Transcript of the chat session on 2016 Census: Age, Sex and Type of dwelling data, which occurred on Friday, May 5, 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 12:29:00
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.

 amyaraskavitch at 12:32:12
I can't hear anything. Can you help?

 Moderator at 12:35:21
Thank you for participating. Please use the "Question" box that will appear on screen to submit your written questions to our data experts.

 FraserD at 12:30:14
What is the rationale for switching from the reporting of median age to average age?

 Jonathan Chagnon at 12:37:23
Hi FraserD, Thank you for your question. In the past, Statistics Canada used median age as an indicator summarizing population age structure. However, we have decided to move to average age in 2016. Among others, a reason for the change is the fact that median age will not adjust as well when all baby boomers have moved to older ages. Median age does not account for shifts in the age structure at older ages, as it only divides the population in two groups of equal size. Mean age will adjust better for the changes in the age distribution at older ages, for example when boomers reach age 85 and above. Thus, as population aging has recently accelerated in Canada, we believe mean age will be more consistent with the other key messages than median age.

 mroy at 12:32:31
Thank you for offering this session. When will data regarding year of dwelling construction be released? Also, will it be possible to receive a breakdown by year of construction and dwelling type?

 Sandrine LeVasseur at 12:40:45
Thanks for your interest in dwelling data. There is a release, scheduled for October 25, 2017, that will examine housing characteristics, such as period of construction, condominiums, number of bedrooms, and shelter cost. There will be a table that will present the period of construction and the structural type of dwelling.

 zehra.f at 12:32:35
Can you tell us what the data limitations are for the census, and what the margin of error is?

 André Lebel at 12:40:48
Excellent question. The Census is not a survey and does not come with a margin of error. The purpose of the census is to enumerate the whole population. However, it is inevitable that some people will not be enumerated (undercoverage) and that other people, usually fewer, will be enumerated more than once (overcoverage). Some people are always more difficult to reach (recent immigrants, internal migrants) or counted twice (students enumerated in their apartments and their parents' homes). After each census, Statistics Canada conducts census coverage surveys; the results of these surveys will be available in 2018.

 JLemire at 12:37:51
I'm interested in centenarians. Do you have their distribution by province?

 André Lebel at 12:43:16
Please see this table.

 sgoshko at 12:35:20
Hello, I wonder if you could help me? I am a volunteer looking at demographics in Highlands district in Edmonton over twenty years We are missing the information for 2016 I am just wondering how I might gain access to it. Thank you so much.

 André Lebel at 12:43:21
Hi Sgoshko,
Thanks for your question and for your volunteer work! Could you specify what kind of information you are looking for and have not been able to access?

 javalencia at 12:32:20
on table 98-400-X2016005 1. - Age (in Single Years) and Average Age (127) and Sex (3) for the Population Why does the total Population count in the Census tracts file ( has 26,180,790) as the total population for Canada. Thank you.

 Jonathan Chagnon at 12:44:29
Hi! Thank you for your question. Census tract is a concept relevant only in large urban centres (census metropolitan areas and in some census agglomerations). For that reason, the total population by census tract is lower than the counts for the total population. If you are interested in a small level of geography available in the whole country, you could use dissemination areas. I hope this helps!

 amyaraskavitch at 12:37:02
I am not sure how to log into the session. Can you help?

 Moderator at 12:48:26
Hi amyaraskavitch,
You are already logged into the chat session. Please use the question box on this page to send your questions to our data experts. They will respond shortly. Thank you for participating!

 mroy at 12:45:03
Regarding dwelling type and year of construction, are there data tables in existence using 2011 Census data? I was unable to find it on the StatsCan website.

 Jeff Randle at 12:50:17
Thanks for your question. In 2011, some of the dwelling variables were collected using the National Household Survey (NHS) and can be found on the Income and Housing NHS Data Tables page.

 JKolkman at 12:33:12
Given that median age and average are both useful concepts for measuring the age of the population, will Statistics Canada also include median age in the 2016 Census Profiles, and if not, why not?

 Jonathan Chagnon at 12:54:47
Hi JKolkman,
Thank you for your question.
Statistics Canada can provide you with median age data for the geographies in which you are interested. Please contact our info line for this.

