Newsletter for Communities

Newsletter for Communities

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Tutorial for communities: Finding Health Data for your Region

Catalogue number: Catalogue number: 11-629-x

Issue number: 2015022

July 2014

Finding Health Data for your Region - Transcript

Description of visuals

If you work in or are involved with the health care sector in Canada or just have a healthy interest,

(Image of hand illustrating a man in business suit and of a red cross are shown. Map of Canada in background.)

(Illustration of man is replaced by illustration of a woman dressed in an athletic outfit. Red cross moves to left of screen.)

you know that it is a dynamic and complex field that needs careful planning and reliable data.

(Image of hand illustrating woman dressed in business suit. On her left hand side, there are three question marks; and on her right hand side, a dialog box containing images of various documents and the texts "Careful Planning" and "Reliable Data" are shown.)

How to focus on the right area to meet clinical needs?

(A magnifying glass moves over the documents.)

How to provide intelligent planning for community-based facilities and services from a municipal government perspective?

(Image of hand illustrates a woman sitting at a table while populating a table on a flipchart. The text "Intelligent Planning" is also shown.)

How to make the right decision when health care needs and demands are changing more rapidly than ever before?

(Hand places images of four people on screen and text "The Right Decision" appears.)

It all begins with looking at the facts, and by getting perspective through invaluable comparative data.

(Hand illustrates a man looking at data on paper and on computer screen.)

And that's where we come in.

(The Statistics Canada signature with Canadian flag is shown and circled in red by hand.)

Statistics Canada conducts a number of health surveys and provides a significant and very broad range of reliable data on health – for all regions of the country.

(Hand illustrates a group of people of various genders, ages and races. Map of Canada appears in background.)

This short tutorial will show you some basics on how to find health data, and how to put it to work so you can get the answers you need.

(Hand places an illustration of a man working in his office. Slide in texts "How to find health data" and "How to put it to work".)

So, let's get started!! From the Statistics Canada main page at, select English.

(Hand places image of home page of Statistics Canada's website on screen and zooms to the web address "" in the URL field.)

(The cursor selects "English".)

Look at the featured area on the bottom right and you will find the link to the "Health in Canada" portal.

(Statistics Canada's English web home page is shown. The cursor moves to the "Features" section of the home page and selects "Health in Canada".)

This is your gateway to all kinds of data on the health of Canadians

that can be leveraged to give you the kind of information you are looking for.

(The home page of the "Health in Canada" portal is shown.)

Here you can find the 'Health Profile' for your region or province.

(The screen scrolls down the home page of "Health in Canada" portal.)

These data come from a number of sources including Statistics Canada's Vital Statistics database, the Canadian Community Health Survey, the Canadian Cancer Registry, and the Census of Population. But here… they are all together in one place.

(An image of a laptop computer is shown. On the screen of the computer, the text "Health Profile" is displayed. To the left of the image, the texts "Vital Statistics database", "Canadian Community Health Survey", "Canadian Cancer Registry", "Census of Population" are shown.)

You can access the profile in a variety of ways, with indexes on the left and right sides, and at the bottom, too.

(The home page of the "Health in Canada" portal is shown.)

Choose 'Health Profile' from the left menu to get quick access to the latest health-related data for your region.

(The cursor selects "Health Profile".)

There are a number of options to find a specific health region.

(The "Health Profile" home page is shown.)

For example, you can simply type the place name in the search box,

(The section of the Health Profile web page "Search: Place name" is shown.)

or choose a province or territory and pick the health region from the list.

(The section of the Health Profile web page "Browse: Province/territory" is shown. The cursor moves to the drop down menu which lists Canada's provinces and territories.)

Let's say you are looking for information for St. John's, Newfoundland.

(The section of the Health Profile web page "Search: Place name" is shown. The text "st. john's" is entered in the search box. The cursor selects "Search".)

We will search by PLACE NAME.

Enter 'St. John's' in the box and select 'Search'. You can see that St. John's falls under the Eastern Regional Integrated Health Authority.

(A number of research results are shown, including "St. John's Metropolitan Area, Eastern Regional Integrated Health Authority (1011-C), Newfoundland and Labrador".)

By selecting this link, you will be transported to hundreds of rows of data for the health region, from accessibility of health services to living and working conditions of the population, from health behaviours to well-being.

(The cursor selects "Eastern Regional Integrated Health Authority (1011-C). A table is subsequently shown containing many rows of data. The table is scrolled up and down to show the variety of topics.)

You can manipulate the table in a number of ways. You can select a view or build your own view, view the data in 'rates' or 'counts', select a different area for comparison, and even download the table.

(The cursor moves to "Select a view", and a drop-down menu of various health topics and the "build your own view" feature is shown. The cursor points to "rates" and then "counts". It then points to "Change geography" tab, and then the "Download" tab.)

And there is even more... you can convert the data into graphs by selecting 'Figure' –

very handy when you need to build a graphic representation of data.

(The cursor selects "Figure" and a bar chart is shown.)

And get a map of the region from the Map tab at the top.

(The cursor selects the return arrow and the screen returns to the earlier table. The cursor points at the "Map" tab.)

