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Appendix A: Glossary

Adjusted counts
'Adjusted counts' refer to previous census population and dwelling counts that were adjusted (i.e., recompiled) to reflect current census boundaries, when a boundary change occurs between the two censuses.

Block-face
A block-face is one side of a street between two consecutive features intersecting that street. The features can be other streets or boundaries of standard geographic areas.

Block-faces are used for generating block-face representative points, which in turn are used for geocoding and census data extraction when the street and address information are available.

Cartographic boundary files
Cartographic boundary files (CBFs) contain the boundaries of standard geographic areas together with the shoreline around Canada. Selected inland lakes and rivers are available as a supplementary layer.

Census agricultural region
Census agricultural regions (CARs) are composed of groups of adjacent census divisions. In Saskatchewan, census agricultural regions are made up of groups of adjacent census consolidated subdivisions, but these groups do not necessarily respect census division boundaries.

Census consolidated subdivision
A census consolidated subdivision (CCS) is a group of adjacent census subdivisions. Generally, the smaller, more urban census subdivisions (towns, villages, etc.) are combined with the surrounding, larger, more rural census subdivision, in order to create a geographic level between the census subdivision and the census division.

Census division
Census division (CD) is the general term for provincially legislated areas (such as county, municipalité régionale de comté and regional district) or their equivalents. Census divisions are intermediate geographic areas between the province/territory level and the municipality (census subdivision).

Census metropolitan area and census agglomeration
A census metropolitan area (CMA) or a census agglomeration (CA) is formed by one or more adjacent municipalities centred on a large urban area (known as the urban core). A CMA must have a total population of at least 100,000 of which 50,000 or more must live in the urban core. A CA must have an urban core population of at least 10,000. To be included in the CMA or CA, other adjacent municipalities must have a high degree of integration with the central urban area, as measured by commuting flows derived from census place of work data.

If the population of the urban core of a CA declines below 10,000, the CA is retired. However, once an area becomes a CMA, it is retained as a CMA even if its total population declines below 100,000 or the population of its urban core falls below 50,000. The urban areas in the CMA or CA that are not contiguous to the urban core are called the urban fringe. Rural areas in the CMA or CA are called the rural fringe.

When a CA has an urban core of at least 50,000, it is subdivided into census tracts. Census tracts are maintained for the CA even if the population of the urban core subsequently falls below 50,000. All CMAs are subdivided into census tracts.

Census metropolitan area and census agglomeration influenced zone
The census metropolitan area and census agglomeration influenced zone (MIZ) is a concept that geographically differentiates the area of Canada outside census metropolitan areas (CMAs) and census agglomerations (CAs). Census subdivisions outside CMAs and CAs are assigned to one of four categories according to the degree of influence (strong, moderate, weak or no influence) that the CMAs and/or CAs have on them.

Census subdivisions (CSDs) are assigned to a MIZ category based on the percentage of their resident employed labour force that has a place of work in the urban core(s) of CMAs or CAs. CSDs with the same degree of influence tend to be clustered. They form zones around CMAs and CAs that progress through the categories from 'strong' to 'no' influence as distance from the CMAs and CAs increases.

Census subdivision
Census subdivision (CSD) is the general term for municipalities (as determined by provincial/territorial legislation) or areas treated as municipal equivalents for statistical purposes (e.g., Indian reserves, Indian settlements and unorganized territories).

Census tract
Census tracts (CTs) are small, relatively stable geographic areas that usually have a population of 2,500 to 8,000. They are located in census metropolitan areas and in census agglomerations with an urban core population of 50,000 or more in the previous census.

A committee of local specialists (for example, planners, health and social workers, and educators) initially delineates census tracts in conjunction with Statistics Canada. Once a census metropolitan area (CMA) or census agglomeration (CA) has been subdivided into census tracts, the census tracts are maintained even if the urban core population subsequently declines below 50,000.

Coordinate system
A coordinate system is a reference system based on mathematical rules for specifying positions (locations) on the surface of the earth. The coordinate values can be spherical (latitude and longitude) or planar (such as Universal Transverse Mercator).

Cartographic boundary files, digital boundary files, representative points and the road network file are disseminated in latitude/longitude coordinates.

Datum
Datum is a geodetic reference system that specifies the size and shape of the earth, and the base point from which the latitude and longitude of all other points on the earth's surface are referenced.

Designated place
A designated place (DPL) is normally a small community or settlement that does not meet the criteria established by Statistics Canada to be a census subdivision (an area with municipal status) or an urban area.

Designated places are created by provinces and territories, in cooperation with Statistics Canada, to provide data for submunicipal areas.

