Where does data come from?

Statistics Canada collects data directly from individuals and businesses, and when possible, uses existing data from government and private sector organizations. Data can also be combined from different sources to provide additional insight into a specific subject. Data collection is done in the most timely and cost-efficient manner, ensuring that data quality and accuracy are high, and that response burden is lessened where possible.

We collect data directly

Statistics Canada employs several direct collection methods to compile data essential to researchers and policy makers in order to provide them with insight into our society and economy – creating a statistical portrait of our country. Direct survey-taking methods include collection by paper, by telephone, in person, as well as with online and crowdsourcing surveys.

We use existing data sources

Statistics Canada has been turning existing data into official statistics for about 100 years. Government agencies and private sector organizations collect data as part of their ongoing operations, and once received, we turn them into official statistics. Using existing data reduces time and effort in data collection, and helps to improve data quality, accuracy and timeliness of results.

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