Developing Meaningful Categories for Distinguishing Levels of Remoteness in Canada

Articles and reports: 11-633-X2020002


The concepts of urban and rural are widely debated and vary depending on a country’s geopolitical and sociodemographic composition. In Canada, population centres and statistical area classifications are widely used to distinguish urban and rural communities. However, neither of these classifications precisely classify Canadian communities into urban, rural and remote areas. A group of researchers at Statistics Canada developed an alternative tool called the “remoteness index” to measure the relative remoteness of Canadian communities. This study builds on the remoteness index, which is a continuous index, by examining how it can be classified into five discrete categories of remoteness geographies. When properly categorized, the remoteness index can be a useful tool to distinguish urban, rural and remote communities in Canada, while protecting the privacy and confidentiality of citizens. This study considers five methodological approaches and recommends three methods.

Issue Number: 2020002
Author(s): Subedi, Rajendra; Roshanafshar, Shirin; Greenberg, T. Lawson
FormatRelease dateMore information
HTMLAugust 11, 2020
PDFAugust 11, 2020