Digital boundary files
Digital boundary files (DBFs) portray the boundaries used for 2006 Census collection and, therefore, often extend as straight lines into bodies of water.

Dissemination area
A dissemination area (DA) is a small, relatively stable geographic unit composed of one or more adjacent dissemination blocks. It is the smallest standard geographic area for which all census data are disseminated. DAs cover all the territory of Canada.

Dissemination block
A dissemination block (DB) is an area bounded on all sides by roads and/or boundaries of standard geographic areas. The dissemination block is the smallest geographic area for which population and dwelling counts are disseminated. Dissemination blocks cover all the territory of Canada.

Economic region
An economic region (ER) is a grouping of complete census divisions (CDs) (with one exception in Ontario) created as a standard geographic unit for analysis of regional economic activity.

Ecumene
Ecumene is a term used by geographers to mean inhabited land. It generally refers to land where people have made their permanent home, and to all work areas that are considered occupied and used for agricultural or any other economic purpose. Thus, there can be various types of ecumenes, each having their own unique characteristics (population ecumene, agricultural ecumene, industrial ecumene, etc.).

Federal electoral district
A federal electoral district (FED) is an area represented by a member of the House of Commons. The federal electoral district boundaries used for the 2006 Census are based on the 2003 Representation Order.

Geocoding
Geocoding is the process of assigning geographic identifiers (codes) to map features and data records. The resulting geocodes permit data to be linked geographically.

Households, postal codes and place of work data are linked to block-face representative points when the street and address information is available; otherwise, they are linked to dissemination block (DB) representative points. In some cases, postal codes and place of work data are linked to dissemination area (DA) representative points when they cannot be linked to DBs. As well, place of work data are linked to census subdivision representative points when the data cannot be linked to DAs.

Geographic code
A geographic code is a numerical identifier assigned to a geographic area. The code is used to identify and access standard geographic areas for the purposes of data storage, retrieval and display

Geographic reference date
The geographic reference date is a date determined by Statistics Canada for the purpose of finalizing the geographic framework for which census data will be collected, tabulated and reported. For the 2006 Census, the geographic reference date is January 1, 2006.

Land area
Land area is the area in square kilometres of the land-based portions of standard geographic areas.

Land area data are unofficial, and are provided for the sole purpose of calculating population density.

Locality
'Locality' (LOC) refers to the historical place names of former census subdivisions (municipalities), former designated places and former urban areas, as well as to the names of other entities, such as neighbourhoods, post offices, communities and unincorporated places.

Map projection
A map projection is the process of transforming and representing positions from the earth's three dimensional curved surface to a two-dimensional (flat) surface. The process is accomplished by a direct geometric projection or by a mathematically derived transformation.

The Lambert conformal conic map projection is widely used for general maps of Canada at small scales and is the most common map projection used at Statistics Canada.

National Geographic Database
The National Geographic Database (NGD) is a shared database between Statistics Canada and Elections Canada. The database contains roads, road names and address ranges. It also includes separate reference layers containing physical and cultural features, such as hydrography and hydrographic names, railroads and power transmission lines.

The NGD was created in 1997 as a joint Statistics Canada/Elections Canada initiative to develop and maintain a national road network file serving the needs of both organizations. The active building of the NGD - that is, integrating the files from Statistics Canada, Elections Canada and Natural Resources Canada - occurred from 1998 to 2000. Thereafter, Statistics Canada and Elections Canada reconciled their digital boundary holdings to the new database's road network geometry so that operational products could be derived.

Since 2001, the focus of the NGD has been on intensive data quality improvements, especially regarding the quality and currency of its road network coverage. There has been considerable expansion of road names and civic addresses ranges, as well as the addition of hydrographic names. Priorities were determined by Statistics Canada and Elections Canada, enabling the NGD to meet the joint operational needs of both agencies in support of census and electoral activities.

Place name
'Place name' refers to the set of names that includes current census subdivisions (municipalities), current designated places and current urban areas, as well as the names of localities.

Population density
Population density is the number of persons per square kilometre.

Postal code
The postal code is a six-character code defined and maintained by Canada Post Corporation for the purpose of sorting and delivering mail.

Province or territory
Province and territory refer to the major political units of Canada. From a statistical point of view, province and territory are basic areas for which data are tabulated. Canada is divided into 10 provinces and three territories.

Reference map
A reference map shows the location of the geographic areas for which census data are tabulated and disseminated. The maps display the boundaries, names and codes of standard geographic areas, as well as major cultural and physical features, such as roads, railroads, coastlines, rivers and lakes.

Representative point
A representative point is a point that represents a line or a polygon. The point is centrally located along the line, and centrally located or population weighted in the polygon.

