Transcript of the chat session on 2016 Census - Population and dwelling counts, which occurred on Friday, February 10, 2017, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. EST

Note: This was a bilingual chat session, which means that the participants were able to submit their questions in English or French. Statistics Canada respects the Official Languages Act and is committed to ensuring that information products of equal quality are available in both English and French. For that reason, all the questions and answers have been translated in the other official language.

 Moderator at 12:29:19
Welcome everyone! This is a bilingual chat session, which means that you can submit your questions in English or French. Our experts will respond in a timely manner and in the official language in which the question was asked.

 brandon at 12:35:17
is it working

 Moderator at 12:38:13
Yes, thank you for participating.

 SuzyQ2 at 12:33:51
no audio for this I suppose?

 Moderator at 12:41:36
No, this will be a written chat session with our data experts. A transcription of the full chat session will also be available shortly after the session has ended.

 RMGoodnews at 12:37:22
Am I the only one but I have no audio here in Ottawa?

 Moderator at 12:45:38
Hi, thank you for your interest. This will be a written chat session. Feel free to send in your questions to our data experts! at 12:34:17
Where can I find DB level population and dwelling data?

 Laurent Martel at 12:45:41
Hi, Thanks for your question. You can go to GeoSearch to get access to DB data and related maps.Thanks.

 SuzyQ2 at 12:45:21
Is Stats Can going to get rid of the short-form for the census?

 Moderator at 12:48:37
Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, this question is not relevant to the topic of this chat. We will follow up with you by email in the following business days.

 jlam at 12:37:27
Will there be a release of this short form data (pop and dwelling count) without institutional residents, i.e., a population and dwelling universe that matches the long form data?

 Sandrine LeVasseur at 12:48:42
There will be several more tables published as we progress in the release schedule. The population in private households will be available in several tables (rounded). This concept corresponds to the population with long-form data for 2016.
The non-instutional collectives were not surveyed with the long form in 2016.
This universe corresponds to that used in the 2011 National Household Survey but differs slightly from the 2006 Census long-form population.

 NChilds at 12:35:59
We currently source CANSIM Table 051-0062: 'Estimates of population by census division, sex and age group for July 1, based on the Standard Geographical Classification (SGC) 2011 annual (persons)' for our municipal's population. From my understanding, these estimates include undercount, which was not included in the data released earlier this week. Will a similar table be release based on the 2016 Census, and if so when? If not, when will a population value with undercount be released?

 Laurent Martel at 12:49:00
Hi NChilds,
Thanks for your question. You are correct. Population estimates in CANSIM table 051-0062 include net census undercoverage.
During the coming months, as was done for previous censuses, Statistics Canada will conduct coverage studies to determine how many people were missed or counted more than once in the 2016 Census. The results of those coverage studies will be released in 2018, and revised population estimates will be available in fall 2018 for Canada, provinces and territories, and in winter 2019 for subprovincial areas.

 Guido at 12:35:16
Good morning. Thank you for your help. Could you please let us know when the Alberta's population per each constituency will be published? are you doing that in conjunction with the Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission?

 Laurent Martel at 12:49:04
Thanks for your question. We have just released Wednesday data for many levels of geography for Alberta including its CMA, CA, cities and Federal Electoral Districts.

 TEDHIL at 12:34:23
Could you provide any insights into the reasons for using a 1 in 4 households sample for the long-form for the 2016 Census? In the past, the long-form was distributed to 1 in 5 households, and the NHS went out to 1 in 3 households.

 Sandrine LeVasseur at 12:49:08
Thank you for your question.
This type of information can generally be found in the Guide to the Census of Population, 2016; however, the long-form data, along with some associated metadata, will be released starting October 25, 2017.

 Norrdou at 12:37:41
Noticed that the Census growth of 5% was a bit lower than the demographic estimates indicated. Any ideas on why the difference?

