Satellite Accounts and Special Studies

One of the strengths of the Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts lies with its flexibility. While the system lays out the concepts, accounts and accounting rigour required to produce a set of integrated and internally consistent accounts it also affords the compiler the flexibility of variation, and in a sense ‘expand’ the framework to address a specific need.

At the limit, this ‘expanding’ is referred to as satellite accounting. There are essentially two types of satellite accounts that can be produced. One type of satellite account involves a rearrangement of the classifications or data (for example, more detail or alternative aggregations) and possible addition of complementary information of the existing core accounts. These satellite accounts do not change the underlying concepts of the core system but provide an expanded perspective on a particular sector, group of products or activity.

The second type of satellite account seeks to change the underlying concepts of the core System of Macroeconomic Accounts. This would involve, for example, changing the concept of production (for example, including volunteer activities as production), consumption or capital formation.

Statistics Canada has a rich history in satellite accounting, ranging from tourism, culture and pensions to unpaid household work. In all cases these accounts provide an expanded view of the economy and society.

The following represent various satellite accounts and special macroeconomic account studies that have been published by Statistics Canada over the last 35 years.

The following links are to studies released over the last number of years.

Date modified: