Transcript of the chat session on population counts and growth, 2011 Census, which occurred on Monday, February 13, 2012, from 1:30 to 2:30 PM, EST

Note: This was a bilingual chat session, which means that the participants were able to submit their questions in English or French. Statistics Canada respects the Official Languages Act and is committed to ensuring that information products of equal quality are available in both English and French. For that reason, all the questions and answers have been translated in the other official language.

 Laurent Martel: Welcome everyone. It is 1:35 p.m. EST and the session is now open. This is a bilingual chat session, which means that you can submit your questions in English or French. I will try to get to them in a timely manner and I will respond in the official language in which the question was asked.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 1:35:12

 Chris: Laurent, I have already been using the new data this week but one thing I was recently asked about that I'm unsure of is where military service people are counted on Census Day - their permanent residence or the base in which they're residing. Can you clarify this? Are university students counted in a similar fashion?
Monday, February 13, 2012, 1:38:47

 Laurent Martel: Armed forces personnel are enumerated in the census, regardless of whether they are in Canada or outside Canada. Those living in Canada are enumerated at their usual place of residence. Those living outside the country can provide an usual place of residence in Canada or they must report the address that is on the voters registry. They must also report their base. Students are also included in the census, but not those who were living outside the country on Census Day if their usual place of residence was outside the country.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 1:46:34

 SofieMA: Hi there, what is the difference between census counts and population estimates? Are there any differences between the two in terms of increases and decreases in population, or do they more or less show the same trends.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 1:40:01

 Laurent Martel: The two data sources meet different needs. Population estimates are adjusted to take into account census undercoverage. Usually, population estimates are slightly higher than census counts for that reason, although the trends are the same.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 1:42:44

 greatsn: Can you give some examples of overcoverage in the 2011 Census?
Monday, February 13, 2012, 1:41:39

 Laurent Martel: There are different ways for someone to be enumerated more than once in the census. For example, students may be reported by their parents as living with them, and students can also report themselves at their own apartment. Usually, fewer people are enumerated more than once than people who are not enumerated at all.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 1:37:32

 Joelle Duguay: Hello, I know that the age and sex data will be available in May. However, previous censuses have shown that the men/women ratio is about 50/50. Is it safe to think it will be the same in 2011?
Monday, February 13, 2012, 1:42:22

 Laurent Martel: The 2011 Census data by age and sex will be released on May 29. It is only then that we can confirm the ratio of men to women in Canada.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 1:46:47

 Chris: Are the 33 CMAs identifed in the 2011 Census the same as 5 years ago?
Monday, February 13, 2012, 1:44:09

 Laurent Martel: Yes, they are the same as in the previous census, although the boundaries have changed in some cases.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 1:50:06

 Gary Marshall: Congrads on the newly released 2011 Census Population and dwelling counts for Canada report. I live in rural Ottawa and work in various rural locales in Eastern Ontario, New Brunswick, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Based on your press release last Wednesday, it appears the 3 largest urban centres - Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver have grown greatly. Q#1 Did the City of Ottawa grow as fast? q#2 Did the rural population decrease within the Ottawa CMA (in absolute or % #'s)? q#3 Did the rural areas (generally across Canada show a decrease ) in population similar to Northern and Southwestern NB? Thanks for developing the 'chat with an expert" , I'll join the chat and see what the other Q's in Canada are.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 1:45:13

 Laurent Martel: Population growth in Ottawa-Gatineau was 9.1% between 2006 and 2011. For Toronto, it was 9.2%, for Vancouver 9.3% and for the Montréal CMA, it was 5.2%. A CMA is a large metropolitan centre. In the Ottawa-Gatineau CMA, we can distinguish between the City of Ottawa and other municipalities. The population growth of the City of Ottawa, known as a census subdivision in the 2011 census geography, was 8.8%. Within Ottawa-Gatineau, 933,596 people were living within a population centre. Thus, the rural population within the CMA of Ottawa-Gatineau was 302,728. The rural population of Ottawa-Gatineau in 2006 was 266,040. Across Canada, the proportion of people living in rural areas is decreasing. It was 18.9% in 2011. It varied from one province to the next, with higher proportions in the territories and the Atlantic provinces. The Census in Brief entitled "Canada's rural population since 1851" could be of interest to you.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 1:59:16