 Barbara McMillan at 12:40:27
A recent BC Statistics Report stated there was a 2.1% decline in West Vancouver's population between 2015 and 2016, which it reported at just under 41,000 in 2016. Yet the 2016 census figures indicate a figure of 42,473 for this community - just over 200 fewer people than the 2011 census. I'm wondering why there would be such a difference in the data. Global News - New population statistics show steady decline in West

 Jonathan Chagnon at 12:55:54
Hi! Thank you for your question. The 2016 Census data are of very high quality.
The counts may differ from population counts obtained from other sources, such as the BC Statistics Report to which you are referring. This may be due to many factors, including differences in reference periods, methodology and target populations.
The overall collection response rate was 98.4%. Moreover, after each census, Statistics Canada conducts coverage studies to measure the undercounted and overcounted populations.
I hope this helps!

 JKolkman at 12:45:28
Your reply to FraserD, not all baby boomers will move to older age groupings. There is already a lot of thinning of baby boomers taking place as evidenced in Alberta where they have become the third largest age grouping after millennials and the children of millennials. Not opposed to including average age, but why not also continue to report median age as well?

 André Lebel at 12:57:35
Statistics Canada's decision to include mean age was taken following consultations with many clients, including provincial and territorial focal points. Mean age and median age are not indicators of population aging, but rather central tendency indicators. Variation in the share of seniors is the true measure of population aging. Please note that no analysis based on median age was performed in the analytical documents from the 2006, 2011 and 2016 censuses, despite the fact that median age was available in many data tables. Only trends in the share of seniors were analyzed.

The Prairies were also the only provinces where more people often called millennials—aged 15 to 34—were observed than baby boomers (population aged 51 to 70)

  • Amplified by the first baby boomers turning 65, population aging is mainly the result of two factors:
    • low fertility (1.6 children) that has been below the replacement level (2.1 children) for over 30 years
    • an increase in life expectancy at birth and beyond 65 years.

I hope this answers your question.

 FraserD at 12:42:39
Will Statistics Canada revise the previous Community Profiles to reflect average age as well as median age?

 Jonathan Chagnon at 12:59:40
Hi, FraserD.
Statistics Canada can provide you with average age from previous censuses. You can contact our info line for this.

 ejheese1 at 12:47:43
Checking with the questionnaire, we see people don't self-report their dwelling type. How do you determine dwelling type? If a single-detached house is actually a duplex but the independent entrance is not easily visible from the outside, are you able to identify duplexes?

 Sandrine LeVasseur at 12:59:57
Thanks for your interest in dwellings. The questionnaires for the 2016 Census have no specific question that aims to collect information on the structure of each dwelling. Rather, structural type of dwelling is collected by trained enumerators. A picture representation of the structural type of dwelling, and its definition, is supplied to enumerators. This helps ensure consistency in the classification process across Canada.
Here is the reference guide where you can find more information about the structural type of dwelling variable.

If there are two dwellings in a single-detached house and they are arranged one on top of the other, then they are both apartments in a duplex. If both addresses are registered to receive mail, the identification of duplexes would be easier than if they are not.

 Stephanie.Quigg at 12:54:15
I am interested in Population Projections. Do you know when the Population projections for Canada (2013-2063) Provinces and Territories (2013-2038) Catalogue Number 91-520X will be updated with 2016 data?

 André Lebel at 13:00:35
These projections will be updated in fall 2018 or early spring 2019.

 bethany.white at 12:54:03
Given that the 2011 NHS was voluntary, are there any current or foreseeable issues in comparing the results to the 2016 census results?

 Jonathan Chagnon at 13:02:55
Hi! Thank you for your question. The results released by age and sex on May 3 come from the 2016 Census short form. The overall response rate for the 2016 Census was 98.4% and that for the 2011 Census was 98.1%. For that reason, the results by age and sex can be compared with those of the 2011 Census. I hope this helps!

 meduranceau at 12:53:09
Hi, Birth estimates in CANSIM tables (053-0001) states 395,065 births in 2016 In the Census 2016, children Under 1 year represents 369,730. How can we explain the variance? Which source is best to have the number of birth? Thanks,

 André Lebel at 13:07:49
Hi meduranceau,
Thanks for your question. This difference is normal and expected. It is important to keep in mind that data from CANSIM table 053-0001 are estimates. Birth estimates for 2016 are still preliminary and could be revised in the future as more up-to-date data will become available. Also, keep in mind that the "under 1 year" category in the census may not necessarily reflect births. Some babies may have emigrated or died, thus not being enumerated in the census. Conversely, some babies born outside Canada may have immigrated and could be included in the census.

