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Appendix A Glossary

The definitions of census terms, variables and concepts are presented here as they appear in the 2011 Census Dictionary (Catalogue no. 98-301-X2011001). Users should refer to the 2011 Census Dictionary for full definitions and additional remarks related to any concepts, such as information on direct and derived variables and their respective universe.

Census division (CD)
Census division (CD) is the general term for provincially legislated areas (such as county, municipalité régionale de comté and regional district) or their equivalents. Census divisions are intermediate geographic areas between the province/territory level and the municipality (census subdivision).
Census subdivision (CSD)
Census subdivision (CSD) is the general term for municipalities (as determined by provincial/territorial legislation) or areas treated as municipal equivalents for statistical purposes (e.g., Indian reserves, Indian settlements and unorganized territories).
Census tract (CT)

Census tracts (CTs) are small, relatively stable geographic areas that usually have a population between 2,500 and 8,000 persons. They are located in census metropolitan areas and in census agglomerations that had a core population of 50,000 or more in the previous census.

A committee of local specialists (for example, planners, health and social workers, and educators) initially delineates census tracts in conjunction with Statistics Canada. Once a census metropolitan area (CMA) or census agglomeration (CA) has been subdivided into census tracts, the census tracts are maintained even if the core population subsequently declines below 50,000.

Collection unit (CU)
Small geographic units used for the collection of census and NHS data. Collection units cover all the territory of Canada.
Collective dwelling
Refers to a dwelling of a commercial, institutional or communal nature. It may be identified by a sign on the premises or by an enumerator speaking with the person in charge, a resident, a neighbour, etc. Included are lodging or rooming houses, hotels, motels, tourist homes, nursing homes, hospitals, staff residences, communal quarters (military bases), work camps, jails, group homes, and so on. Collective dwellings may be occupied by usual residents or solely by foreign residents and/or by temporarily present persons.
Dissemination area (DA)
A dissemination area (DA) is a small, relatively stable geographic unit composed of one or more adjacent dissemination blocks. It is the smallest standard geographic area for which all census data are disseminated. DAs cover all the territory of Canada.
Refers to a set of living quarters in which a person or a group of persons reside or could reside.
Dwelling, private

Refers to a separate set of living quarters with a private entrance either from outside or from a common hall, lobby, vestibule or stairway inside the building. The entrance to the dwelling must be one that can be used without passing through the living quarters of someone else. The dwelling must meet the two conditions necessary for year-round occupancy:

  1. A source of heat or power (as evidenced by chimneys, power lines, oil or gas pipes or meters, generators, woodpiles, electric lights, heating pumps, solar heating panels, etc.).
  2. 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).

Dwellings that do not meet the conditions necessary for year-round occupancy are marginal dwellings. Private dwellings are classified into regular private dwellings and occupied marginal dwellings. Regular private dwellings are further classified into three major groups: occupied dwellings (occupied by usual residents), dwellings occupied by foreign and/or temporary residents and unoccupied dwellings. Marginal dwellings are classified as occupied by usual residents or by foreign and/or temporary residents. Marginal dwellings that were unoccupied on May 10, 2011, are not counted in the housing stock.

Dwelling, private, occupied by usual residents
Refers to a private dwelling in which a person or a group of persons is permanently residing. Also included are private dwellings whose usual residents are temporarily absent on May 10, 2011. Unless otherwise specified, all data in housing products are for occupied private dwellings, rather than for unoccupied private dwellings or dwellings occupied solely by foreign and/or temporary residents.
Refers to a person or a group of persons (other than foreign residents) who occupy the same dwelling and do not have a usual place of residence elsewhere in Canada. It may consist of a family group (census family) with or without other persons, of two or more families sharing a dwelling, of a group of unrelated persons, or of one person living alone. Household members who are temporarily absent on May 10, 2011 (e.g., temporarily residing elsewhere) are considered as part of their usual household. Every person is a member of one and only one household. Unless otherwise specified, all data in household reports are for private households only.
Households are classified into three groups
private households, collective households and households outside Canada.
Household, private
Refers to a person or a group of persons (other than foreign residents) who occupy a private dwelling and do not have a usual place of residence elsewhere in Canada.
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