 Laurent Martel at 12:50:28
Good question! The population estimates that were released for July 2016 are preliminary and they will be revised with the population estimates for July 2017, which is the normal procedure for the population estimates program. Also, the population estimates for July 2016 are based on the 2011 Census, adjusted for net undercoverage. The census counts are never adjusted for net undercoverage. Coverage studies will be available in approximately two years and the population estimate will then be rebased on the 2016 Census taking into account these coverage studies. Please see the Statistics Canada website for more information on the differences between population estimates and census population counts.

 pssguy at 12:35:39
Is any of the raw data available to the public yet? If so, how can it be accessed. if not, when do you anticipate releasing tables. Tx

 Sandrine LeVasseur at 12:52:37
Hi, It is possible to download the comprehensive file for specific levels of geography. The file includes population and dwelling counts. Raw data will never be published for confidentiality reasons. However, there will be a Public Use Microdata File (PUMF) available at a later date.

 alexa at 12:43:12
Hello - Are you able to comment at this time on what level of under-reporting (under-coverage) you might expect with the Census 2016 population and private occupied dwellings? I believe that previous censuses had about 2% to 3% net undercoverage.

 Sandrine LeVasseur at 12:52:53
We are not in a position to comment on those results yet but the studies are underway. Results should be made available in 2018.

 Kingston Planner at 12:35:50
Hello, I am a planner with the City of Kingston. As you are aware, the City has only grown in population at 0.4% since 2011. In your opinion, what are the contributing factors to this small change?

 Laurent Martel at 12:53:51
Hi Kingston Planner, Thanks for your question. Lower growth in the City of Kingston may be explained by many factors. More data will become available in coming months, but other data sources tell us that that natural increase (difference between births and deaths) is now close to zero. Also, net international migration is not as high as in other Ontario cities (i.e., Toronto, Hamilton, etc.). Another factor to take into account is urban spread. Neighbouring municipalities posted higher growth rates (such as Loyalist, +4.6%; South Frontenac, +2.9%).

 pssguy at 12:40:42
When data is available for processing, will it just be in CANSIM tables for downloading or will you have an API?

 Sandrine LeVasseur at 12:54:06
The Census tables are not published in CANSIM. A series of varied download formats are made available but there are currently no plans I know of to have an API that would permit more granular or interactive downloading.
The licensing terms are quite permissive so it may be possible for other parties to design one.

 mparkin at 12:41:42
We are planners from the Region of Waterloo. We are noticing lower growth in one of our municipalities than expected. We are investigating, using our building permit data to compare with growth in total dwellings. What is the window of opportunity to submit any corrections we may be able to substantiate? We understand that Census will not reissue any publications but that the underlying data could be corrected as required.

 Sandrine LeVasseur at 12:54:40
Thanks for looking into the data. You will find more information on the formal review process on the Census web page. The deadline to submit a request for formal review is December 31, 2017.

 LEDUC at 12:34:44
According to your analytical documents, Canada's demographic weight continues to shift westward. On the occasion of Canada's 150th anniversary, it would have been interesting to have a map showing the location of the population centroid (mean or median point). I imagine that the point for 2016 would be somewhere in the Great Lakes region. Have you given the idea any thought? Where would that point be located?

 Laurent Martel at 12:54:45
Thank you for your question.
Our analysis does indeed show that the Canadian population has shifted westward over the last 150 years. For example, about one in three Canadians (31.6%) lived in the western provinces in 2016, the largest proportion ever.
We did not focus on the location of the population centroid, but it is obvious, based on our analyses, that this point has moved westward over the past decades. Instead, we focused on the proportion of the population that lives close to the American border. Our data show that two-thirds of the Canadian population lives less than 100 km from the border.

 chitchen@cityof... at 12:50:54
Will you be posting the responses to the questions, or do we need to wait and see the transcript after the chat?

 Moderator at 12:57:06
You may wish to press on the F5 button on your keyboard from time to time to refresh your page and see the answers from the data experts.

 NChilds at 12:44:16
Could you provide us with some context as to how 'undercount' (i.e. institutionalized population) is determined?

