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Table 5-1
Quality level guidelines

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Quality level
of estimate
Guidelines
1) Acceptable Estimates have a sample size of 30 or more, and low coefficients of variation in the range of 0.0% to 16.5%.

No warning is required.
2) Marginal Estimates have a sample size of 30 or more, and high coefficients of variation in the range of 16.6% to 33.3%.

Estimates should be flagged with the letter M (or some similar identifier). They should be accompanied by a warning to caution subsequent users about the high levels of error, associated with the estimates.
3) Unacceptable Estimates have a sample size of less than 30, or very high coefficients of variation in excess of 33.3%.

Statistics Canada recommends not to release estimates of unacceptable quality. However, if the user chooses to do so then estimates should be flagged with the letter U (or some similar identifier) and the following warning should accompany the estimates:

“Please be warned that these estimates do not meet Statistics Canada’s quality standards. Conclusions based on these data will be unreliable, and most likely invalid.”