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November 4, 2002 Volume 5, Number 9


Introduction - Editor's Comments

* What's New at

* Statistics Canada releases

* How to Win at the Census Shell Game

* Small Business Stats Facts

For data table spacing, this newsletter is best viewed in Courier 10



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Contrary to popular belief we are still alive and in business!  We had a
major (read dead & buried) server melt down that made our August troubles
look like a minor wrinkle. We have recovered for the most part and our site
is now located on a new server.  Hurray!

We also had some minor problems with our domain name.  We think everything
has been straightened out now however if you encounter problems with you can now use

Our contact e-mail address remains unchanged ( and
actually continued working throughout the whole process!

The site itself has undergone a redesign but have no fear the content is
the same, what is still missing will be uploaded soon.  The grand plan was
to redesign the site, test and upgrade it and then move to a new server.
Unfortunately, our server had other plans.  The redesign is mostly complete
but the full testing and upgrades still have to be done.  The number of
telephone calls we got when we were down however indicated that the demand
for the site was too great to stay off-line any longer.

I apologize for any difficulties you may encounter as we continue to "iron
out" the edges.

I hope you find this issue helpful.


John White




No new sites were added to the GDSourcing index over the last four weeks
but we do have a new design and upgraded search engine.  See Above! 




The following statistics were released by Statistics Canada over the last
four weeks.  We have listed those releases we feel are of the most interest
to Canadian entrepreneurs. 

Very few of these statistics are available on-line.  The URL listed is a
direct link to the press release associated with the data.  It provides
contact and ordering information.

If you want to purchase any publication related to these releases please
see our web site:

We offer a 20% discount on most Stats Can publications and a 10% discount
on Stats Can electronic products.  For more information you can reach us at  Put "StatsCan" in the subject line of your e-mail.

We have identified below which releases have a FREE publication associated
with them.


Economic overview of farm incomes: Grain and oilseed farms - 1998

Food consumption 2001

Farm Environmental Management Survey, 2001

Alternative livestock on Canadian farms 2001


Challenges for the performing arts 1998/99

Radio listening Fall 2001

Competition in telecommunications services 1999


Information and communication technology: Access and use


Survey of the Construction Industry - 2000

National Construction Industry Wage Rate Survey: Atlantic provinces 2002


Carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by the iron and steel industry


Health Indicators

National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth: Childhood obesity 1994
to 1999


Information and communication technology: Access and use

The digital divide 2000


Justice spending in Canada 2000/01

Pilot analysis of recidivism among convicted youth and young adults 1999/2000

Youth custody and community services 2000/01


2001 Census: Marital status, common-law status, families, dwellings and

Effects of selection criteria and economic opportunities on characteristics
of immigrants

Evolution of job stability in Canada: Trends and comparisons to US results

Family income - 2000

Part-time employment in rural Canada


Aquaculture statistics 2001


Financing of small- and medium-sized enterprises 2000




On October 22, 2002, Statistics Canada released the third round of data
from the 2001 Census.  It covers Marital status, common-law status,
families, dwellings and households.

More Census data than ever before is now available online but you would not
necessarily know it from the Statistics Canada web site. Picking the right
link to follow for detailed data is a bit of a shell game.  Sometimes you
even question whether a "pea" is even there. This article is designed to
help you understand what Census data you can access online and how you can
get at it as quickly as possible.

To start with it is important to know what you will NOT find at the
Statistics Canada web site.  Geographical detail for 2001 Census data is
for the most part limited to Canada, Provinces/Territories and Metropolitan
Areas/Agglomerations. Agglomerations are metropolitan areas of small urban
centres. There are highlights at the Municipality level (Census
Subdivision) but the detail and variable coverage is limited. 
For the remainder of this article any reference to Metropolitan Areas
includes Agglomerations.

There is no data available online for smaller geographical areas (e.g.
Census Tracts - Urban neighborhoods) beyond basic population and dwelling
counts.  For any other Census variable (e.g. marital status) you need to
contact Statistics Canada directly (1-800-263-1136). You will be charged
for this local level data.

You also need to contact Statistics Canada if you require custom cross
tabulations. (i.e. you what to use two or more variables that are not
included on a standard table to create your own table) For example you want
to know the number of primary household maintainers between the age of 25
and 34 that live in a home built prior to 1920 in Halifax NS. There is a
charge for any custom tabulations.  

As to what data is available it is best to have the primary Census page
( open in front
of you for the remainder of this article.   This is the page that appears
when you click on the "Census" link located at the top of every web page on
the Stats Can site.