 Laurent Martel at 12:57:15
Hi NChilds,
Thanks for your question. For more context about undercoverage, I would invite you to consult our document titled Census Technical Report: Coverage, which describes the processes of coverage studies in the context on the 2011 Census. The strategy for the 2016 Census will remain similar to 2011. Please note that the institutionalized population is also included in the coverage studies.

 RMGoodnews at 12:47:03
Unlike past Census initial releases there was no mention of the 6+ million folks in rural Canada. I find this omission very surprising. Is there a reason?

 Laurent Martel at 13:01:28
Thanks for asking this. For the 2016 Census population and dwelling counts release, we used the concept of Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs), Census Agglomerations (CAs), and areas outside of CMAs and CAs (the Census Metropolitan Influenced Zones). On February 8, 2017, we released two analytical documents, Municipalities in Canada with the Largest and Fastest-Growing Populations between 2011 and 2016 and Municipalities in Canada with population decreases between 2011 and 2016 which used these definitions. What is often called the rural areas are those which are referred to as 'areas outside of CMAs and CAs'. This data can be found here.
You could also use the concept of Population Centres to calculate the rural population.

 KatieRoth at 12:49:28
Why is there no 2011 population data, and population change from 2011-2016 included in the Dissemination Area population table?

 Laurent Martel at 13:02:58
Thanks for your question. In data tables released Wednesday, all population data for 2011 and 2016 are based on the 2016 geographic boundaries, so we can compute population growth rates free of possible bias that would be introduced by changes in the geographic boundaries.
However, for very small areas such as the dissemination areas, we do not convert the 2011 data in 2016 geographic boundaries. There are no conversion files for these very small geographies.

 KatieRoth at 12:43:16
Why does the 2011 population numbers in the 2016 census use the 2016 census boundaries? Specifically we are looking at calculating rural population change (outside cma) using from 2011-2016. For example, in Ontario in 2011 Belleville was not considered a CMA, so in 2011 it was a rural area, but now in 2016 it is urban. Previously the 2011 census population of Non-CMA Ontario was 2.58 million, but using the 2016 boundaries for 2011 population it is 2.44 million, and now in 2016 it is 2.49 million. Could you comment on why the 2016 census uses the 2016 census boundaries, and how you would suggest overcoming this census boundary change problem. Thanks

 Laurent Martel at 13:05:39
Very good question. We geoconvert the 2011 Census number in the 2016 geography boundaries (SGC 2016) to make sure we compare apples with apples. This is a common procedure and a best pratice among statistical agencies. As for Belleville, it was a census agglomeration in 2011 so not considered as part of a rural area. I hope this answers your question. For more information, please refer to this document.

 wardo44 at 12:57:55
The 2011-2016 census cycle started with approximately 3 years of continued economic growth in resource based communities & provinces. This weeks results show continue to show that clearly. Could only 2 years of sluggish growth in 2016 & 2017 be enough to cause an opposite affect on 2021 results or would it likely have to take 3+ years?

 Laurent Martel at 13:08:58
Thanks for your question. The aim of the Census is to provide a portait of Canada's population as of May 10th, 2016. The Census does not provide explanation for population growth, nor the impact of economic growth. at 13:00:34
To clarify my previous question, I am looking for a CSV bulk download for Dissemination Block level data. It seems to be missing from the [comprehensive files] posted online.

 Laurent Martel at 13:09:13
Thanks for your question. You can download many datasets for various geographical levels at Population and Dwelling Count Highlight Tables, 2016 Census.
Dissemination block geography is not available to download. You could also consult the GeoSuite and GeoSearch ressources, which will provide information at the dissemination block level.

 Plannergrl at 12:34:36
Thank you for hosting this session. How do you ensure that the census includes people who are homeless, and do you report out the number of people who are homeless?