 Andrew Cardozo: I sent this question in but then my page went blank so not sure if you got it - sorry if you get this twice: Do you have figures beyond the number of people - do you deal with age demographics. I am with the sector councils, which address skills development, and the working age by region and by occupation is of considerable interest, as are trends about where working age people are living. And would you be willing to do a conference call with the councils, perhaps about 20-30 reps from various sectors, in the next couple of weeks.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 1:48:33

 Laurent Martel: This first release of the Census was only about population and dwellings counts. The second release, on May 29, will have information about age and sex, so we'll have data about working age groups then. In 2013, the results from the National Household Survey will have more information on the characteristics of the Canadian population. We will be in touch with you in a private message about the conference call.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 1:55:43

 debbiez13: Good afternoon, I am interested in finding demographical information from the regions within Toronto for the 2011 Census. All I am coming up with is 2006 data and for Toronto or Ontario as a whole. Where can I find this type of information? Thanks so much!
Monday, February 13, 2012, 1:49:50

 Laurent Martel: This information is available on our website. Here is a link to municipalities within the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 1:59:16

 Mme_Ms_gr_8_class: Good afternoon! My grade 7/8 class was discussing the census this morning and have some questions. How long has the census been going on and are the questions always the same?
Monday, February 13, 2012, 1:50:43

 Laurent Martel: The first Canadian census was taken in New France in 1666 by Intendant Jean Talon. The recorded population (excluding Aboriginal persons and royal troops) was 3,215. The first decennial census was taken in 1871. The questions have changed over time. If you want more information on the history of the census, you can visit: Overview of the Census of Population and History of the Census of Canada.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 2:04:08

 Jill Hudson: How can the figures be used practically by townships CAO's or business owners to determine their business plans or how they will proceed?
Monday, February 13, 2012, 1:52:07

 Laurent Martel: Census data can be used in different ways. Looking where the population is located and how it grows can help local area administrators to plan for schools, hospitals, roads, public transportation, emergency services, and service delivery to the population. It can help business people to identify their target markets. Census data are available for small geographical areas, such as city blocks. The Census data navigator can be a great tool to access the data using a geographic approach.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 2:04:24

 Cam: Hi there, Will there be a new release of the Urban Area boundary file? Thanks
Monday, February 13, 2012, 1:53:13

 Moderator: Hi Cam, thank you for your question. Unfortunately, that subject is outside the expert's area of expertise. Not to worry, we will follow up with you by email in the following business days.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 1:52:46

 Robert Calladine: Laurent I have just had a chance to look at the 2011 Census results. I have 2 questions 1) It does not appear that inmates are counted in 2011 - but they were in 2006 - correct? why? 2) I would like your opinion as to the accuracy of the census counts. At first glance the 2011 numbers seem to be more in line with what would have been anticipated. Whereas, in 2006 there appeared to be a large numbers of people that were not counted (but households were) making 2001-2006 comparisons difficult especially in inner (older) parts of cities. So, how valid are comparisons between 2006 2011 going to be?
Monday, February 13, 2012, 1:55:34

 Laurent Martel: For your first question, inmates have been counted in the 2011 Census. For your second question, the quality of the 2011 Census population and dwelling counts is comparable to previous censuses.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 2:07:32

 smmatstatisticscanada: If I am not mistaken there was some debate last year or so about using a long form or short form to collect data. I did not follow the debate in detail - but if it impacts collection of population data, how will it/or how has it impacted data of the 2006 census (or how will it impact future data collection)?
Monday, February 13, 2012, 1:57:29

 Laurent Martel: The 2011 Census comprises 10 questions which correspond to the 2006 Census short-form questionnaire. The 2006 Census long-term questionnaire was converted into a new voluntary survey called the National Household Survey (NHS). Data from the NHS will be disseminated by Statistics Canada in 2013. The response rates for the new NHS are comparable to other surveys from Statistics Canada. The data quality of the 2011 Census is comparable to previous censuses. The response rate was slightly higher in the 2011 Census, at 98.4% compared to 97.0% for the 2006 Census.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 2:10:26

 smmatstatisticscanada: Sorry - my last question refers to the latest census and not 2006.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 2:00:04

 mohalra: Hello, Is the data on religious affiliation(s) out as yet? Do you know of any analysis done on religious affiliations? Thanks
Monday, February 13, 2012, 2:07:34

