Delineation of Canada's North: An Examination of the North-South Relationship in Canada - ARCHIVED

Articles and reports: 92F0138M2000003


Statistics Canada's interest in a common delineation of the north for statistical analysis purposes evolved from research to devise a classification to further differentiate the largely rural and remote areas that make up 96% of Canada's land area. That research led to the establishment of the census metropolitan area and census agglomeration influenced zone (MIZ) concept. When applied to census subdivisions, the MIZ categories did not work as well in northern areas as in the south. Therefore, the Geography Division set out to determine a north-south divide that would differentiate the north from the south independent of any standard geographic area boundaries.

This working paper describes the methodology used to define a continuous line across Canada to separate the north from the south, as well as lines marking transition zones on both sides of the north-south line. It also describes the indicators selected to derive the north-south line and makes comparisons to alternative definitions of the north. The resulting classification of the north complements the MIZ classification. Together, census metropolitan areas, census agglomerations, MIZ and the North form a new Statistical Area Classification (SAC) for Canada.

Two related Geography working papers (catalogue no. 92F0138MPE) provide further details about the MIZ classification. Working paper no. 2000-1 (92F0138MPE00001) briefly describes MIZ and includes tables of selected socio-economic characteristics from the 1991 Census tabulated by the MIZ categories, and working paper no. 2000-2 (92F0138MPE00002) describes the methodology used to define the MIZ classification.

Issue Number: 2000003
Author(s): McNiven, Chuck; Puderer, Henry
FormatRelease dateMore information
PDFFebruary 3, 2000