 ICEWINE613 at 12:55:14
Hi, Thank you for taking time to address our questions. Much appreciated. I took a quick look at a published data table on population by age and sex by CSD, and noticed that for Ontario there are 538 CSDs in the table. Is this because for the 2016 there are fewer CSDs compared to 2011? Where on Stats Can website can we quickly find changes in CDs and CSDs from 2011 to 2016? Thanks.

 Jonathan Chagnon at 13:09:11
Hi! Thank you for your question. The results released on May 3 reflect the current geographical boundaries, which may have changed since 2011 for a number of reasons (i.e., amalgamations). You can find more information about boundary changes here. I hope this helps!

 ejheese1 at 12:54:45
Will the total housing stock by dwelling type be available?

 Sandrine LeVasseur at 13:09:58
Thanks for your interest in dwelling data. This dwelling type variable is collected for all private dwellings in Canada. However, the data tables that were released earlier this week show only private dwellings that are occupied by usual residents. It is possible to obtain these data through a custom request:
Request a customized product or service

 bethany.white at 13:05:22
Thank you Jonathan - it is good to know that this initial release is comparable I will likely ask this question again as the results for long form questions are released later on this year :)

 bethany.white at 12:59:53
Are the 2016 results for dissemination areas and census tracts comparable to 2011 and 2006 results? Are there tables that list which DAs and CTs may have changed between census years?

 André Lebel at 13:11:11
Good question. When we release previous census data, we make sure to convert them in the current geography classification, the 2016 SGC. To answer your question, yes, these tables can be compared, unless mentioned in the data tables.

 Moderator at 13:12:15
Our experts are working hard to answer your questions. Thank you for your patience!

 sgoshko at 12:58:06
I wonder if you might tell me how I access the 2016 information so I can find if the total population in my riding is increasing or decreasing. There is skinny housing going into the neighbourhood and the group would like to know for example if density is increasing. How does it break down into age groups and gender groups. Thank you. The area is Edmonton Highlands Norwood.

 javalencia at 13:07:14
Is it available the theme period of construction on the National Household Survey 2011 at the Dissemination Area level thank you.

 Jeff Randle at 13:15:20
Hi javalencia,
Table 99-014-X2011026 is available for Canada, the provinces and territories, census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations.
If you require a custom version of the table with other levels of geography, more information is available at the Customized Products and Services page.

 Jendub at 12:52:00
Hello, I downloaded the 2016 Census data. The characteristics are numbers. I am looking to find their value as text Thank you

 Sandrine LeVasseur at 13:15:39
Thank you for your question. To give you an appropriate answer, I would like to know what you mean by "value as text."

 ejheese1 at 13:12:54
I haven't yet studied the May 3 data release sufficiently to have figured out all my questions. How do we get answers to future questions?

 Moderator at 13:17:46
Hi ejheese1,
All future questions can be sent here:

 Stephanie.Quigg at 13:10:01
Is the a list of CANSIM tables that have been updated with the 2016 Census data?

 André Lebel at 13:20:40
All census-related results can be found on a dedicated section of the Statistics Canada website for the age and sex release.

 ejheese1 at 13:02:38
To be included as a usual resident of a collective dwelling a resident must be there for six months. Is it possible to have collective dwellings included in the total stock but not the occupied stock because the residents have not been there long enough? Are apartment buildings mostly occupied by students included in the occupied or the total stock?

 Jeff Randle at 13:21:30
A resident of a collective dwelling could also be considered a usual resident if he or she does not have another residence in Canada.
Yes, it is possible to have unoccupied collective dwellings or collective dwellings only occupied by temporary or foreign residents. These would be in the total stock. Dwellings that are apartments in buildings catering mainly to students could fall in either category depending on the personal situation of each resident. They may also be classified as private dwellings depending on the level of services offered (and again, they could be in the total stock or occupied).

 dradocchia at 12:57:45
Hello, What issues did you encounter in collected data from Indigenous communities and what are the key issues arising from the census data?

 Moderator at 13:22:58
Please provide us with more details if you are looking for key issues from dwelling counts or age and sex data.

 jlocke at 13:16:59
Can you please clarify what's included in the category "apartment or flat in a duplex"? Would this include a secondary suite, for example?

