Census subdivision - previous census

Detailed definition

'Census subdivision – previous census' refers to the census subdivisions as of January 1, 2006, the geographic reference date for the 2006 Census. A 'best fit' linkage is established between dissemination blocks for the 2011 Census and census subdivisions (municipalities) for the 2006 Census. This linkage ensures that data from the current census can be tabulated for the census subdivisions from the previous census.

Image of census subdivision - previous census

Censuses

2011, 2006, 2001

Remarks

The boundaries and names of census subdivisions (municipalities) can change from one census to the next because of annexations, dissolutions and incorporations. These changes can result in fewer, larger census subdivisions and historical data analyses becoming more complex. The concept of 'census subdivision – previous census' was established to provide a means of tabulating current census data according to census subdivisions as they were delineated for the previous census.

Census data are tabulated for each standard geographic area by aggregating the data for individual dissemination blocks. Dissemination blocks respect the boundaries of census subdivisions for the current census (2011 Census), but do not necessarily respect the boundaries of census subdivisions for the previous census (2006 Census). In order to facilitate the tabulation of 2011 Census data for the census subdivisions (CSDs) as they existed for the 2006 Census, the 2011 dissemination block representative points are overlaid onto the previous census CSD boundaries. The goal is to ensure that at least one dissemination block is linked to each previous census CSD. In a few cases, there is not an exact match—that is, some dissemination blocks straddle two or more CSDs from the previous census, but can only be linked to one CSD. For these cases, a 'best fit' approach is used to ensure that the representative point for at least one dissemination block is linked to every previous census CSD. Thus, reasonably accurate tabulations of 2011 Census data can be produced for the census subdivisions as of January 1, 2006, the geographic reference date for the 2006 Census.

Refer to the related definitions of census subdivision (CSD); dissemination block (DB); geographic reference date and representative point.

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