Data sources, methods and definitions

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

This study brings together data from two main sources: the General Social Survey (GSS 1998, 2000, 2005, and 2010) and the Canadian Internet Use Survey (CIUS 2005 and 2010) to explore how Canadians in different age groups have adopted the Internet as a source of cultural content. Information from a variety of other sources was also used and appears in the endnotes.

General Social Survey (1998, 2000, 2005 and 2010): The General Social Survey (GSS) collects data on social trends in order to monitor changes in Canadian society over time and provide information on specific social issues of current or emerging interest. The 1998, 2005 and 2010 surveys focused on time use and included questions on a variety of culture activities. The 2000 questionnaire focused on access to and use of information communication technology. Because of changes to questions and survey methods over time, caution should be used when comparing results from different survey years.

Canadian Internet Use Survey (2005, 2010): The Canadian Internet Use Survey (CIUS) measures household access to the Internet and individual online behaviour including electronic commerce. Because of changes to questions and survey methods over time, caution should be used when comparing results from different survey years.

Age groups: The General Social Survey collects information from Canadians age 15 and over. The GSS analysis uses 10-year age groups starting with age 15 to 24. The Canadian Internet Use Survey, however, surveyed Canadians age 18 and over in 2005, and 16 and over in 2010. Therefore, all information from the CIUS has been adjusted to start with an 18-to-24 age group and continues with 10-year groups as used in the GSS. For the most part, the analysis refers to 15- to 24-year-olds when referring to youth and younger groups and to those 65 and over when referring to older groups.

Relative rate of activity: Ratios of the relative rate of activity were used for this analysis to present the relationship between various activities and age. These provide a standard indicator for comparing the age profile of different activities, especially where questions have changed and their levels cannot be compared over time.

A relative rate of activity is a ratio comparing the proportion of a group that participates in a given activity with the rate for the overall population. Therefore, for example, if 98.5% of youth used the Internet in the previous month and the overall average was 83.6%, then the relative rate of activity would be 98.5%/83.6% or 1.18, meaning they are 1.18 times more likely than average to use the Internet (at least once in the previous month). This ratio provides a standardized measure for comparing the participation of different age groups in a variety of activities.

Report a problem on this page

Is something not working? Is there information outdated? Can't find what you're looking for?

Please contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Privacy notice

Date modified: