1996 Census of Canada: Electronic Area Profiles

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Profile of Enumeration Areas

About this tabulation

General information

Catalogue number:95F0185XDB96001
Release date:October 29, 1998
Topic:Profile: All Variables
Data dimensions:


Updated March 17, 1999.

Area profiles contain data from the 100% database as well as the 20% sample database. The suppression rules for the 100% database differ from those used for the 20% sample database. For this reason, some geographic areas will show 100% data but the 20% sample data will be suppressed.

Persons living on Indian reserves and Indian settlements, who were enumerated with the 1996 Census Form 2D questionnaire, were not asked the citizenship and immigration questions. Consequently, data are not shown for lower geographic levels (one census tract, many census subdivisions and enumeration areas) that were reserves or settlements, when the majority of the people were enumerated with the 1996 Census Form 2D questionnaire. The data for these Indian reserves and settlements, however, will be included in the totals for larger geographic areas, such as census divisions.

Non-permanent Residents

In 1991 and 1996, the Census of Population enumerated both permanent and non-permanent residents of Canada. Non-permanent residents are persons who held a student or employment authorization, Minister's permit or who were refugee claimants, as well as family members living with them, at the time of the Census.

Prior to 1991, only permanent residents of Canada were included in the census. (The only exception to this occurred in 1941.) Non-permanent residents were considered foreign residents and were not enumerated.

Today in Canada, non-permanent residents make up a significant segment of the population, especially in several census metropolitan areas. Their presence can affect the demand for such government services as health care, schooling, employment programs and language training. The inclusion of non-permanent residents in the census facilitates comparisons with provincial and territorial statistics (marriages, divorces, births and deaths) which include this population. In addition, this inclusion of non-permanent residents brings Canadian practice closer to the UN recommendation that long-term residents (persons living in a country for one year or longer) be enumerated in the census.

According to the 1991 Census, there were 223,410 non-permanent residents in Canada, representing slightly less than 1% of the total population. There were fewer non-permanent residents in Canada at the time of the 1996 Census: 166,715 non-permanent residents or 0.6% of the total population in 1996.

Total population counts, as well as counts for all variables, are affected by this change in the census universe. Users should be especially careful when comparing data from 1991 or 1996 with data from previous censuses in geographic areas where there is a concentration of non-permanent residents. These include the major metropolitan areas in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

Although every attempt has been made to enumerate non-permanent residents, factors such as language difficulties and the reluctance to complete a government form or understand the need to participate may have affected the enumeration of this population and resulted in undercounting.

Ethnic Origin Area Profile Description:

This table shows counts for the 100 most frequently reported ethnic origins in Canada, based on single response counts (persons who reported one ethnic origin only).

Respondents who reported one ethnic origin are included in the single response row. Respondents who reported more than one ethnic origin are included in the multiple response row for each ethnic group they reported. The total response row indicates the number of respondents who reported each ethnic origin.

Users should be careful when interpreting multiple response counts because respondents who reported more than one ethnic origin are counted in the multiple response row for each ethnic origin they reported. This table cannot be used to calculate the ethnic distribution of the population.

The abbreviation 'n.i.e.' means 'not included elsewhere'. It is used to denote a residual ethnic grouping which contains either a very general ethnic response or several ethnic origins not included as separate groups within an ethnic category. For example, the group 'African (Black), n.i.e.' includes responses such as 'African', 'African Black', 'West African', 'Senegalese', 'Zimbabwean', 'Bantu', 'Zulu', etc.

Comparability of ethnic origin data between the 1996 Census and previous censuses has been affected by several factors, including changes in the question format, wording, examples (such as 'Canadian'), instructions and data processing, as well as by the social environment at the time of the census. The 1996 Census required that respondents write in their ethnic origin(s) on four write-in lines, whereas previous censuses provided the respondent with both mark-in categories and write-in lines.

For more information on ethnic origin, please refer to the 'User Guide: Ethnic Origin' in the electronic documentation supplied with this product. (C:\Rec96cen\Document\English\Other\Ethnic.txt)

Visible Minority Population Area Profile Description:

This table provides counts of the visible minority population as defined for employment equity purposes. The 1996 Census was the first census to ask a direct question to provide data on visible minorities. The data included in this table are obtained from the population group question (Question 19).

The Employment Equity Act defines visible minorities as 'persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour'. The mark-in groups, other than 'White', listed in the population group question are those that are likely to be members of a visible minority group.

For more information on the visible minority population, please refer to the 'User Guide: Visible Minority and Population Group' in the electronic documentation supplied with this product. (C:\Rec96cen\Document\English\Other\Pop.txt)

Note: For information on the comparability of Labour Force Activity data with those of previous censuses and with the Labour Force Survey, see Appendix E in the electronic documentation supplied with this product.

Data Quality Notes: Industry Divisions

Division N - Government Service Industries: The entire Government Service Industries Division is a difficult area to code. Census respondents tend to give the response 'government' for any number of administrative government or government-related activities. The classification calls for most government-related activities to be coded to divisions other than Government Service Industries. For example, road maintenance services or postal services are not coded to the Government Service Industries Division. For these industries and others of similar type, detailed descriptions are required for accurate coding. Detailed descriptions are often not given on Census questionnaires. Users should be cautious when dealing with estimates of the Government Service Industries Division taken from the Census.

Division P - Health and Social Service Industries and Division R - Other Service Industries are affected by changes in the instructions given to coders for the coding of 'babysitters'.

In 1986 and 1991, the instructions read:

- Babysitters who perform this task in their own home are coded to 979 - Other Personal and Household Services.
- Babysitters who perform childcare in another person's home (including live-in babysitters) are coded to 974 - Private Households.
- Babysitters who are employed by an agency are coded to 864 - Non-institutional Social Services.

In 1996, the instructions read:

- Babysitters who babysit in another person's home are coded to 979 - Other Personal and Household Services (e.g. this code would include teenagers doing babysitting for neighbours).
- Babysitters who take children into their own home are coded to 864 - Non-institutional Social Services.

- Live-in babysitters/nannies who perform childcare in another person's home are coded to 974 - Private Households.
- Babysitters who are employed by an agency (whether or not they work in their own home) are coded to 979 - Other Personal and Household Services.

These instructions differ significantly. Only the live-in babysitters/nannies would receive the same code in 1991 and 1996. At the Division level, these revisions should lead to fewer respondents coded to Division R and more respondents coded to Divison P. Clients should be aware of these changes when trying to make comparisons of 1996 Census data to those from the 1986 and/or 1991 Censuses.

The concept of 'migrants' is defined at the Census Subdivision (CSD) level. For geographic levels below the CSD, such as enumeration areas (EAs) and census tracts (CTs), the distinction between the migrant and non-migrant population refers to the corresponding CSD of the EA or CT. For example, migrants within a CT are those persons who moved from a different CSD, while non-migrants are those who moved within the same CSD, although they moved in from a different CT in the same CSD or moved within the same CT.

Data table

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