 Laurent Martel: The data about religious denominations will be available with the results from the National Household Survey in 2013. For help with analysis, you can contact our National Contact Centre.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 2:12:46

 Laurent Martel: Feel free to ask more questions! There is only 15 minutes left before the end of the chat session.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 2:13:45

 greatsn: Hi Laurent, you're doing a great job answering the questions. Laurent, it was mentioned earlier in a previous response that the proportion of rural population has decrease. It was also mentioned earlier that some CMAs' boundaries have changed since the 2006 census. Is there a way to measure how much the decrease in rural population is attributed to the changes in these boundaries and/or "urban sprawl"?
Monday, February 13, 2012, 2:20:14

 Laurent Martel: The data we released last week were all in "final 2011 geographic boundaries". That is, data from the 2006 Census were recomputed to take into account new boundaries for the 2011 Census. That way, we can compare the different regions in Canada and not worry about boundary changes. More on changes in geographic boundaries is available here: Standard Geographical Classification. Concordance files comparing the 2006 and 2011 censuses are available free. The urban sprawl phenomenon is not just limited to rural areas becoming urban (population centres): it is also municipalities growing faster than other municipalities within a CMA. Maps from the 2011 Census show that municipalities located close to the border of CMAs often show higher rates of population growth than those located in the centre of CMAs. Measuring urban sprawl is always a challenge!
Monday, February 13, 2012, 2:29:57

 Julie D: Hi Laurent, which provinces and territories had the biggest growth and which had the smallest? Thank you!
Monday, February 13, 2012, 2:21:07

 Laurent Martel: Of both provinces and territories, Yukon had the biggest population growth at 11.6%. Among the provinces only, Alberta saw the largest increase, up 10.8%. The population growth of the Northwest Territories remained virtually unchanged (0.0%), while Nova Scotia posted growth of 0.9%.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 2:26:31

 srichtersalomons: When reporting on knowledge of official languages, do you take the age of the residents into consideration? I was just wondering how you account for children that are too young to speak any languages. Thank you.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 2:22:06

 Moderator: srichtersalomons, thank you for your question. Unfortunately, that subject is outside the expert's area of expertise. Not to worry - we will follow up with you by email in the following business days.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 2:21:02

 Andrew Cardozo: Do you anticipate the trends, the western shift, to coninute in the decades ahead? What factors would change that path? And age-wise, will the west be younger than the east?
Monday, February 13, 2012, 2:22:23

 Laurent Martel: Population Projections for Canada, the Provinces and Territories are available for free on our website. The western provinces usually show a higher fertility rate and net inflows of migrants from other parts of the country. However, things can change in the forthcoming years, as things have changed in the last 5 years! For example, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador went from negative to positive rates of population growth, mainly because of shifts in interprovincial migration patterns. Age and sex data from the 2011 Census will be disseminated on May 29, 2012.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 2:34:09

 Darren: This is an excellent forum! Are similar chat sessions planned for the May 29th release of age and sex data and the September 19th release of families, household and dwelling data?
Monday, February 13, 2012, 2:24:20

 Moderator: Hi Darren, thank you for your complimentary question! Unfortunately, it is outside the expert's area of expertise. We will be looking into this and we will follow up with you by email in the following business days.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 2:23:41

 Beady: I understand that some First Nations decline to participate in the Census. Does this affect the overall accuracy of on-reserve statistics?
Monday, February 13, 2012, 2:31:54

 Moderator: Hi Beady, thank you for your question. Unfortunately, that subject is outside the expert's area of expertise. We will be sure to follow up with you by email in the following business days.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 2:30:15

 greatsn: Laurent, I have a question that is probably not best answered in this forum. It is in regards to the numbers in the Census Data Navigator. It is in regards to a particular CSD of Ontario. Is there a way to contact you or one of your colleagues for a response? Thanks for you time Laurent. :-)
Monday, February 13, 2012, 2:33:22

 Moderator: greatsn, thanks for the good question. Unfortunately, it is outside the expert's area of expertise. We will definitely be following up with you by email in the following business days though.
Monday, February 13, 2012, 2:32:45

 Laurent Martel: Thank you for all your questions and comments! It is 2:35 p.m. EST, which means that the chat session is now over. The full transcript of this chat session will be made available on the website shortly. Have a great day. Laurent
Monday, February 13, 2012, 2:35:21

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