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2011 National Household Survey: Data tables

Tabulation: Ethnic Origin (101), Age Groups (10), Sex (3) and Selected Demographic, Cultural, Labour Force, Educational and Income Characteristics (327) for the Population in Private Households of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2011 National Household Survey

About this tabulation

General information

Catalogue number :
Release date :
December 11, 2013
Topic :
Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity
Variables :
  1. Geography Geographic Index
  2. Ethnic origin (101)
  3. Age groups (10)
  4. Selected demographic, cultural, educational, labour force and income characteristics (327)
  5. Sex (3)


Note: Confidentiality disclosure control for the National Household Survey (NHS)

Disclosure control rules have been applied to data tables available from the National Household Survey (NHS). The number of actual records used to derive any number in a table must meet a minimum criterion. For a table cell where this criterion is not met, the number is replaced by a zero. Due to this disclosure control, subtotals will not necessarily aggregate to the total. As well, users should note that random rounding has also been applied to the data.

Note: Differences between the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) estimates and census counts

The 2011 Census of Population and the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) both provide information on the Canadian population for various levels of geography and for numerous common topics (e.g., demography, marital status, family and language) including characteristics associated to these topics. It is possible that differences exist between the 2011 Census count and the NHS estimate. Two reasons can explain these differences:

- The definition of the population of each data source: the target population for the 2011 Census includes usual residents in collective dwellings and persons living abroad, whereas the target population for the NHS excludes them.

- The variability of the estimates for the NHS: the NHS estimates are derived from a sample survey and are therefore subject to sampling error; they are also subject to potentially higher non-response error than in the census due to the survey's voluntary nature.

Note: The 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) estimates - quality indicators

For the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) estimates, the global non-response rate (GNR) is used as an indicator of data quality. This indicator combines complete non-response (household) and partial non-response (question) into a single rate. The value of the GNR is presented to users. A smaller GNR indicates a lower risk of non-response bias and as a result, lower risk of inaccuracy. The threshold used for estimates' suppression is a GNR of 50% or more. For more information, please refer to the National Household Survey User Guide, 2011.

Note: Comparability of low-income estimates

Low-income estimates from the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) compared to previous censuses show markedly different trends than those derived from other surveys and administrative data such as the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID) or the T1 Family File (T1FF).

Data to support quality estimates of low-income trends require a stable methodology over time that has similar response patterns. With the new methodology of the NHS, estimates of low income are not comparable to the Census-based estimates produced in the past.

Previous census income releases compared low-income rates over time using the low-income cut-off (LICO). Given the lack of comparability of the trends and to prevent misleading conclusions arising from comparisons of LICO estimates from the NHS with earlier censuses, estimates of low-income based on LICO are not available as a standard product from the NHS. They are available upon request.

Analysis of the NHS estimates suggests that it is valid to compare low-income estimates for different sub-populations within the NHS (that is, for different geographic areas or demographic groups). While many low-income measures, including the LICO, are well suited to the analysis of trends in low income, the after-tax Low Income Measure (LIM-AT) is better suited to the analysis of low income in the NHS because the threshold level of income below which one is considered to have low income is itself derived from the households that responded to the survey.

Note: Income suppression and data quality

Area suppression is the deletion of all characteristic data for geographic areas with populations below a specified size. Income distributions and related statistics are suppressed if the population in the area, excluding residents in collective dwellings, is less than 250, or if the number of private households is less than 40.

Tables with total income, after-tax income or earnings distributions.

Total income, after-tax income and earnings distributions have been suppressed where the estimated total number of units (persons, families or households) is less than 250. All suppressed cells and associated averages and medians have been replaced with zeros or symbols.

In all cases, suppressed data are included in the appropriate higher aggregate subtotals and totals.

For information on data quality, refer to the Income Reference Guide, National Household Survey, Catalogue no. 99-014-X2011006.

Note: Non-permanent residents and the NHS universe

The 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) included information about non-permanent residents in Canada. Non-permanent residents are defined as persons from another country who, at the time of the survey, held a Work or Study Permit or who were refugee claimants, as well as non-Canadian-born family members living in Canada with them. The non-permanent resident population is identified from responses to the citizenship and landed immigrant status questions. Persons who are not Canadian citizens by birth and who answered 'No' to the landed immigrant status question are considered non permanent residents.

The inclusion of non-permanent residents in the NHS facilitates comparisons with provincial and territorial statistics (marriages, divorces, births and deaths) which include this population and provides information for planning of services, such as health care, education and employment programs. As well, the inclusion of non-permanent residents brings Canadian practice closer to the United Nations recommendation that long-term residents (persons living in a country for one year or longer) be enumerated.

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

Note: Youth labour force status

Both the National Household Survey (NHS) and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) collect data on the labour force status of the Canadian population. However, there are a number of conceptual differences between the two surveys. For more information on the general comparability of the NHS and Labour Force Survey data refer to the National Household Survey Dictionary, Catalogue no. 99-000-X, Appendix 2.1.

In addition to the information provided in the appendix, data users should be aware that in May 2011, the reference periods between the two surveys had a gap of two weeks. The NHS reference period was from May 1 to May 7, 2011, whereas the reference period of the LFS was from May 15 to May 21, 2011.

This gap in reference periods occurred during a strategic time of the year for youth as the academic year ended in May; job searching and hiring for the summer began. Most noticeably, employment rates for individuals aged 15 to 24 showed a discrepancy between the two surveys for May 2011.

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