 Sandrine LeVasseur at 13:09:32
The Census counts dwellings and persons living in dwellings; this includes shelters for persons lacking a fixed address. Prior to Census Day, Statistics Canada developed lists of shelters to make it easier to identify homeless shelters from other types of collective dwellings. Statistics Canada enumerated people who spent the night of May 9-10 in shelters and similar facilities, which represents an important segment of that population.

On May 3rd, we will publish the counts of persons by collective dwelling type.

 JosephTing19 at 13:04:08
I am wondering how you calculate rural vs. urban. I was trying to calculate it with the data stats Canada released. I separated all of the places with population 1000 or greater and density of 400/sqkm from the rest. However, the resulting number was off. I am wondering what else you have to do to get the correct number.

 Laurent Martel at 13:09:47
Thanks for the question. To look at the distribution of the Canadian population by rural-urban split, you can use the highlight table on population centres. The population living outside population centres is the population living in rural areas of Canada.
Please note that this concept of population centres/rural population is different than the concept of statistical area classification found in this table. Please also refer to the Census dictionary for more information on these two different concepts.

 LEDUC at 12:47:10
Table 2 (page 4) of the "Census in Brief" on the most populated municipalities shows that Canada's 35 CMAs include 39 central municipalities. It is my understanding that there are 31 CMAs with single names and 4 CMAs that contain two or three central municipalities (Ottawa–Gatineau; Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo; St. Catharines–Niagara; Abbotsford–Mission). In all, I count 40 central municipality names. Why does the table indicate that there are only 39?

 Laurent Martel at 13:09:50
Thank you for your question.
The St. Catharines–Niagara CMA counts only for one central municipality, that of St. Catharines. The municipalities of Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls (census subdivision) are part of the St. Catharines–Niagara CMA, but they are not considered central municipalities.

 LEDUC at 12:57:01
Erratum: According to your analytical documents, Canada's demographic weight continues to shift westward. On the occasion of Canada's 150th anniversary, it would have been interesting to have a map showing the movement of the population centroid (mean or median point) from one census to another. I imagine that the point for 2016 would be somewhere in the Great Lakes region. Have you worked it out? Where would the point be located?

 Laurent Martel at 13:12:56
Our analysis does indeed show that the Canadian population has shifted westward over the last 150 years. For example, about one in three Canadians (31.6%) lived in the western provinces in 2016, the largest proportion ever.
We did not focus on the location of the population centroid, but it is obvious, based on our analyses, that this point has shifted westward over the past decades. Instead, we focused on the proportion of the population that lives close to the American border. Our data show that two-thirds of the Canadian population lives less than 100 km from the border.

 mwright at 12:58:47
In regards to estimating net undercoverage, when will the Annual Demographics Estimates for this year be released? Will its CD-level estimates be based on the 2011 Census?

 Laurent Martel at 13:13:12
Excellent question. The population estimates at the sub-provincial level, including CD, based on the 2016 Census will be available in February 2019. Until then, they will be based on the 2011 Census.

 Moderator - Mod... at 13:19:09
We still have time for a few more questions! Keep them coming!

 SuzyQ2 at 13:06:49
SD- When I looked at the population counts by census subdivision I noticed Chapleau 75 (Reserve) CSD number 3552058 has declined by 100%, but there is no suggestion that it was incompletely enumerated in 2016 or 2011. Please clarify.

 Laurent Martel at 13:18:38
Thanks for the question. The population in Chapleau 75 went from 79 people in 2011 to zero in 2016. This municipality was not an incompletely enumerated reserve in 2016.
Possible explanation for this is population transfers between different parts of the Chapleau Township in Ontario.
Local authorities can contact Statistics Canada to raise issues with the 2016 Census counts. Formal population reviews can be conducted for municipalities of the country.

 NChilds at 13:02:37
If the revised Census including undercoverage for subprovincial areas will not be released until 2019, will there be a mechanism to obtain annual population estimates for 2017 and possibly 2018 for CD, CMA and CT SGCs?

