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Social Work Field Placement Guide

Statistics Canada Sources


Understanding Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada is the federal government's national statistical agency based in Ottawa. Its role is to provide the federal government with data to inform policy-making, such as where government funds are resources are to be allocated throughout the country.


There are three main sources of data from Statistics Canada:

1) The Census of Canada which is currently conducted every five years

2) Surveys conducted by Statistics Canada that can be monthly, annual or selective

3) Data collected from other federal agencies such as Immigration Canada or from other levels of government


Labour Force Participation Data

Statistics Canada has a labour statistics webpage that has data on earnings, employment, hours of work and so forth. The main survey Statistics Canada conducts about work is the Labour Force Survey

When looking for data about race, Statistics Canada uses the terms ethnicity, Indigenous and visible minorities. Some researchers have now began to refer to visible minorities as racialized populations. Here is a webpage that explains the history or ethnoracial classifications in Statistics Canada data.


Neighbourhood Demographics

Statistics Canada collects data by census geography, such as Census Tracts, and do not match municipal boundaries such as neighbourhoods and wards. Cities will often take Statistics Canada Census data and customize it to fit as best as possible their municipal boundaries. For example, the City of Toronto has a Neighbourhood Profiles data webpage that they have created.


Non-Census Statistics Canada Reports

Statistics Canada continually issues new reports on the data that it collects. On the Analysis tab on the Statistics Canada website, there are a list of Articles and Reports that can be filtered by subject, year of publication, or survey name. 


For more assistance in finding data contact Kevin Manuel, Data Librarian: