- Symbol legend
- Data symbols
- Data quality symbols
- Data analysis symbols
- Symbols no longer in use
- Presentation of table symbols
- Formatting symbols for electronic publications
Symbol legend
The symbols described in this document apply to all data published by Statistics Canada from all origins, including surveys, censuses and administrative sources, as well as straight tabulations and all estimations.
Symbol | Description |
---|---|
. | not available for any reference period |
.. | not available for a specific reference period |
... | not applicable |
0 | true zero or a value rounded to zero |
0^{s} | value rounded to 0 (zero) where there is a meaningful distinction between true zero and the value that was rounded |
^{p} | preliminary |
^{r} | revised |
x | suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act |
^{E} | use with caution |
F | too unreliable to be published |
[blank] or ^{A-D} | acceptable or better |
high-level correction | |
* | significantly different from reference category (p < 0.05) |
<LOD | less than the limit of detection |
Data symbols
. not available for any reference period
This symbol is used when the figure has never been published for any reference period. The symbol implies that the underlying time series does not exist, but theoretically could exist.
Example:
Consumer Price Index, food, Montreal
The only commodities data collected for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) at the city level include those related to shelter. Therefore, in this example, the data are not available for the city of Montreal because commodities data collected for the CPI do not include food at the municipal or city level.
.. not available for a specific reference period
This symbol is used when the time series exists but the figure is not published for a specific reference period.
Example:
Date | Exchange rate in Canadian dollars |
---|---|
June 8, 2001 | 0.6617 |
June 9, 2001 | .. |
June 10, 2001 | .. |
June 11, 2001 | 0.6531 |
June 12, 2001 | 0.6611 |
Note: The figures for June 9 and 10 are missing because the data are not collected on the weekend. The symbol '..' indicates that the specific reference period is within the reference period of the time series. Leave the data cell empty if the series exists but the data point is outside the reference period of the time series.
... not applicable
This symbol is used when an entry for the table cell is not logically possible. For example, there could not be any data for 'legal drivers under 15 years of age' or 'women with prostate cancer.' In such cases, no time series will exist.
Example:
Age group | Vehicle type | Population | |
---|---|---|---|
Truck | Bus | ||
0 to 15 years | ... | ... | 14,899 |
15 to 44 years | 8,456 | 401 | 15,678 |
45 to 64 years | 8,915 | 431 | 11,879 |
65 years and over | 1,599 | 34 | 7,321 |
Total | 19,970 | 866 | 49,777 |
Note: This symbol is only used when the data point is not logically possible. This symbol is not meant to be used when the author deems the data point to be 'too unreliable to be published' (see the section on data quality symbols).
^{s} data rounded to 0 (zero)
This symbol is used when a value has been rounded to 0 (zero) and in addition, there is a meaningful distinction between 'true zero' and the value that has been rounded to zero. This symbol is used as a superscript with a zero (i.e., '0^{s}') with a footnote indicating 'data rounded to 0.' This symbol is to be used on an exceptional basis. The data tables support this symbol as a data point characteristic. The author divisions are responsible for determining when this symbol will be used.
^{p} preliminary
This symbol is used when the figure is preliminary. A preliminary figure is subject to revision. The data tables support this symbol as a data point characteristic. The author divisions are responsible for determining when this symbol will be used.
^{r} revised
This symbol is used when the figure is revised. The data tables support this symbol as a data point characteristic. The author divisions are responsible for determining when this symbol will be used.
x suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act
This symbol is used only when a data point is suppressed to protect the confidentiality of respondents. The symbol cannot be used for any other purpose, nor may it be replaced by any other symbol.
<LOD less than the limit of detection
This symbol is used when laboratory data obtained from the analysis of biospecimens and environmental samples are measured as greater than zero but below the concentration at which a specific quantity can be determined. This symbol is supported as a data point characteristic. It is only used in direct measure surveys.
Example:
Group | Age | N | % <LOD | Geometric mean | 10^{th} Percentile | 50^{th} Percentile | 90^{th} Percentile | 95^{th} Percentile | ||||||||||
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
Estimate | Confidence interval | Estimate | Confidence interval | Estimate | Confidence interval | Estimate | Confidence interval | Estimate | Confidence interval | |||||||||
From | To | From | To | From | To | From | To | From | To | |||||||||
Total | 3 to 79 years | 5,642 | 34.47 | 17 | 15 | 20 | <LOD | <LOD | <LOD | 9.9 | 9.2 | 11.0 | 350 | 310 | 390 | 640 | 510 | 770 |
Males | 3 to 79 years | 2,815 | 34.03 | 17 | 15 | 20 | <LOD | <LOD | <LOD | 8.7 | 7.1 | 10.0 | 310^{E} | 190 | 440 | 470 | 340 | 610 |
Females | 3 to 79 years | 2,827 | 34.91 | 17 | 15 | 20 | <LOD | <LOD | <LOD | 11.0 | 8.0 | 13.0 | 390 | 260 | 520 | 810 | 560 | 1,100 |
Data quality symbols
These are the recommended data quality symbols that should be used when data quality assessment information is available.
Symbol | Meaning |
---|---|
^{E} (superscript) | use with caution |
F | too unreliable to be published |
[Blank] or ^{A} to ^{D} | acceptable or better |
high-level correction |
F too unreliable to be published
When a figure is 'too unreliable to be published,' the data point is suppressed and the symbol 'F' appears in the data cell.
[Blank] or ^{A} to ^{D} acceptable or better
When the figure is not accompanied by a data quality symbol, it means that the quality of the data was assessed to be 'acceptable or better' according to the policies and standards of Statistics Canada. To denote specific levels of 'acceptable or better' quality, letter grades such as ^{A} to ^{D} should be used.
high-level correction
This symbol is used when a high-level correction is made in a statistical product. A notice describes the correction and indicates when it occurred.
A high-level correction is defined as a correction that has a major impact on overall analysis, comparability or understanding of a statistical product. It affects the 'fitness for use' of the statistical product.
The correction symbol is added after the product title in The Daily release, a publication, data table, products published by the Census of Population or other statistical products with an overlay link displaying the correction note. The correction notice will also be included in the various download outputs.
Data analysis symbols
* significantly different from reference category (p < 0.05)
Example: * significantly different from preceding period (p < 0.05)
Symbols no longer in use
— nil or zero
This symbol is no longer in use and has been replaced by 0 (zero).
-- too small to be expressed
This symbol is no longer in use and has been replaced by 0 (zero). On an exceptional basis, '0^{s}' (i.e., zero with a superscripted 's') may be used to indicate that the data have been rounded to 0 (zero).
Presentation of table symbols
Table symbols are organized into two categories: symbols that replace a data point value and symbols that accompany a data point value.
Replace | Accompany |
---|---|
. | p |
.. | r |
-- | 0^{s} |
... | ^{E} |
x | |
F | |
<LOD |
The symbols that replace a data point value should be entered where the data point value would normally appear. Replacement symbols should be formatted with the same font characteristics (font, effects and alignment) as the data point value.
Formatting symbols for electronic publications
For online display such as HTML, accompanying symbols should appear in the same cell as the data value.
Example:
132.3^{r}
For downloadable formats like CSV, accompanying symbols may appear in their own column next to the data column.
Example:
Data column | Symbol |
---|---|
132.3 | ^{r} |