Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021

Release date: November 17, 2021


Geocoding is the process of assigning geographic identifiers (codes or x, y coordinates) to map features and data records. The resulting geocodes permit data to be linked geographically to a place on the earth.

Dwellings, postal codesOM and place of work data are linked to blockface representative points (coordinates) when the street and address information is available; otherwise, they are linked to dissemination block (DB) representative points. In some cases, postal codesOM and place of work data are linked to dissemination area (DA) representative points when they cannot be linked to DBs. As well, place of work data are linked to census subdivision representative points when the data cannot be linked to DAs.

Reported in

2021, 2016, 2011, 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986, 1981, 1976 and 1971


Statistics Canada's Custom Area Creation Service provides census data tabulations for user-defined areas, such as provincial electoral districts, local planning areas and school districts. When tabulating census data for user-defined areas, dwellings are included or excluded depending on whether the representative points to which they are linked fall inside or outside the user-defined area (Figure 1.13). Thus, the data retrieved are most precise when user-defined areas coincide with dissemination block boundaries. Census data for individual blockfaces are not disseminated.

Refer to related definitions of Blockface; Census Subdivision (CSD); Dissemination Area (DA); Dissemination Block (DB); Postal CodeOM; Representative Point and Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI).

Changes prior to the current census

Prior to 2001, dwellings, postal codesOM and place of work data were linked to enumeration area (EA) representative points when they could not be linked to blockface representative points. As well, unrounded blockface population counts were provided for user confirmation before tabulating characteristic data for custom areas.

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