 Laurent Martel at 13:18:38
Hi NChilds,
To clarify, population estimates for census metropolitan areas (CMAs), census divisions (CDs) and economic regions (ERs) will continue to be released on an annual basis, but will still be based on the 2011 Census and on the 2011 Standard Geographical Classification (SGC) up to winter 2019.

 mwright at 13:06:27
I am planner in the Toronto CD. We notice that the Census Tracts were cut by the new Aggregate Dissemination Area geography, but we understood that this geography was not to be made part of the Census geography hierarchy. The effect appears to have been to reconfigure existing CTs. Why was the ADA geography used to cut and reconfigure the CTs?

 Sandrine LeVasseur at 13:20:44
Hi @mwright,
Thanks for your question.
For the 2016 Census, a census tract (CT) may be split into two or more new CTs (usually when its population exceeds 10,000). ADAs are based on one of three (3) 2016 census dissemination geographic areas: dissemination areas (DAs), census subdivisions (CSDs) or census tracts (CTs):

  • Within CMAs and CAs with CTs, adjacent CTs are grouped to meet the ADA population criteria.
  • In areas without CTs (areas outside the CMAs and the largest CAs) where CSDs have a population less than 15,000, adjacent CSDs are grouped to meet the ADA population criteria.
  • In areas without CTs where CSDs have a population greater than 15,000, adjacent DAs are grouped within these CSDs to meet the ADApopulation criteria.

You can find more information about ADAs and the Census geography hierarchy in Chapter 12 of the Guide to the Census of Population, 2016.

 jlam at 13:05:21
How does the census account for vacant residential units - does the count of households exclude vacant units? Are vacant units accounted for and available as a variable? Thank you!

 Sandrine LeVasseur at 13:22:10
On Wednesday, Statistics Canada published the "Total private dwellings." This includes three components:

  • private dwellings occupied by usual residents (which was also published)
  • unoccupied dwellings
  • dwellings occupied solely by persons present temporarily or foreign residents.

The last two categories were not published separately as they are difficult to distinguish.
Our main difficulty in the census context is reaching someone to confirm the correct status for the dwelling.

 SuzyQ2 at 13:06:56
Will this data be revised- or is this the final version?

 Laurent Martel at 13:22:38
Thanks for the follow-up question. Local authorities can contact Statistics Canada to ask for a review of the 2016 Census population counts. Related information on these formal review requests is available here.

 LEDUC at 13:20:43
Your documents state that there were 5,162 municipalities (in other locations, you say) in Canada in 2016. Are these really all "municipalized" territories or do they also include Indian reserves and unorganized territories used solely to publish statistics? When I see CSDs that are 85,000 km2 like "Northern Rockies, B.C.," or names of CSDs that contain things like "Subd. C" or "(Part)," I wonder to what extent we can consider these municipalities.

 Laurent Martel at 13:30:28
Yes, the 5,162 municipalities cover the entire Canadian territory. These municipalities include Indian reserves and unorganized territories. Most of these municipalities have elected mayors. For more information on Canadian municipalities, you can refer to the Census Dictionary, under Census subdivision.

 LEDUC at 13:28:07
From what I understand, the "aggregate dissemination area" is located somewhere between the dissemination area and the census subdivision. But I don't quite understand what need it meets that the other geographic units did not. Could you please explain briefly? Thank you!

 Laurent Martel at 13:34:39
The aggregate dissemination area (ADA) is a new dissemination geography created for the 2016 Census. ADAs cover the entire country and, where possible, have a population between 5,000 and 15,000 based on the previous census population counts. ADAs are created from existing dissemination geographic areas and are formed from census tracts (CTs), census subdivisions (CSDs) or dissemination areas (DAs). ADAs respect provincial, territorial, census division (CD), census metropolitan area (CMA) and census agglomeration (CA) with census tract (CT) boundaries.

 JosephTing19 at 13:16:40
Do the terms rural and population center exhaustively capture the entire population of Canada? Can every single person in Canada be considered as living either in a rural place or population center? Or are there other categories?

