Archived – Program 3: Censuses

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Program description

The program's purpose is to provide statistical information, analyses and services that measure changes in the Canadian population, demographic characteristics, and the agricultural sector. It serves as a basis for public and private decision making, research and analysis in areas of concern to the people of Canada. The program includes the Censuses of Population and Agriculture. The Census of Population provides detailed information on population sub-groups and for small geographical levels required to assess the effects of specifically targeted policy initiatives and serves as a foundation for other statistical surveys. Population counts and estimates are used in determining electoral boundaries, distribution of federal transfer payments, and the transfer and allocation of funds among regional and municipal governments, school boards and other locally-based agencies within provinces. The Census of Agriculture provides a comprehensive picture of the agriculture sector at the national, provincial and sub-provincial levels and is mandated by the Statistics Act. The program meets statistical requirements specified constitutionally, and supports those in statutory requirements and regulatory instruments. All per capita measures in fiscal policies and arrangements and other economic analysis, and in program and service planning, come from this program's statistical information.

Table 1 Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars) — Censuses
2013/2014 Main Estimates 2013/2014 Planned Spending 2013/2014 Total Authorities Available for Use 2013/2014 Actual Spending (authorities used) 2013/2014 Difference (actual minus planned)
11,517,721 11,517,721 50,861,303 45,036,722 33,519,001
Table 2 Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs]) — Censuses
2013/2014 Planned 2013/2014 Actual 2013/2014 Difference (actual minus planned)
128 512 384
  • The difference, in both spending and FTEs, for this program is mainly the result of additional funding received in-year through Supplementary Estimates for the 2016 Census of Population Program and Census of Agriculture. A portion of the increase is also explained by additional funding received during the year to compensate equivalent salary expenditures to meet the employer's legal obligations, for example, parental leave.
  • The majority of the difference between actual spending and the total authorities available for use for this program is related to a Census of Population reprofile of $4.8 million to 2014/2015 to align budget with spending profile.
Table 3 Performance Indicators — Censuses
Program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Government policy makers use the Census of Population and the Census of Agriculture to make informed decisions Percentage of intended key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) using the data regularly 100 Unavailable for 2013/2014
Percentage of intended key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) satisfied with the data 80 Unavailable for 2013/2014

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned — Censuses

Census of Population and the Census of Agriculture are used by government policy makers to make informed decisions.

2013/2014 activities

  • Statistics Canada continued to produce statistical information and analyses and to provide services that measure changes in the Canadian population, demographic characteristics, and the agricultural sector.
  • Planning for the 2016 Census of Population Program and the Census of Agriculture: For details, please see Organizational Priorities in Section 1 of this document.

Sub-program 3.1: Census of Population

Program description

This program plans, develops and implements all collection, data processing and dissemination of the periodic decennial and quinquennial censuses of population, Canada's national inventory of key socio-economic phenomena. The census provides a statistical portrait of Canada and its people. This program is the only reliable source of detailed data for small groups (such as lone-parent families, ethnic groups, industrial and occupational categories and immigrants) and for areas as small as a city neighbourhood or as large as the country itself. Because the Canadian census is collected every five years and the questions are similar, it is possible to compare changes that have occurred in the make-up of Canada's population over time. The census includes every person living in Canada on Census Day, as well as Canadians who are abroad, either on a military base, attached to a diplomatic mission, at sea or in port aboard Canadian-registered merchant vessels. Persons in Canada including those holding a temporary resident permit, study permit or work permit, and their dependents, are also part of the census. This program is mandated in many statutes and acts including the Statistics Act, Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act, Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Regulations, Canada Council for the Arts Act, Provincial Subsidies Act, Railway Relocation and Crossing Act, Industrial and Regional Development Act, Constitutional Amendments, Income Tax Regulations, Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security Act, and the War Veterans Allowance Act.

Table 4 Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars) — Census of Population
2013/2014 Planned Spending 2013/2014 Actual Spending 2013/2014 Difference (actual minus planned)
9,697,386 39,899,054 30,201,668
Table 5 Human Resources (FTEs) — Census of Population
2013/2014 Planned 2013/2014 Actual 2013/2014 Difference (actual minus planned)
111 462 351
  • The difference is mainly due to the funding received in-year through Supplementary Estimates for the 2016 Census of Population Program.
Table 6 Performance Indicators — Census of Population
Sub-program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Government policy makers use Census of Population data to make informed decisions Percentage of key policy makers that have been consulted to understand their evolving data needs 100 100
Percentage of major statistical outputs publicly released as planned 100 93
Percentage of intended key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) using the data regularly 100 Unavailable for 2013/2014

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned — Census of Population

Census of Population data are used by government policy makers to make informed decisions.