Make sure you read the footnotes at the end of the table as they will help you better understand the data.

(The screen is scrolled down to the "footnotes" section of the table.)

A particularly useful feature is the ability to compare 'peer groups' in the Health Profile, that is to say health regions across the country with similar population characteristics.

(The screen is scrolled up to show the beginning of the table.)

Examining peer groups is very useful in the analysis of health regions. By comparing health regions that are similar, you can pick out important differences that can inform your analysis. Let's work with the peer group concept.

(The cursor selects "Search results for St. John's".)

You will notice that the Eastern Regional Integrated Health Authority has a '1011-C' in brackets next to its name— indicating that this health region belongs to peer Group C.

(The screen returns to the earlier results that contain the text "st. john's". The "Eastern Regional Integrated Health Authority (1011-C), Newfoundland and Labrador" is highlighted.)

You can now compare your health region with those that share similar characteristics and see how residents in your community stack up on important health indicators. The table for the Health Authority identified for St. John's has a second set of data for a different geography, defaulting initially to Canada. In this column, Select 'Change Geography', then 'Option 2 – Select a health region peer group', followed by 'Peer group C'.

(The screen returns to the table showing data for the Eastern Regional Integrated Health Authority. The cursor selects "Change geography". The web page of "Health Profile – Select Region 2" is shown. The cursor points at "Option 2 – Select a health region peer group", and then selects "Peer Group C".)

Now select any health region in the list, let's say Sudbury and District Health Unit. You can now view how these two similar health regions compare on any of the factors you chose. You can continue doing this until you have a really strong perspective on the region that you are studying versus others in the country.

(A list of health regions belonging to Peer Group C is shown. The cursor selects "Sudbury and District Health Unit (3561-C), Ontario". A table is generated showing the data for the Eastern Regional Integrated Health Authority and for Sudbury and District Health Unit.)

Impressed? There are many more free data for your health region in CANSIM – Statistics Canada's key socio-economic database. There are a couple of ways to search for CANSIM data tables. You can either select the RELATED DATA tab from the table that we just looked at, or you can select Health Data in CANSIM.

(The cursor selects the "Related data" tab of the table. It then selects "CANSIM by subject – Health".)

There are a variety of topics, and over 550 data tables. Choose a topic of interest. For example, 'Prevention and Detection of Disease'.

(A list of health topics is shown. The cursor selects "Prevention and detection of disease".)

There are many CANSIM tables on this topic. Not all tables have data at the health region level. You can determine this by consulting the title of the table or by reading the description. As an example, let's choose Table 105-0501.

What you see here is only a part of the table. You can use the ADD/Remove tab to customize the table to your needs.

(A partial table is shown. The screen zooms to the "Add/Remove data" tab, and selects that tab. A list of variables is shown.)

Follow the steps and choose the variables of interest, for example, Eastern Integrated Regional Health Authority, 'Total, 12 years and over', etc. And select 'Apply'.

(A number of variables are selected, such as "Eastern Regional Integrated Health Authority" and "Total, 12 years and over". The cursor selects "Apply".)

You now have a customized table for this health region, showing data from 2008 to 2012. Be sure to read the footnotes to help you better understand the results.

(A table with the selected variables is shown. The screen scrolls down to show the footnotes of the table.)

(The cursor selects "Home", and Statistics Canada's English home page is shown. It then selects "Health in Canada" and the web page of the "Health in Canada" Portal is shown.)

The 'Health in Canada' module is a remarkably rich resource. In this tutorial, we have shown you just a few free resources to help you better understand health care and health issues—but, as you can imagine, we have only scratched the surface.

(The web page of the "Health in Canada" Portal is slowly scrolled down.)

We invite you to discover more information on the "Health in Canada" module that can help you in a variety of ways. We hope you have enjoyed this brief tutorial! Statistics Canada also offers consulting services and workshops to help you if you need more specialized assistance.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us by phone at 1-800-263-1136, or by email at

(The Statistics Canada signature with Canadian flag is shown. A hand writes the phone number 1-800-263-1136 and the e-mail address:

(The Canada word mark with the Canadian flag is shown.)

Tutorial for communities: Finding Local Census Data

Catalogue number: Catalogue number: 11-629-x

Issue number: 2015024

April 2013

Finding Local Census Data - Transcript

Description of visuals

It's Tuesday. Down the hall, you and your colleague at the municipality are making plans for a high-traffic road - along with all the infrastructure that goes with it.

(Images of an office, office workers, a highway and surveying tools are shown.)

Your job is to find out which areas in the municipality are growing the fastest, and which ones have slowed down, so that your busy, noisy road will not be placed too close to areas that will soon be peaceful residential neighborhoods.

(Images of an office worker, a high-rise construction site, highways and a residential development are shown.)

Meanwhile, your friend Ed, who works for the school board, is figuring out how to best allocate this year's budget to the schools in his district.

(Images of an office worker, a piggy bank, a chalk board with text books and several schools are shown.)

Face it: planning and making informed decisions for governments and community organizations isn't always easy.

