Annual Demographic Estimates: Subprovincial Areas, July 1, 2023
Methodology

Related methodology notes

The two-way raking method is also referred to as the “Deming method”, the “method of iterative proportions”, and calibration (see Shryock, Siegel et al., 1976: 547-549).

Unless otherwise noted, the term preliminary includes both preliminary and updated estimates.

The T1 family file (T1FF) is derived from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) T1 file by the Centre for Income and Socioeconomic Well-being Statistics of Statistics Canada.

This document describes the concepts, data the sources and the methodology used to produce the population estimates. Population estimates are produced to measure the population counts according to various characteristics and geographies between two censuses. The demographic estimates are the official population estimates at the national, provincial, territorial and subprovincial levels.

Postcensal estimates are based on the 2021 Census.

Population Estimates

Types of estimates

Population estimates can either be intercensal or postcensal. Intercensal estimates are produced using counts from two consecutive censuses adjusted for census net undercoverage (CNU)Note 1  (including adjustment for incompletely enumerated reserves and settlements (IERS)) and postcensal estimates. The production of intercensal estimates consists of updating the postcensal estimates using the counts from a new census adjusted for CNU.

Postcensal estimates are produced using data from the most recent census adjusted for CNU and the components of population growth. In terms of timeliness, postcensal estimates are more up to date than data from the most recent census adjusted for CNU, but as they get farther from the date of that census, they become less reliable.

Levels of estimates

Updating population estimates between censuses requires the use of data from administrative files or surveys. The quality of population estimates therefore depends on the availability of several administrative data files that are provided to Statistics Canada by Canadian and foreign government departments. Since some components are not available until several months after the reference date, three kinds of postcensal estimates are produced: preliminary postcensal (PP), updated postcensal (PR) and final postcensal (PD). The time lag between the reference date and the release date is three months for preliminary estimates and two to three years for final estimates. Though it requires more vigilance on the part of users, the production of three successive series of postcensal estimates is the strategy that best satisfies the need for both timeliness and accuracy of the estimates.

Calculation of postcensal population estimates

Population estimates – preliminary, updated, and final – are produced using the component method. This method consists in taking the population figures from the most recent census, adjusted for CNU (undercoverage minus overcoverage), and adding or subtracting the number of births, deaths, and components of international and internal migration.

A. Subprovincial estimates

Population estimates for census metropolitan areas, census agglomerations and census divisions

The component method is used to produce estimates for census metropolitan areas (CMAs), census agglomerations (CAs) and census divisions (CDs) by age and gender. The method is applied to each age-gender cohort in the base population.

The component method formulas for estimating the population of CMAs, CAs and CDs by age and gender are as follows:

At age 0:

P (t+1) 0 = B (t,t+1) D (t,t+1) 1 + I (t,t+1) 1 E (t,t+1) 1 +R E (t,t+1) 1 +ΔNP R (t,t+1) 1 +Δ Ninter (t,t+1) 1 +Δ Nintra (t,t+1) 1 + Resid (t,t+1) 1 MathType@MTEF@5@5@+= feaagKart1ev2aaatCvAUfeBSjuyZL2yd9gzLbvyNv2CaerbuLwBLn hiov2DGi1BTfMBaeXatLxBI9gBaerbd9wDYLwzYbItLDharqqtubsr 4rNCHbGeaGqiVu0Je9sqqrpepC0xbbL8F4rqqrFfpeea0xe9Lq=Jc9 vqaqpepm0xbba9pwe9Q8fs0=yqaqpepae9pg0FirpepeKkFr0xfr=x fr=xb9adbaqaaeGaciGaaiaabeqaamaabaabaaGcbaGaamiuamaaDa aaleaacaGGOaGaamiDaiabgUcaRiaaigdacaGGPaaabaGaaGimaaaa kiabg2da9iaadkeadaWgaaWcbaGaaiikaiaadshacaGGSaGaamiDai abgUcaRiaaigdacaGGPaaabeaakiabgkHiTiaadseadaqhaaWcbaGa aiikaiaadshacaGGSaGaamiDaiabgUcaRiaaigdacaGGPaaabaGaey OeI0IaaGymaaaakiabgUcaRiaadMeadaqhaaWcbaGaaiikaiaadsha caGGSaGaamiDaiabgUcaRiaaigdacaGGPaaabaGaeyOeI0IaaGymaa aakiabgkHiTiaadweadaqhaaWcbaGaaiikaiaadshacaGGSaGaamiD aiabgUcaRiaaigdacaGGPaaabaGaeyOeI0IaaGymaaaakiabgUcaRi aadkfacaWGfbWaa0baaSqaaiaacIcacaWG0bGaaiilaiaadshacqGH RaWkcaaIXaGaaiykaaqaaiabgkHiTiaaigdaaaGccqGHRaWkcqGHuo arcaWGobGaamiuaiaadkfadaqhaaWcbaGaaiikaiaadshacaGGSaGa amiDaiabgUcaRiaaigdacaGGPaaabaGaeyOeI0IaaGymaaaakiabgU caRiabgs5aejaab6eacaqGPbGaaeOBaiaabshacaqGLbGaaeOCamaa DaaaleaacaGGOaGaamiDaiaacYcacaWG0bGaey4kaSIaaGymaiaacM caaeaacqGHsislcaaIXaaaaOGaey4kaSIaeyiLdqKaaeOtaiaabMga caqGUbGaaeiDaiaabkhacaqGHbWaa0baaSqaaiaacIcacaWG0bGaai ilaiaadshacqGHRaWkcaaIXaGaaiykaaqaaiabgkHiTiaaigdaaaGc cqGHRaWkcaqGsbGaaeyzaiaabohacaqGPbGaaeizamaaDaaaleaaca GGOaGaamiDaiaacYcacaWG0bGaey4kaSIaaGymaiaacMcaaeaacqGH sislcaaIXaaaaaaa@A056@


