Appendix I: Glossary

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Census coverage

  1. Census net undercoverage: Difference between undercoverage and overcoverage.
  2. Overcoverage: Number of persons who should not have been counted in the census or who were counted more than once.
  3. Undercoverage: Number of persons who were intended to be enumerated in a census but were not.

Components of demographic growth

  1. Any of the classes of events generating population movement variations. Births, deaths and migrations are the components responsible for the variation since they alter the total population.


  1. Canadian citizen or immigrant who has left Canada to establish a residence in another country, involving a change in usual place of residence. Emigration may be either temporary or permanent. Where the term is used alone, it references to a person's permanent emigration which involves severing residential ties with Canada and acquiring permanent residency in another country.

Error of closure

  1. Difference between the postcensal estimate at the census date and the results of the census adjusted for census net undercoverage (including adjustment for incompletely enumerated Indian reserves).


  1. Within the framework of this publication, the terms immigrant, landed immigrant and permanent resident are equivalent. An immigrant refers to a person who is or has ever been a landed immigrant (permanent resident) and who has been granted the right to live in Canada permanently by immigration authorities. Immigrants are either Canadian citizens by naturalization (the citizenship process) or permanent residents under Canadian legislation. Some immigrants have resided in Canada for a number of years, while others have arrived recently. Most immigrants are born outside Canada, but a small number are born in Canada. Also, children born in other countries to parents who are Canadian citizens that reside temporarily in another country are not included in the category as they become Canadian citizens at birth.

International migration

  1. International migration represents movement of population between Canada and a foreign country which involves a change in the usual place of residence. A distinction is made with regard to immigrants, emigrants, returning emigrants, net temporary emigration and net non-permanent residents.

Interprovincial migration

  1. Interprovincial migration represents all movements from one province or territory to another involving a change in the usual place of residence. A person who takes up residence in another province or territory is an out-migrant with reference to the province or territory of origin and an in-migrant with reference to the province or territory of destination.

Natural increase

  1. Variation in the population size over a given period as a result of the difference between the numbers of births and deaths.

Net international migration

  1. Net international migration is obtained according to the following formula:
  2. Immigrants + returning emigrants + net non-permanent residents– (emigrants + net temporary emigrants).

Net interprovincial migration

  1. Net interprovincial migration represents the difference between in-migrants and out-migrants for a given province or territory.

Net non-permanent residents

  1. Net non-permanent residents represent the variation in the number of non-permanent residents between two dates.

Non-permanent residents

  1. A non-permanent resident is a person who is lawfully in Canada on a temporary basis under the authority of a valid document (work permit, study permit, Minister's permit or refugee) issued for that person along with members of his family living with them. This group also includes individuals who seek refugee status upon or after their arrival in Canada and remain in the country pending the outcome of processes relative to their claim. Note that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) uses the term temporary resident rather than non-permanent resident.

Net temporary emigration

  1. Net temporary emigration represents the variation in the number of temporary emigrants between two dates. Temporary emigration includes Canadian citizens and immigrants living temporarily abroad who have not maintained a usual place of residence in Canada.


  1. Estimated population and population according to the census are both defined as being the number of Canadians whose usual place of residence is within that area, regardless of where they happened to be on Census Day. Also included are any Canadians staying in a dwelling in that area on Census Day and having no usual place of residence elsewhere in Canada, as well as those considered non-permanent residents.

Population estimate

  1. Postcensal: Population estimate produced by using data from the most recent available census adjusted for census net undercoverage (including adjustment for incompletely enumerated Indian reserves) and estimate of the components of demographic growth since that last census. This estimate can be preliminary, updated or final.
  2. Intercensal: Population estimate derived by using postcensal estimates and data adjusted for census net undercoverage (including adjustment for incompletely enumerated Indian reserves) of censuses preceding and following the year in question.

Population growth or total growth

  1. Variation of population size between two dates. It can also be obtained by summing the natural increase, total net migration and if applicable, subtract residual deviation. It can be positive or negative.

Precocity error

  1. Difference between preliminary and final estimate of a particular component in terms of its relative proportion of the total population for the relevant geographical area. It can be calculated for either population estimates or components of population growth.


  1. Refers to the ratio of the number of events estimated in a year (t, t+i) to the average populations at the beginning and the end of the period. In this regard, births, deaths, immigration rates, etc. are calculated. Generally, the rates are expressed in per 1,000.
  2. Census net undercoverage of population rate: Difference between the census undercoverage rate and the census overcoverage rate.
  3. Demographic growth rate or population growth rate: Ratio of population growth between the year t and t+i, to the average population of both these years. The rate is generally expressed in per 1,000.
  4. Overcoverage of population rate: The ratio of the number of persons who should not have been counted in the census or who were counted more than once to the total number of persons that should have been enumerated in the census. Generally, the rate is expressed in percentage.
  5. Undercoverage of population rate: The ratio of the estimated number of persons not enumerated in the census (who were intended to have been enumerated) to the total number of persons that should have been enumerated in the census. Generally, the rate is expressed in percentage.

Residual deviation

  1. Difference between demographic population growth calculated using intercensal estimates of population between two dates and that obtained by the sum of the components for the same period. This deviation results from the distribution of the error of closure between years within the quinquennial period. This distribution is calculated by taking into account the number of days within each month.

Returning emigrant

  1. Canadian citizen or immigrant having previously emigrated from Canada and subsequently returned to the country.

Total net migration

  1. Sum of net international and net interprovincial migration.

Vital statistics

  1. Includes all the demographic events (births, deaths, marriages and divorces) for which there are a legal requirement to inform the Provincial or Territorial Registrar's Office.

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