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2011 National Household Survey: Data tables

Tabulation: Ethnic Origin (264), Single and Multiple Ethnic Origin Responses (3), Generation Status (4), Age Groups (10) and Sex (3) for the Population in Private Households of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2011 National Household Survey

About this tabulation

General information

Catalogue number :
Release date :
May 8, 2013
Topic :
Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity
Variables :
  1. Geography Geographic Index
  2. Generation status (4)
  3. Age groups (10)
  4. Sex (3)
  5. Ethnic origin (264)
  6. Single and multiple ethnic origin responses (3)


Note: Confidentiality disclosure control for the National Household Survey (NHS)

Disclosure control rules have been applied to data tables available from the National Household Survey (NHS). The number of actual records used to derive any number in a table must meet a minimum criterion. For a table cell where this criterion is not met, the number is replaced by a zero. Due to this disclosure control, subtotals will not necessarily aggregate to the total. As well, users should note that random rounding has also been applied to the data.

Note: Differences between the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) estimates and census counts

The 2011 Census of Population and the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) both provide information on the Canadian population for various levels of geography and for numerous common topics (e.g., demography, marital status, family and language) including characteristics associated to these topics. It is possible that differences exist between the 2011 Census count and the NHS estimate. Two reasons can explain these differences:

- The definition of the population of each data source: the target population for the 2011 Census includes usual residents in collective dwellings and persons living abroad, whereas the target population for the NHS excludes them.

- The variability of the estimates for the NHS: the NHS estimates are derived from a sample survey and are therefore subject to sampling error; they are also subject to potentially higher non-response error than in the census due to the survey's voluntary nature.

Note: The 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) estimates - quality indicators

For the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) estimates, the global non-response rate (GNR) is used as an indicator of data quality. This indicator combines complete non-response (household) and partial non-response (question) into a single rate. The value of the GNR is presented to users. A smaller GNR indicates a lower risk of non-response bias and as a result, lower risk of inaccuracy. The threshold used for estimates' suppression is a GNR of 50% or more. For more information, please refer to the National Household Survey User Guide, 2011.

Note: Ethnic origin

The 2011 NHS Ethnic origin question asked: 'What were the ethnic or cultural origins of this person's ancestors?'

A note provided above the question stated that 'This question collects information on the ancestral origins of the population and provides information about the composition of Canada's diverse population.'

Below the question, a second note indicated that 'An ancestor is usually more distant than a grandparent' and examples of ethnic origins were listed as follows: Canadian, English, French, Chinese, East Indian, Italian, German, Scottish, Irish, Cree, Mi'kmaq, Salish, Métis, Inuit, Filipino, Dutch, Ukrainian, Polish, Portuguese, Greek, Korean, Vietnamese, Jamaican, Jewish, Lebanese, Salvadorean, Somali, Colombian, etc.

As well, additional instructions were provided to respondents in the 2011 NHS Guide:

This question refers to the ethnic or cultural origin or origins of a person's ancestors. Other than Aboriginal persons, most people can trace their origins to their ancestors who first came to this continent. Ancestry should not be confused with citizenship or nationality.

For all persons, report the specific ethnic or cultural group or groups to which their ancestors belonged, not the language they spoke. For example, report 'Haitian' rather than 'French,' or 'Austrian' rather than 'German.'

For persons of East Indian or South Asian origins, report a specific origin or origins. Do not report 'Indian.' For example, report 'East Indian from India,' 'East Indian from Guyana,' or indicate the specific group, such as 'Punjabi' or 'Tamil.'

For persons with Aboriginal ancestors, report a specific origin or origins. For example, report 'Cree,' 'Mi'kmaq,' 'Ojibway,' 'Métis,' or 'North American Indian.' Do not report 'Indian.'

Comparability of ethnic origin data across data sources (such as the 2011 NHS and 2006 Census) is affected by differences in survey collection methods; question wording, questionnaire format, examples and instructions; approaches to data processing; and the social and political climate at the time of data collection.

For additional information on the collection and dissemination of ethnic origin data, refer to the Ethnic Origin Reference Guide, 2011 National Household Survey.

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