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Adjusted counts

Part A - Short definition:

After a census, Statistics Canada makes public the total number of persons and the total number of dwellings counted in a given area, for example, in a municipality. By the next census, the municipality's geographic boundaries may have changed, especially if it has annexed part of another municipality or has merged with another municipality. When a boundary change occurs between censuses, the population and dwelling counts for the geographic areas affected by the boundary change are revised (adjusted). The adjusted counts show what the counts (the total number of persons and the total number of dwellings) from the previous census would be for the current census boundaries.

Part B - Detailed definition:

'Adjusted counts' refer to previous census population and dwelling counts that were adjusted (i.e., recompiled) to reflect current census boundaries, when a boundary change occurs between the two censuses.

Census years:

2011, 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986, 1981, 1976, 1971, 1966, 1961, 1956 (population)
2011, 2006, 2001, 1996 (dwellings)


When a boundary change occurs, the population and dwellings affected are determined by examining the collection documents from the previous census. The dwellings affected by the boundary change are identified from the collection maps. Once the affected dwellings are identified, it is possible to establish the population affected. These counts are then added to the geographic area that has increased in size and subtracted from the geographic area that has decreased in size.

Boundary changes to standard geographic areas between censuses are generally flagged in census outputs. This is done to warn users doing trend or longitudinal analysis that the areas being compared have changed over time. However, by comparing the final population or dwelling counts from the previous census to the adjusted counts, the user can judge the significance of the boundary change.

In the case of new areas (e.g., census subdivision incorporations), adjusted counts are required to permit the calculation of change. For dissolutions or major boundary changes, the use of adjusted counts instead of the previous census final counts often provides a better measure of trends by removing the effect of the boundary change from the calculation.

Refer to the related definition of census subdivision (CSD).

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