2013/2014 activities

  • Statistics Canada released the results of the 2011 National Household Survey. For details, please see Organizational Priorities in Section 1 of this document.
  • Release of final coverage error estimates for the Census of Population Program: Statistics Canada completed data processing, analysis and evaluation and released the final coverage error estimates for the Census of Population Program. Coverage errors occur when people or dwellings are enumerated in error or missed during the census collection period.
  • Statistics Canada conducted research to explore the potential of expanding the use of administrative data in the Census Programs with the goal of reducing response burden and costs while maintaining or improving data quality.
  • Percentage of major statistical outputs publicly released as planned: This indicator was not met because the income and housing release was rescheduled to fix a miscalculation that was found during the data verification stage.

Sub-program 3.2: Census of Agriculture

Program description

This program conducts the quinquennial Census of Agriculture, and produces and publishes economic series on the agriculture sector that flow to the System of National Accounts (SNA) to form the agriculture component of the gross domestic product (GDP) and thereby satisfy requirements of the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Regulations. Information from this program is used to improve the register of farms for the purpose of conducting surveys and censuses to ensure proper survey coverage using samples that are as small as statistically possible and thereby minimizing response burden. This program provides a comprehensive picture of the agriculture sector at the national, provincial and sub-provincial levels and is mandated by the Statistics Act. Small area and benchmarking data produced quinquennially from the Census of Agriculture are critical to industry structural analysis, crisis management, environmental programs, pesticide management, carbon credits, water-use planning and protection, rural development and traceability. No other comprehensive source of these data currently exists and coverage of farms of all sizes is important. In some sectors and regions, small farms are significant to the economy and data are required for policy and program development.

Table 7 Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars) — Census of Agriculture
2013/2014 Planned Spending 2013/2014 Actual Spending 2013/2014 Difference (actual minus planned)
1,820,335 5,137,668 3,317,333
Table 8 Human Resources (FTEs) — Census of Agriculture
2013/2014 Planned 2013/2014 Actual 2013/2014 Difference (actual minus planned)
17 50 33
  • The difference is mainly due to the funding received in-year through Supplementary Estimates for the 2016 Census of Agriculture.
Table 9 Performance Indicators — Census of Agriculture
Sub-program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Government policy makers use Census of Agriculture data to make informed decisions Percentage of key policy makers that have been consulted to understand their evolving data needs 100 100
Percentage of major statistical outputs publicly released as planned 100 94
Percentage of intended key users (federal departments, provinces and territories, international organizations and others) using the data regularly 100 100

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned—Census of Agriculture

Census of Agriculture data are used by government policy makers to make informed decisions.

2013/2014 activities

  • Statistics Canada continued to produce statistical information and analyses and to provide services that measure changes in the agricultural sector.
  • Release of all remaining 2011 Census of Agriculture products: Statistics Canada analyzed and released data from the Agriculture-Population Linkage Database, released articles in the Canadian Agriculture at a Glance series, and benchmarked the farm financial data series using the 2011 Census.
  • Prepare recommendations on the use of income tax data for future censuses of agriculture: The plans for the 2011 Census of Agriculture included a strategic investment project to assess the feasibility of using tax data to replace the financial data currently collected from respondents. Statistics Canada prepared specifications and began modifying collection and processing systems and operational processes to accommodate tax data replacement for certain financial questions on future censuses of agriculture.
  • Other administrative data for the Census of Agriculture: In partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Statistics Canada undertook to further examine ways to reduce the burden on respondents by consulting key stakeholders from federal departments, the provinces and the industry on potential sources of administrative agricultural data held by them or others. The objective was to investigate whether these sources could be used to supplement or replace farm data collected by Statistics Canada in the Census of Agriculture and in agricultural surveys. The investigation found that while administrative data will not eliminate the need for a Census of Agriculture, a few administrative sources could replace part of a future census or be used in ongoing agriculture surveys. These findings will be taken into account in planning and further developing these programs in the years ahead.
  • Percentage of major statistical outputs released as planned: The target for this indicator was 100% and the actual result was 94%. The difference is due to the postponement of two of the six planned analytical articles for the Canadian Agriculture at a Glance series. The two remaining articles will be released by the end of October 2014.
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