Statistics Canada’s Census and National Household Survey Profiles

A resource for getting some “numbers” about your community

Whether you have been working as a practitioner at the same location for just a few months or for your entire career, Statistics Canada’s Census and National Household (NHS) Profiles provide a great way to better understand the make-up of your community.

The most recent Census Profiles provide 2010 census data that include selected information formerly in Statistics Canada’s ‘Community Profiles’, including characteristics such as population, age, gender, dwellings, marital status and language for different geographic areas. Most of the other information previously in the Community Profiles, on Aboriginal Peoples, immigration, ethnocultural diversity, labour, education, income and so forth, is now included in the NHS Profiles. Together, the Census and NHS profiles allow you to retrieve socioeconomic data for a specific location, postal code, or geographic code.

For example, if you would like to know the median age of the population in Nelson, BC, enter ‘Nelson’ in the Place name on the Census Profile page and click the result for BC City. Under ‘Age Characteristics’ you will find the ‘Median age of the population’ for the total population of Nelson and by gender. You will also see this information for the Census Division of Central Kootenay, to which Nelson belongs.

Using the same example, if you are interested in learning about industry characteristics of Nelson, enter ‘Nelson’ in the Place name of the NHS Profile and once again click the result for BC city. Scroll halfway down the page and you will find the Labour Force populations by industry and gender. From the NHS Profiles, you can switch to the Census data tab at the top of the page. The Census data tab displays the same information as the current Census Profiles, less the corresponding Census Division or province data.




For those of you that have used Statistics Canada’s Community Profiles, you will notice that similar information from the Census and NHS Profiles can be found in the 2006 Community Profiles with the main difference being that, unlike the current NHS Profiles, older Community Profiles compare the searched city or regional district data to the corresponding provincial data.

For some smaller cities and district municipalities such as Tofino, BC, NHS data have been suppressed for data quality or confidentiality reasons. This likely means that the global non-response rate (GNR), an indicator of data quality which combines complete non-response (household) and partial non-response (question) into a single rate, is above the 50% threshold used for estimates’ suppression. As an alternative, data for similar characteristics are still available from Tofino’s 2006 Community Profile.

In addition to the Census and National Household Data Profiles, Statistics Canada publishes information on various subject areas, including Aboriginal Peoples, Children and Youth, and Education, Training and Learning, all of which can be accessed from its home page.