Census learning centre
Geographic Areas of Canada

Release date: February 9, 2022

Catalogue number: 982000032021002

Hello and welcome to the online census geography video!

This video is one of a series of videos related to census geography in the context of the activities of the 2021 Census and previous censuses. The objective of this video is to describe the classification of geographic areas in Canada. Well-defined geographic areas provide the framework for data collection, dissemination and analysis. This video will provide an understanding of how geographic areas are organized, the coding standards and the differences between administrative and statistical areas.


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Concept videos: Geographic areas of Canada - Transcription

(The Statistics Canada symbol and "Canada" wordmark appear on screen with the title: "Concept videos: Geographic areas of Canada".)

Hello and welcome to the second video in the geography online program!

In this section you will learn more about the geographic areas of Canada and how they are defined and divided.

(A map of Canada showing the six geographic regions appears on the screen.)

Canada has a total of six geographic regions. These areas are groupings of provinces and territories that have been established for the purpose of statistical reporting. The geographic regions of Canada are Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies, British Columbia and the Territories.

The geographic areas of Canada are defined by Standard Geographical Classification and geographic code. The Standard Geographical Classification is the primary classification used at Statistics Canada to classify statistical information by geographic area.

The Standard Geographical Classification includes four levels: geographic regions of Canada, provinces and territories, census divisions and census subdivisions.

(A hierarchical list of the four regions appears on the screen: Level 1 - Geographic regions of Canada, Level 2 - Provinces and territories, Level 3 - Census divisions and Level 4 - Census subdivisions.)

These four geographic levels are organized in a hierarchy. A seven-digit code is used to show this relationship.

(An example shows the breakdown of the 7 digit code for the Census subdivision of Winnipeg (4611040) to the right of the previous list. The region "Prairies" is represented by 4, the province "Manitoba" is represented by 46, the census division "No. 11" is represented by 4611 and the census subdivision "Winnipeg" is represented by 4611040.)

The geographic code is a numeric identifier assigned to a geographic area.

(Geographic codes are displayed on the screen for Balmoral (1314005) Parish and Victoria (4608042) Rural municipality.)

Every kind of geographic area in Canada has its own type of geographic code.

(Geographic codes are displayed on the screen for Balmoral (1314006) Village and Victoria (5917034) City.)

It can be used to distinguish a city from any other city with the same name in another province or territory.

(A flow chart for the National Geographic Database appears on screen, and which is also available to view here: Hierarchical model of geographic areas for dissemination.)

(The words "For more detailed information of this image, click on the "Hierarchical model of geographic areas for dissemination" link in the section above." appear on the bottom of the screen.)

The geographic areas of Canada can be either administrative or statistical.

Administrative areas are defined in federal and provincial legislation, with some exceptions, and are used by Statistics Canada to support data dissemination.

The administrative areas used by Statistics Canada include the provinces and territories, census divisions, census subdivisions, designated places, federal electoral districts, forward sortation areas and postal codes.

Statistical areas are defined by Statistics Canada to support the dissemination of statistical data.

Statistical areas include census agricultural regions, economic regions, census consolidated subdivisions, census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations, census metropolitan influenced zones, population centres, rural areas, census tracts, dissemination areas, aggregate dissemination areas, dissemination blocks, block faces, place names and previous census subdivisions.

(A map of Canada showing the six geographic regions appears on the screen.)

This is the end of the second video on Canada’s geographic areas.

(The census logo appears with a link, which is also available to view here: Census of population.)

For more detailed information on concepts, variables, methodology, historical comparability and other elements, please refer to the Statistics Canada census web pages.

(The "Canada" wordmark appears. ISBN : 978-0-660-41403-4)

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