a change of name or status). Since the geographic framework is used for census data collection, the geographic reference date must be set several months before the date of the census in order to have these changes made in time. For the 2011 Census, the geographic reference date was January 1, 2011.

Users wishing to compare 2011 Census data with those of other censuses should then take into account that the boundaries of geographic areas may change from one census to another. In order to facilitate comparison, the 2006 Census counts are adjusted as needed to take into account boundary changes between the 2006 and 2011 censuses. The 2006 counts that were adjusted are identified by the letter 'A'. The letter 'A' may also refer to corrections to the 2006 counts; however, most of these are the result of boundary changes. This symbol is also used to identify areas that have been created since 2006, such as newly incorporated municipalities (census subdivisions) and new designated places (DPLs).

For the 2011 Census the term 'population centre' replaces the previous term of 'urban area.' Population centres are classified into one of three categories, according to the size of their population: small population centre (population 1,000 to 29,999), medium population centre (30,000 to 99,999) and large urban population centre (100,000 or greater). Population centres are defined using population and population density data from the current census and are delineated using the dissemination block. The previous census counts provided in these tables are the aggregation of the previous census population counts for the dissemination blocks that constitute the 2011 population centres.

Designated places for the 2011 Census can straddle more than one census subdivision. These tables present the designated places along with the part of the designated place contained within a given census subdivision.

Some Indian reserves and Indian settlements refused to participate in the census or were incompletely enumerated during the 2006 Census and/or the 2011 Census (see Notes). These reserves and settlements are identified wherever they appear in the tables.

Land area is the area in square kilometres of the land based portions of standard geographic areas. The data are unofficial, and are provided for the sole purpose of calculating population density. Land area data for the standard geographic areas reflect the boundaries in effect on January 1, 2011 (the geographic reference date for the 2011 Census of Canada).

The land area data are derived from the Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) using the Albers equal-area conic map projection. The data are calculated and stored in square kilometres at the census block (CB) level to eight decimal places. (The census block is the smallest polygon unit and is formed by the intersection of all roads and boundary arcs of standard geographic areas that do not follow roads. Census blocks are not available to the public.) The CB data are then aggregated to the dissemination block (DB) level and rounded to four decimal places. The DB data are individually aggregated to each higher level standard geographic area. The land area data presented in these tables, however, are rounded to two decimal places. The calculation of population density uses the land area stored to four decimal places. The population density displayed in these tables is rounded to one decimal place.

Users should note that the land area of standard geographic areas may differ between the 2006 and 2011 censuses due to geometry shifts even if the boundaries of these areas did not change. The shifts are caused by changes in the underlying database architecture and by improvements in the absolute positional accuracy of the some of the roads. It should also be noted that the source layer for the water layer used to generate land area calculations has changed in British Columbia. for 2011; this may result in varying land area calculations as compared to previous censuses.

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