Data deficit: How are Canadians coping sans long-form census?

January 30, 2015 – Anna Mehler Paperny, Global News

Canada’s long-dead long-form census is in the news again.

Liberal MP Ted Hsu’s private members bill, which proposes to bring it back but eliminate the threat of jail time for those who don’t fill out the mandatory long-form census, has brought the issue back to the fore – even though the bill has scant chance of passing when it’s put to a vote in a majority Conservative House of Commons next week.

But if Canada’s gold standard of population data’s gone for good, what does that mean for the individuals, governments, businesses, planners, health authorities (essentially, everyone) who depended on it?

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Toronto ditches National Household Survey for historical comparisons


Anna Mehler Paperny – Global News

Statistics Canada’s National Household Survey is too unreliable to compare with previous long-form censuses, Toronto has decided.

Canada’s biggest city won’t use the new survey to inform historic trendlines unless Statistics Canada provides better technical information that puts planners more at ease.

Toronto, like other cities and a multitude of government and private organizations, relies on data from the long-form census to get a sense of where the community’s going.

At least, it used to.

Don’t compare household survey numbers to long-form census, Toronto tells city staff

Anna Mehler Paperny, Global News

TORONTO – The city is cautioning its staff not to compare National Household Survey information with data from the long-form census.

“Because of the change from a mandatory to a voluntary sample, the NHS may under-report the number of people belonging to certain subgroups,” reads a briefing note being sent out to key staff members who would normally work closely with this kind of demographic information.

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