The General Social Survey: New Data Overview - ARCHIVED

Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 89-631-X


This report highlights the latest developments and rationale behind recent cycles of the General Social Survey (GSS). Starting with an overview of the GSS mandate and historic cycle topics, we then focus on two recent cycles related to families in Canada: Family Transitions (2006) and Family, Social Support and Retirement (2007). Finally, we give a summary of what is to come in the 2008 GSS on Social Networks, and describe a special project to mark 'Twenty Years of GSS'.

The survey collects data over a twelve month period from the population living in private households in the 10 provinces. For all cycles except Cycles 16 and 21, the population aged 15 and older has been sampled. Cycles 16 and 21 sampled persons aged 45 and older.

Cycle 20 (GSS 2006) is the fourth cycle of the GSS to collect data on families (the first three cycles on the family were in 1990, 1995 and 2001). Cycle 20 covers much the same content as previous cycles on families with some sections revised and expanded. The data enable analysts to measure conjugal and fertility history (chronology of marriages, common-law unions, and children), family origins, children's home leaving, fertility intentions, child custody as well as work history and other socioeconomic characteristics. Questions on financial support agreements or arrangements (for children and the ex-spouse or ex-partner) for separated and divorced families have been modified. Also, sections on social networks, well-being and housing characteristics have been added.

Frequency: Occasional
Author(s): Beaupré, Pascale; Béchard, Marcel; Dryburgh, Heather; Trainor, Catherine
Available formats: HTML, PDF