Health of Canadians
Data and methods

Health indicators presented in this report were selected based on several criteria, including whether they

  • are identified as key population health indicators by Statistics Canada subject-matter experts, environmental and media scans, and international and national health indicator frameworks
  • allow for systematic disaggregation of data across key population groups identified in Statistics Canada’s Disaggregated Data Action Plan
  • are informative to the Canadian public and to Statistics Canada’s partners and stakeholders interested in health.

Data included in this report come from the following Statistics Canada sources:

  • Canadian Community Health Survey
  • Canadian Health Survey on Children and Youth
  • Canadian Health Measures Survey
  • Canadian Vital Statistics - Birth database
  • Vital Statistics - Stillbirth database
  • Canadian Vital Statistics - Death database
  • Canadian Cancer Registry
  • Canadian Wastewater Survey
  • Canadian Tobacco and Nicotine Survey
  • Canadian Alcohol and Drug Survey
  • Canadian Survey on Disability
  • Canadian Income Survey
  • Census of Population
  • Labour Force Survey.

Most of the presented data are from the Canadian Community Health Survey, unless otherwise specified. In this report, all survey respondents (both citizens and non-citizens) are referred to as “Canadians” for simplicity and to improve readability.

Data availability in the territories differs across surveys. Data coverage for the 2020 and 2021 Canadian Community Health Survey in the territories was limited to Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Iqaluit during the last three collection periods, given that in-person interviews were not possible for most of the year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, this report uses territorial data from the 2017 and 2018 two-year cycle.

Canadian Community Health Survey coverage excludes people living on reserves and other Indigenous settlements in the provinces, full-time members of the Canadian Forces, the institutionalized population, and people living in the Quebec health regions of Région du Nunavik and Région des Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James. Altogether, these exclusions represent less than 3% of the Canadian population aged 18 and older. Furthermore, most of the Inuit population is not captured in the Canadian Community Health Survey, since the survey covers only those living in the provinces, not in the territories. As a result, for some health outcomes, data for Inuit are too unreliable to be published.

The Canadian Vital Statistics Birth Database (CVSB) and the Canadian Vital Statistics Death Database (CVSD) are administrative surveys that collect demographic and medical information from all provincial and territorial vital statistics registries on all births and deaths in Canada. The capacity of the provinces and territories to provide these data to Statistics Canada in a timely manner varies greatly. Consequently, these data are subject to annual revisions to incorporate new and updated information received from the provinces and territories. The information presented in this report reflects the versions of the two databases released on September 28, 2022, and January 24, 2022, respectively.

Disaggregation of data was limited by data availability and sample sizes. Disaggregated data by year, age, sex, province or territory, household income, and Indigenous or racialized group were unadjusted for any factors that could account for the differences across these groups. As a result, the differences across time, geography and population groups may be explained by other factors once adjusted. The intention of this report is to identify statistically significant differences across time, geography and population groups that can be further investigated with appropriate analysis.

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