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General Social Survey: 20th anniversary

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The Daily

Thursday, June 12, 2008
1985 to 2006

For 20 years, Statistics Canada's General Social Survey (GSS) has been collecting information on the social conditions of Canadians.

To mark the 20th anniversary, the Agency is publishing a series of analytical fact sheets called Matter of Fact, which highlight important developments in Canadian society discovered through the analysis of GSS data during the past two decades.

Each issue of Matter of Fact will look at a single theme. The inaugural article, released today, is titled "Violent victimization in Canada."

This issue analyzes data from GSS surveys on victimization conducted in 1988, 1993, 1999 and 2004. These surveys collected information on the extent and nature of self-reported criminal victimization, the impact and consequences of crime to the victim, the extent that victimization is reported to police, and the use of informal and formal victim services.

Future issues of Matter of Fact will analyze GSS findings on health, time use, personal risk, education and work, social networks, family, social support, aging and retirement, and use of technology.

Among other things, they will show changing trends in housing during the past 20 years; how Canadian families have changed; what motivates people to retire; how the Internet has changed the way Canadians live; how Canadians are engaged with their families, neighbours and communities; how religious practices have changed; and what impact care-giving has on an individual's work, family, leisure time and health.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 4502.

New installments of Matter of Fact will be released Thursdays in The Daily. The first issue of Matter of Fact: "Violent victimization in Canada" (89-630-XWE, free) is now available from the Publications module of our website.

For custom tables from the 20 years of GSS data, contact Client Services (, or call our national enquiries line (toll-free 1-800-263-1136).

For more information on Matter of Fact, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Client Services (613 951-5979;, Social and Aboriginal Statistics Division.