Representative points are generated for block-faces, dissemination blocks, dissemination areas, census subdivisions, urban areas and designated places.

Households, postal codes and place of work data are linked to block-face representative points when the street and address information is available; otherwise, they are linked to dissemination block (DB) representative points. In some cases, postal codes and place of work data are linked to dissemination area (DA) representative points when they cannot be linked to DBs. As well, place of work data are linked to census subdivision representative points when the data cannot be linked to DAs.

Road network files
The road network file (RNF) contains roads, road names, address ranges and road ranks for the entire country. Most commonly, address ranges are dwelling-based and are mainly available in the large urban centres of Canada.

Rural area
Rural areas include all territory lying outside urban areas. Taken together, urban and rural areas cover all of Canada.

Rural population includes all population living in the rural fringes of census metropolitan areas (CMAs) and census agglomerations (CAs), as well as population living in rural areas outside CMAs and CAs.

Spatial Data Infrastructure
The Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI), formerly known as the National Geographic Base (NGB), is an internal maintenance database that is not disseminated outside of Statistics Canada. It contains roads, road names and address ranges from the National Geographic Database (NGD), as well as boundary arcs of standard geographic areas that do not follow roads, all in one integrated line layer. The database also includes a related polygon layer consisting of basic blocks (BB) (basic blocks are the smallest polygon units in the database, and are formed by the intersection of all roads and the arcs of geographic areas that do not follow roads), boundary layers of standard geographic areas, and derived attribute tables, as well as reference layers containing physical and cultural features (such as hydrography, railroads and power transmission lines) from the NGD.

The SDI supports a wide range of census operations, such as the maintenance and delineation of the boundaries of standard geographic areas (including the automated delineation of dissemination blocks, dissemination areas and urban areas), and geocoding. The SDI is also the source for generating many geography products for the 2006 Census, such as cartographic boundary files and road network files.

Spatial data quality elements
Spatial data quality elements provide information on the fitness for use of a spatial database by describing why, when and how the data are created, and how accurate the data are. The elements include an overview describing the purpose and usage, as well as specific quality elements reporting on the lineage, positional accuracy, attribute accuracy, logical consistency and completeness. This information is provided to users for all spatial data products disseminated for the census.

Standard Geographical Classification
The Standard Geographical Classification (SGC) is Statistics Canada's official classification for three types of geographic areas: provinces and territories, census divisions (CDs) and census subdivisions (CSDs). The SGC provides unique numeric identification (codes) for these hierarchically related geographic areas.

Statistical Area Classification
The Statistical Area Classification (SAC) groups census subdivisions according to whether they are a component of a census metropolitan area, a census agglomeration, a census metropolitan area and census agglomeration influenced zone (strong MIZ, moderate MIZ, weak MIZ or no MIZ), or the territories (Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories and Nunavut). The SAC is used for data dissemination purposes.

Thematic map
A thematic map shows the spatial distribution of one or more specific data themes for standard geographic areas. The map may be qualitative in nature (e.g., predominant farm types) or quantitative (e.g., percentage population change).

Urban area
An urban area has a minimum population concentration of 1,000 persons and a population density of at least 400 persons per square kilometre, based on the current census population count. All territory outside urban areas is classified as rural. Taken together, urban and rural areas cover all of Canada.

Urban population includes all population living in the urban cores, secondary urban cores and urban fringes of census metropolitan areas (CMAs) and census agglomerations (CAs), as well as the population living in urban areas outside CMAs and CAs.

Urban core, urban fringe and rural fringe
'Urban core, urban fringe and rural fringe' distinguish between central and peripheral urban and rural areas within a census metropolitan area (CMA) or census agglomeration (CA).

'Urban core' is a large urban area around which a CMA or a CA is delineated. The urban core must have a population (based on the previous census) of at least 50,000 persons in the case of a CMA, or at least 10,000 persons in the case of a CA.

The urban core of a CA that has been merged with an adjacent CMA or larger CA is called the 'secondary urban core'.

'Urban fringe' includes all small urban areas within a CMA or CA that are not contiguous with the urban core of the CMA or CA.

'Rural fringe' is all territory within a CMA or CA not classified as an urban core or an urban fringe.

Urban population size group
The term 'urban population size group' refers to the classification used in standard tabulations where urban areas are distributed according to the following predetermined size groups, based on the current census population.

1,000
2,500
5,000
10,000
25,000
50,000
100,000
500,000

to
to
to
to
to
to
to
and over

2,499
4,999
9,999
24,999
49,999
99,999
499,999
...

Tabulations are not limited to these predetermined population size groups; the census database has the capability of tabulating data according to any user-defined population size group.