(Images of plans, charts and office workgroups are shown.)

We're Statistics Canada, and we want to remind you of a rich, reliable and best of all, free source of information.

(The Statistics Canada signature with Canadian flag is shown.)

Let's take a look.

One of the key data sources Statistics Canada generates is the census. It's a gold mine of national and local information on

  • population and dwelling counts
  • age and sex of residents
  • families, households and marital status
  • structural types of dwellings and collectives, and
  • languages.

(Images of maps, diverse groups of people, families, and dwellings are shown.)

The bottom line is that census data are an essential source of information for developing municipal planning strategies at the local level.

(Images of workgroups sitting at tables crowded with planning documents are shown.)

Let us show you what we mean. Ready?

Go to
Select 'English.'
Select 'Census of Canada.'

(A screenshot of the website is shown, the cursor selects the "English" button and then "Census of Canada.")

You are now on the census home page.

(The census home page is shown.)

Before you start the search, let's take a quick look at a very useful document - the Census Dictionary, which you can find under 'Reference materials.'

(The cursor selects the "reference materials" link in the navigation bar. This leads to the reference materials page.)

The census world uses some special terminology, and the dictionary will help you to decode and understand it from A to Z.

(The cursor selects "Census Dictionary" from below the heading "Reference products.")

Okay: back to our search.

(The census home page is shown.)

If you are looking for data on your community, 'Data products' is a useful place to start.

(The cursor selects "Data products" from the navigation menu. The census profile website is shown.)

Census Profile is a popular product, which offers a demographic overview of every community across the country.

Using the tabs, we're going to search for an area of interest by typing its 'place name', by browsing a list, or by entering a postal code or a geographic code.

(Each option, place name, browse list, enter postal code, or geographic code are highlighted.)

For example, let's say you were planning to build your road in Saskatoon.

(The "place name" tab is shown. The word "Saskatoon" is entered into the search field.)

The search returns a number of results.

(The Search Results page is shown. Results are displayed under the headings Census subdivisions, Census metropolitan areas / census agglomerations, Economic regions, Federal electoral districts, and population centres.)

Select the desired geography, for example, the city of Saskatoon. There you see hundreds of data rows, which include population growth.

(The "Saskatoon (city") link, under Census subdivisions, is selected. The census profile for Saskatoon is shown, with headings such as "Population and dwelling counts," "Age characteristics," "Marital status," and "Family characteristics." There are data for each heading.)

From here, you can manipulate the data in a number of ways to make it easier for you to use, for example:

  • You can view all data or 'select a view', which allows you to select from a few popular ways to filter the data. If none of these filters suit your needs, you can select 'build your own', which allows you to customize the way you filter the data.

(A "select a view" drop-down menu is shown, with the options "All data," "Families and Households," "Language," "Population," and "Build Your Own.")

  • You can change the default comparative geography to one that better suits your needs.

(The cursor selects the "change geography" button.)

  • You can download the tables.

(The cursor selects the "Download" tab, which opens a page with options to download the tables in a CSV (comma-separated values) file or a TAB (tab-separated values) file.)

You can further refine your search to an even smaller area! >Simply enter a postal code, and you will get the data for the corresponding area.

(The postal code search field is shown.)

As you can see, there's a lot of valuable information here - and we're just getting started.

(The census home page is shown.)

If you want to put the numbers in perspective, we recommend the Focus on Geography Series. This is available for any municipality that has a population of 5,000 or more. You can find it under "Data products" or "Analytical products".

(A "Focus on Geography Series" link is shown on the census home page. The 2011 Census left navigation menu is then shown, with the headings "Data products" and "Analytical products" underneath.)

For example, let's say that Ed works for the school board that serves the Town of Gander in Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • Select 'Focus on Geography Series'.

(The cursor selects "Focus on Geography Series" on the census home page)

  • Choose 'Canadian municipalities with 5,000-plus population', followed by "Newfoundland and Labrador".

(The "Focus on Geography Series, 2011 Census" page is shown. The cursor selects "census municipalities (census subdivisions) with 5,000-plus population." The cursor then selects "Newfoundland and Labrador" from a list of provinces.)

  • Then select "Gander".

(The cursor selects "Gander" from a list of census subdivisions in Newfoundland and Labrador. A page with a map of Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador is shown.)

Here's a brief analysis of the key census results for Gander. As you can see, where it's possible, Gander's current numbers are compared with those of 2006 or those of other communities.

(Tables showing population growth in Gander from 2006 to 2011 and charts showing age distribution in Gander are shown.)

Using this analysis, Ed can find out the how the town's population changed from 2006 to 2011, and how many school-aged children there are in Gander, which will help him make his decision.

In this tutorial, we have shown you just a few ways that you can use census data to help you make better-informed decisions - but, as you can imagine, we've only scratched the surface. We invite you to discover a wealth of information about our country that can help you in a variety of ways.

(The census home page is shown.)

We hope you have enjoyed this brief tutorial! If you have any questions, contact us at these coordinates.

(The text "Contact us: 1-800-263-1136" is shown.)

(The Canada wordmark is shown.)

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