The page starts out with top level highlights.  The first column of data
links is identified as RELEASE HIGHLIGHTS & ANALYSIS.  While these links
are helpful and interesting the data detail in this section is limited.

The "October 22, 2002 issue of The Daily" link
( provides an
overview of the all the data released in the third round.  This is the
Lloyd Robertson/Peter Mansbridge version of the information.  It highlights
major developments and interesting trends but has limited application for
market research.

A bit more insight is included behind the "Profile of Canadian families and
households: Diversification continues" link.  It contains mostly
superlatives which are only mildly interesting unless your market happens
to be those particular communities featured.  (E.g. the municipality with
the highest proportion of households containing husband/wife couples with
children (Do you live in Stanley, Manitoba?))

The next link "Topic Summaries" provides descriptions of the data that have
been released. 

E.g. Marital Status of Canadians: This topic presents data on marital
status and common-law, by age and sex. These data show the number of
persons who are single, legally married, separated, divorced or widowed.
Data are also provided on the marital status of persons who reported living
common-law. The data are reported for individuals, for the entire Canadian

While these topic summaries are helpful in putting into perspective the
data currently released they do not contain any data and they are not
linked to any either.

At the bottom of the first column is an animated graph that shows the
trends in family structure in Canada from 1931 to 2001. Fun to watch! There
is also a table which provides the actual numbers depicted in the graph.
Unless you are writing a high school paper however, these figures are not
particularly relevant for current market research.

As you can see from the above commentary the first column of links does not
provide any links or direction to in-depth figures.

The second column of links is titled: RELEASE DATA

First off is the link "Highlight Tables for Families and Household Living
Arrangements".  Only two highlight tables are provided:

1. Private Households by Household Type,
2. Couples by Presence of Children, for Private Households

It is worth noting that the tables provide details by municipality (Census
Subdivision) which is actually quite rare on the Census web site. 

Another useful feature about these tables is that there are small triangles
at the top of each column.  By clicking on the triangles the table will be
resorted ascending or descending  by the variable you have chosen.   So if
you wanted a list of communities with over 30,000 couple family households
with children, simple click on the appropriate triangle and scroll down.
This can also be done with the population and age highlight tables released
previously. (e.g. find out the names of all Canadian cities with over
100,000 population:

You can then quickly copy the rows you need by clicking and dragging your
mouse to highlight your selection. Then press CTRL-C (copy) and open up an
Excel spreadsheet.  Press CTRL-V to paste the rows into the spreadsheet.
You must be using Internet Explorer for the paste to work properly.

NB: If the little triangles do not appear on the highlight tables click on
the column heading and they will appear.

The link after the "highlight tables" appears to promise access to detailed
data.  It is labeled "Data on Marital Status of Canadians, Families and
Household Living Arrangements and Housing are available for many standard
geographic areas through Topic-based Tabulations and Profiles."  What you
find however, when you click on the links is a list of "Product titles" for
which most are identified either as "This product is not yet released" or
if it is apparently released it has only one link: "About this product". 

The "About this product" link gives you a description about the variables
covered by a particular product but gives no indication on how to access
it.  At the bottom of the page is "Require assistance or advice on 2001
Census of Population Products and Services? Contact the nearest Statistics
Canada Regional Reference Centre" 

It is unfortunate that clear direction is not provided.  These particular
products all cover small geographical areas which are not accessible online
at this time.  To access this data you need to contact Statistics Canada
directly.  You cannot do it through their web site. It would have been
helpful if this was spelled out clearly.  Even better if it included a link
for online ordering but now I am being fanciful!

If you carefully scroll through all the dataless product titles (e.g. "This
product is not yet released" and the "About this product" only links) you
will notice there are some product titles that have two links associated
with them: "About this product" AND "View this product".  This is where the
data is!  On some results pages this will only be one or two of the product
titles listed.

All of the titles are typical Stats Can Census titles.  They are very
precise and must be read and reread a few times before you fully grasp the
data being presented.  For example:

"Age Groups of Primary Household Maintainer (8), Number of Household
Maintainers (4) and Tenure (4) for Private Households, for Canada,
Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census
Agglomerations, 2001 Census"

The number in brackets after each variable is the number of options that
the variable has.  To find out what the options are either look at the
table (i.e. click on "view this product") or click on "about this product"
and then click on the variable listed.  For example:

Age Groups of Primary Household Maintainer (8),

1. Total - Age groups of primary household maintainer
2. Under 25 years
3. 25-34 years
4. 35-44 years
5. 45-54 years
6. 55-64 years
7. 65-74 years
8. 75 years and over

Tenure (4)

1. Total - Tenure
2. Owned
3. Rented
4. Band housing

It will take time, especially at the beginning to assess whether or not a
particular title will meet your needs or not. It is unfortunate that the
whole process is unnecessarily complicated by the fact that you have to
also sift through titles that are "not yet released" or require direct
contact with Stats Can to access.