 Jeff Randle at 13:23:00
Hi jlocke,
To be classified as an apartment or flat in a duplex, one of two dwellings must be located one above the other. If duplexes are attached to triplexes or other duplexes or to other non-residential structures, each would be classified as an apartment or flat in the duplexes.
More information regarding the structural type of dwelling variable, as well as images that enumerators use to identify different types of dwellings, is available in the structural type of dwelling and collective dwelling reference guide.

 Sioul at 13:05:46
I would have liked to see collective dwellings covered in the most recent census publications. What are the key conclusions about these dwellings?

 Sandrine LeVasseur at 13:23:34
Thank you for your interest in data on dwellings. Of the 35.2 million people enumerated in the 2016 Census, 98% lived in a private dwelling and 2% lived in a collective dwelling. In 2016, 425,750 Canadians, or 1.2% of the country's population, were living in a nursing home or a residence for senior citizens. These collective dwellings, which are adapted to meet the needs of older Canadians, play an important role in society's support for the housing needs of seniors.
Other releases to come will cover 2016 Census data. There may be analyses on people living in collective dwellings.

 JKolkman at 13:00:14
Jonathan, thanks for answering a question I didn't ask. To repeat, why not report on both median age as well as average age in the Census Profiles since both are useful concepts?

 Jonathan Chagnon at 13:27:57
Hi, JKolkman.
For operational reasons, Statistics Canada has decided to publish only average age on Census Profiles for the 2016 Census. At each census, Statistics Canada reevaluates the variables we include in our products.
Do not hesitate to contact info stat if you would like to discuss this topic further, or to obtain the data free of charge.

 jlocke at 13:26:14
Re apartment or flat in a duplex, I've read that guide, but what about secondary suites in a single-family home. How do they get classified?

 Jeff Randle at 13:29:27
Hi jlocke,
If the secondary suite in a single-family home is arranged either above or below the other dwelling, a common example being a basement apartment, then both dwellings would be classified as apartments in a duplex.

 Stephanie.Quigg at 13:19:30
In The Daily, Age and sex, and type of dwelling data: Key results from the 2016 Census, it is noted that "British Columbia has had the highest life expectancy among the provinces and territories, as well as lower fertility." What is the specific reference for this information/What data product shows this information for all provinces?

 André Lebel at 13:30:36
Please refer to the fertility and mortality section of the latest analysis in our Report on the Demographic Situation in Canada.
The latest life expectancy and fertility are available here for your review.

 nnasrallah at 13:10:24
When would you release corresponding PUMF/Master data micro files please?

 Sandrine LeVasseur at 13:31:56
That date has not been set yet. The PUMF would almost certainly not be published before 2018. You must understand that there are several steps we must take to properly protect the confidentiality of users' responses. We hope that, in the meantime, the data tables and profiles we offer as well as the option of custom services can meet your needs.

 bethany.white at 13:07:24
Are the 2011 and 2016 census results for type of dwelling comparable? (Since dwelling characteristics are a long form questionnaire topic)

 Sandrine LeVasseur at 13:32:24
Thanks for your interest in dwellings. The structural type of dwelling variable is collected for all private dwellings in Canada. It is not collected from the long form census questionnaire.
The structural type of dwelling concept has remained relatively stable since the 1981 Census. Though there were no changes between the 2016 and 2011 censuses, there have been some adjustments to the concepts and classifications in earlier censuses. For more information, please refer to our reference guide.
More housing characteristics will be available with the Housing release on October 25, 2017.
Structural Type of Dwelling and Collectives Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2016
Structural Type of Dwelling and Collectives Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2016
Structural Type of Dwelling and Collectives Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2016
Structural Type of Dwelling and Collectives Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2016.

 5915022 at 13:25:44
Thanks for hosting! What dwelling type are laneway houses classified under?

 Sandrine LeVasseur at 13:34:37
The dwelling type is based on the characteristic that defines the dwelling's structure. For example, the characteristic of a single-detached house is that there has open space on all sides, and no dwellings either above or below it.
There are precise definition for each dwelling type.
A laneway house is a separate dwelling unit. This means that the laneway house will get his own dwelling type. The dwelling type of the other dwelling won't change unless the dwellings are linked together. Often a laneway house fits the single-detached house definition. So as long as there is no dwellings above or below the laneway house and no dwelling attached, then it will be classified as a single-detached house (in 2016, 2011 and even before).

 Moderator at 13:32:30
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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