Statistics Canada
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Place of birth of person

Status

Place of birth of person was approved as a departmental standard on September 20, 2010.

Definition

Place of birth refers to the name of the province, territory or country in which the person was born. It may refer to a province or territory if the person was born in Canada. It refers to a country if the person was born outside Canada. The geographic location is specified according to boundaries current at the time the data are collected, not the boundaries at the time of birth.

Person refers to an individual and is the unit of analysis for most social statistics programmes.

Relation to previous standard

This standard reformats the previous standards for place of birth: Place of birth, Canada and Place of birth, outside Canada. The classification for those born in Canada has been replaced. The classification for those born outside Canada has been replaced.

Conformity to relevant internationally recognized standards

This standard conforms to the recommendations for censuses contained in the United Nations' Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses, Revision 2, 2008. In its discussion of place of birth and country of birth, the United Nations (UN) notes the importance of distinguishing between those born in the country where the census is taken and those born elsewhere. For the foreign born, the UN recommends collecting information on the specific country of birth, according to national boundaries existing at the time of the census. This standard follows this recommendation. For those born in the country, the UN recommends that place of birth is coded to the geographic unit in which the person was born. Two possibilities are recognized for the latter: the geographical unit (e.g., province or territory) in which the birth took place or the geographical unit in which the person's mother resided at the time of the person's birth. Countries should state which of these definitions is used. This standard conforms to the first of these two options, defining "place of birth" with reference to the geographic unit where the person was born. The geographic unit in which the person's mother resided is reported as a completely distinct variable "mother's usual place of residence".

This standard also conforms to the Conference of European Statistician's Recommendations for the 2010 Censuses of Population and Housing which are the same as those offered by the UN and referred to above.

Classification(s)