My recommendation is to not follow the most visible links on the page but
rather to go to the Topics Based Tabulation Page (Not the one listed above
but the following address):
(This page is not linked on the primary Census page so don't look for it

At this page click on the check box which say: "Include Free information
only in search results." (Remember information that is not free is either
at a small geographical level or a custom cross tabulation.)

You are now provided with a list of census data products by topic. Click on
the topic of your choice (e.g. Marital Status of Canadians) and you are
presented with a list of titles that link to actual data tables.  You will
still see a few "not yet released" but the vast majority of the list is
accessible online.  Then if you are looking at a table and think to
yourself, I wish this was more detailed geographically or I wish I could
add one more variable, you know to contact Stats Can directly to find out
the cost and time involved in the retrieval.

This page (Topics Based Tabulation Page:
 also lets you search by place name. So if you wanted to find out all the
free 2001 Census data online that covers Burlington, Ontario all you need
to do is click on the link and type the geographical name in the search
line.  Keep in mind that online you will only be able to access municipal
level and metropolitan area Census geographies and that your search results
will include Census products from ALL topics.  Considering that only 5 of
21 Census topics are released this means you get a lot of "not yet released
titles" by performing this type of search.

Finally from the Topics Based Tabulation Page
) you can search by individual Census variable (e.g. Structural Type of
Dwelling).  The variables are listed alphabetically.  This feature is only
useful if you are somewhat familiar with Census terminology.  For example
if you wanted to find out the number of households living in apartment
buildings, you will not find apartment building or apartment dwellers
listed.  This variable option is included under "Structural Type of Dwelling".

I do not recommend starting with a Census variable search but once you find
a variable you are interested in you may want to use this feature to
identify all the tables which include it.

Clearly the Topics Based Tabulation Page is the most effect page to begin
your search for detailed 2001 Census data.  However back at the primary
Stats Can Census page
( there are a
few more links that need to be identified.

First of all at the bottom of the middle column is the link "Community
Profiles". (
This feature provides highlight data from the 2001 Census for
municipalities across Canada (Census Subdivisions).  While detail is
limited it is a convenient way to get a quick demographic profile of a
particular community. It is updated with each new Census release.

The third column on the page, titled RELEASE MAPS, includes map related
products.  The first are Thematic Maps where selected Census data is
applied to metropolitan areas at the Census Tract (Neighborhood) level.
There are also some regional maps with data applied at the Municipal level
(e.g. Extended Golden Horseshoe, Montréal and Adjacent Region, Lower
Mainland and Southern Vancouver Island, Calgary - Edmonton Corridor)

These maps are informative as they allow you to quickly assess the
demographic make-up of a city.  (For example which neighborhoods in a
particular city are growing the fastest.)  Unfortunately the variables
examined are extremely limited.  One map per release round appears to be
the planned schedule: 

1. Population change, 1996 - 2001
2. Median Age
3. Households containing a couple with children

You can access the thematic maps from the primary Census Page however you
only have access to the latest one created. The following Thematic Map Page
lists all available maps by region or metropolitan area:

The maps are very large pdf files.  Use the "zoom" feature (magnifying
glass icon on the top menu bar of your Adobe Acrobat reader) to blow up the
map so you can focus in on specific areas of the city.

One thing you will notice about the Thematic Maps is that while the Census
Tract boundaries are included street names are not so it can sometimes be a
bit difficult to determine exactly "where your are" in the city. 

The primary Census page also provides a link to Reference Maps. (Third
column second link)  These maps provide the names of major streets along
with the Census Tract boundaries.  Use the reference maps to determine the
lay out of the data on the Thematic Maps.  The primary link for reference
maps is 

As mentioned above these maps are very large pdf files.  Use the "zoom"
feature (magnifying glass icon on the top menu bar of your Adobe Acrobat
reader) to blow up the map so you can read the street names.

GeoSearch, the last feature in the third column, is a fun tool which allows
you to click and zoom in on very small geographical areas (e.g. street
intersection) and get total population and dwelling counts for those areas.
 It is a great feature for determining the size of a population base within
a specific radius of a given location.  (e.g. how many people live within a
2km radius of my restaurant.)