 Laurent Martel at 13:35:55
Great question. A population centre (POPCTR) has a population of at least 1,000 and a population density of 400 persons or more per square kilometre, based on population counts from the current Census of Population. All areas outside population centres are classified as rural areas. Taken together, population centres and rural areas cover all of Canada. For more details, please refer to the Census dictionary. at 13:16:19
Thanks for your answer. What is the reason that Dissemination Block level data is not available for bulk download, but only on a one-by-one basis? Bulk downloads were available in the past. DB level data is essential for some of the analysis and visualization that we run at CensusMapper.

 Laurent Martel at 13:37:05
One way to download census data at the dissemination block level is to go to the GeoSuite webpage. Then, select 'Prov/Terr' in the 'Hierarchy of standard geographic areas for dissemination' section. Select a row from the PR table in bottom of the page. After, click on 'DB' in the 'Hierarchy of standard geographic areas for dissemination' section. You will then be able to export a CSV file for all the dissemination blocks of the selected province. If you need all geographies for Canada, you'll need to do 13 separate extractions for each province/territory as files are quite big.

 mwright at 13:30:27
I am a planner with the City of Toronto. The population growth of the Toronto CD is 4.5% versus 2011, and similarly for 2011 versus 2006. The growth in occupied dwellings is 71,206 or 6.2%, and 7.0% respectively. According to our Building Permit information, 89,198 units were completed July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2016. CMHC reports 84,798 units completed between May 1, 2011 and April 30, 2016, and their Absorption Survey suggests 96.2% of the units were absorbed by the market although of course not necessarily occupied. Allowing for demolitions and trends toward a decline in the number of persons per occupied unit, the count of occupied units is still growing much faster than population. Can you suggest reasons why the population count is growing much more slowly than occupied units? When will the counts of Temporary and Foreign Residents become available? Thank you.

 Sandrine LeVasseur at 13:37:23
Throughout Canada, the population growth (5.0%) is lower than the growth rate of private dwellings occupied by usual residents (5.6%). This has been true for the longest time. However, since 1976, the spread is closing substantially.
Some of the potential drivers for newly occupied dwellings is the formation of new families (grown children leaving their families, separations...). Deaths and births would also influence the ratio or average household size. We hope to publish more information on households and families in later releases (August 2).
Those temporary and foreign resident counts should be available starting Monday by custom request.

 RMGoodnews at 13:19:40
Thank-you for the providing the the documents that use rural (nonCMA/CA) data. However, my point was that StatCan, for the first time, omitted any reference to rural (nonCMA/CA) populations in the DAILY release. I think that is unfortunate omission.

 Laurent Martel at 13:39:43
Hi RMGoodnews. The rural population in Canada is very important and Statistics Canada always wants to ensure that every Canadian is represented in our coverage. In our two analytical documents in the Census in Brief series, released at the same time as The Daily, we focused on municipalities in Canada that increased and decreased the fastest. We looked at municipalites within CMAs and CAs and provided separate analyses for municipalities located outside of CMAs and CAs. Please see these documents for information on the population living outside of CMAs and CAs (rural areas) in Canada.

 NChilds at 13:26:18
For consistency of reporting on our end; will there be an estimate population generated for 2016 based on the 2011 Count and SGC, or will the Census be the only population data released this year? This table (051-0062) is usually released annually in February.

 Laurent Martel at 13:41:10
Thanks for the question. You have to distinguish between census counts and population estimates. CANSIM table 051-0062 is related to the population estimates, not census counts. This CANSIM table is updated on an annual basis, usually in February (March 8th this year because of the census releases). Currently, these population estimates are still based on the 2011 Census, and do take into account census net undercoverage. These population estimates will be rebased on the 2016 Census and will be adjusted for the 2016 net undercoverage in 2018, with this CANSIM table updated in early 2019.

 Moderator - Mod... at 13:43:45
The chat session is now over. Thank you for your questions and comments! If our experts did not have a chance to respond to your question, we will follow-up with you by email in the next few business days. The full transcript of this chat session will be made available on our website shortly. Have a great day!

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