Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics

Serving Canadians

Catalogue number: Catalogue number: 11-629-x

Issue number: 2015001

Release date: January 15, 2014
Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics - Transcript

Serving Canadians: Description of visuals

Statistics Canada supports the vitality of our country's democracy.

We provide Canadians with relevant, objective information for making informed decisions.

We have endorsed the United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics to help meet our mandate.

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This is how we best serve Canadians.

These principles are applied to everything we do.

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1. We are impartial.

We publish relevant findings without fear or favour.

(White screen, black tie moving back and forth, being blown by the wind.)

2. We are professional.

(White screen, pile of balled up paper, one piece of paper is thrown on top of the pile and falls to the ground.)

We have rigorous quality assurance practices.

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3. We are scientific.

We publish leading edge research and use state-of-the-art methodology in producing our data.

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4. We are vocal.

We provide information on the use and interpretation of our statistics.

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5. We are flexible.

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We draw information from many sources.

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6. We protect confidentiality.

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We operate in secure physical and digital environments.

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And then the lines get erased.)

7. We are transparent.

We fully disclose our methods and standards.

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8. We collaborate.

(Red Maple Leaf appears in the middle of the information highway.)

We collect and share data with our Canadian partners.

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9. We promote efficiency.

We review and update our methods, processes and systems.

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10. We are global.

We cooperate with international partners.

Statistics guide our country.

These principles guide our organization.

Statistics Canada.

(The image fades into the Canada wordmark against a black background.)


The Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics were adopted by the United Nations Statistical Commission at its special session held from April 11 to 15, 1994.

Principle 1 - Official statistics provide an indispensable element in the information system of a democratic society, serving the Government, the economy and the public with data about the economic, demographic, social and environmental situation. To this end, official statistics that meet the test of practical utility are to be compiled and made available on an impartial basis by official statistical agencies to honour citizens' entitlement to public information.

Principle 2 - To retain trust in official statistics, the statistical agencies need to decide according to strictly professional considerations, including scientific principles and professional ethics, on the methods and procedures for the collection, processing, storage and presentation of statistical data.

Principle 3 - To facilitate a correct interpretation of the data, the statistical agencies are to present information according to scientific standards on the sources, methods and procedures of the statistics.

Principle 4 - The statistical agencies are entitled to comment on erroneous interpretation and misuse of statistics.

Principle 5 - Data for statistical purposes may be drawn from all types of sources, be they statistical surveys or administrative records. Statistical agencies are to choose the source with regard to quality, timeliness, costs and the burden on respondents.

Principle 6 - Individual data collected by statistical agencies for statistical compilation, whether they refer to natural or legal persons, are to be strictly confidential and used exclusively for statistical purposes.

Principle 7 - The laws, regulations and measures under which the statistical systems operate are to be made public.

Principle 8 - Coordination among statistical agencies within countries is essential to achieve consistency and efficiency in the statistical system.

Principle 9 - The use by statistical agencies in each country of international concepts, classifications and methods promotes the consistency and efficiency of statistical systems at all official levels.

Principle 10 - Bilateral and multilateral cooperation in statistics contributes to the improvement of systems of official statistics in all countries.

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