The one link that should be the Census home page or at least prominently
marked is located just above the three columns to the right.   It is
labeled "Finding 2001 Census Data"  It sounds promising enough and actually
is very helpful. 

It is organized by Tabs: Population & Dwelling Counts, Highlight Tables,
Profiles, Topic-based Tabulations.  Each tab is then organized by
geographical unit: Metropolitan area, Municipality (district municipality,
settlement, town, township, village) and County (division, region, regional
district). The problem arises when you start to look for detailed data at
geographical areas below Metropolitan Areas. 

The population and dwelling counts and highlight tabs work nicely in that
you chose your geography and then you are jumped to the appropriate section
of the resulting highlights table. The Profiles tab jumps you to the
appropriate information in the Community Profiles page mentioned above:

It is the Topic-based Tabulations that again falls victim the  "not yet
released" and "not available online" issue when you search on county or
municipal level data.  Again it is not at all clear how you can access the
data you want online or how you can purchase offline if necessary.  You are
better to use the Topics Based Tabulation Page mentioned above:
  It will clearly tell you whether or not free data is available for the
geographical level you are searching on.

The same problem pops up again on the "Standard Data Products" page linked
to the far left of the primary Census page under the Census logo.  It is
identified as "Data".

The page tries to provide basic direction to Census data but while it is
clear on the purpose behind each "product"  it does not identify the detail
available nor indicate when you need to contact Statistics Canada directly. 

I think Statistics Canada has missed an excellent opportunity to up-sell
their free data and has left users wondering how they can access the data
they need and why some many "products" are apparently inaccessible.     

In our minds the 2001 Census interface could prove daunting and
discouraging for many business researchers because so many links are empty
of real data.  The game should be stacked in the researchers favour.  There
should be something under each "shell" and if there isn't there should be
note explaining why there isn't and a "big arrow" pointing you to next
shell that does have information. 

The following is our selection of key links that should appear on the
primary page and the ones we have included in our site summary

1. Highlights from the latest releases

2. Search for Census Data by Geographical Area
(NB: With the exception of basic population & dwelling counts data for
local neighborhoods is unavailable online. You must contact Statistics
Canada directly to order this level of detail.)

3. FREE Detailed Census Data by Topic
(NB: Make sure you click on the "Free Information only")

The following topics have been released:
* Age & Sex
* Marital Status
* Families & Household Living Arrangements
* Housing

4. Census Maps

* GeoSearch
Population & Dwelling Counts for very small geographical areas

* Thematic Maps for Metropolitan Areas

Census data plotted by local neighborhood Themes covered:
Population Change
Median Age
Households containing a couple with children

* Reference Maps
Census boundaries including selected street names

Please feel free to use our site summary as a Census Interface.  Don't give
up too soon at the Census web site.  It is a shell game you can win every
time!  It is just a matter of knowing where to look. There is more Census
data online than ever before.  Take advantage of it.




Each Business Researcher Newsletter ends with a collection of five
statistics that every entrepreneur should be aware of. 

1. What source of financing was the most important for new business start-ups?

Just over one-half (54%) of entrepreneurs reported that, in 2000, personal
savings were very important in launching their business, whereas 27% cited
commercial loans from banks, credit unions, caisses populaires or other
financial institutions as very important. About 23% of entrepreneurs said
they also depended on their personal credit cards.
Source: Statistics Canada (Oct 2002)

2. What % of employer businesses in Canada have 1 to 4 employees?  How does
this compare to the U.S.?

58% of Canadian businesses have 1 to 4 employees vs 42.7% of U.S. businesses
Source: RBC, CFIB (October 2002)

3. What % of Canadian households have a home-based business?


Source: Ipsos-Reid SOHO Syndicated Study (2001)

4. In what industry sector do most home-based businesses fall?

Service Industry 33%
Consulting 17%
Professional 15%
Manufacturing/Construction 12%
Retail/Wholesale 11%
Primary Industries 10%

Source: Ipsos-Reid SOHO Syndicated Study (2001)

5. How many years have Canadian micro-businesses (less than 10 employees)
been in operation?

Less than 3 years: 10%
3 to 6 years: 27%
7 to 10 years: 21%
11 to 20 years: 24%
More than 20 years: 18%

The average age of a micro business in Canada is 13 years old!

Source: Ipsos-Reid SOHO Syndicated Study (2001)


G D S O U R C I N G - R E S E A R C H  &  R E T R I E V A L
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UPDATED: 08/06/03
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