From 1 to 99 years:

P (t+1) a+1 = P (t) a D (t,t+1) a + I (t,t+1) a E (t,t+1) a +R E (t,t+1) a +ΔNP R (t,t+1) a +Δ Ninter (t,t+1) a +Δ Nintra (t,t+1) a + Resid (t,t+1) a MathType@MTEF@5@5@+= feaagKart1ev2aaatCvAUfeBSjuyZL2yd9gzLbvyNv2CaerbuLwBLn hiov2DGi1BTfMBaeXatLxBI9gBaerbd9wDYLwzYbItLDharqqtubsr 4rNCHbGeaGqiVu0Je9sqqrpepC0xbbL8F4rqqrFfpeea0xe9Lq=Jc9 vqaqpepm0xbba9pwe9Q8fs0=yqaqpepae9pg0FirpepeKkFr0xfr=x fr=xb9adbaqaaeGaciGaaiaabeqaamaabaabaaGcbaGaamiuamaaDa aaleaacaGGOaGaamiDaiabgUcaRiaaigdacaGGPaaabaGaamyyaiab gUcaRiaaigdaaaGccqGH9aqpcaWGqbWaa0baaSqaaiaacIcacaWG0b GaaiykaaqaaiaadggaaaGccqGHsislcaWGebWaa0baaSqaaiaacIca caWG0bGaaiilaiaadshacqGHRaWkcaaIXaGaaiykaaqaaiaadggaaa GccqGHRaWkcaWGjbWaa0baaSqaaiaacIcacaWG0bGaaiilaiaadsha cqGHRaWkcaaIXaGaaiykaaqaaiaadggaaaGccqGHsislcaWGfbWaa0 baaSqaaiaacIcacaWG0bGaaiilaiaadshacqGHRaWkcaaIXaGaaiyk aaqaaiaadggaaaGccqGHRaWkcaWGsbGaamyramaaDaaaleaacaGGOa GaamiDaiaacYcacaWG0bGaey4kaSIaaGymaiaacMcaaeaacaWGHbaa aOGaey4kaSIaeyiLdqKaamOtaiaadcfacaWGsbWaa0baaSqaaiaacI cacaWG0bGaaiilaiaadshacqGHRaWkcaaIXaGaaiykaaqaaiaadgga aaGccqGHRaWkcqGHuoarcaqGobGaaeyAaiaab6gacaqG0bGaaeyzai aabkhadaqhaaWcbaGaaiikaiaadshacaGGSaGaamiDaiabgUcaRiaa igdacaGGPaaabaGaamyyaaaakiabgUcaRiabgs5aejaab6eacaqGPb GaaeOBaiaabshacaqGYbGaaeyyamaaDaaaleaacaGGOaGaamiDaiaa cYcacaWG0bGaey4kaSIaaGymaiaacMcaaeaacaWGHbaaaOGaey4kaS IaaeOuaiaabwgacaqGZbGaaeyAaiaabsgadaqhaaWcbaGaaiikaiaa dshacaGGSaGaamiDaiabgUcaRiaaigdacaGGPaaabaGaamyyaaaaaa a@99BE@


For age group 100 years and older:

P (t+1) 100+ = P (t) 99+ D (t,t+1) 99+ + I (t,t+1) 99+ E (t,t+1) 99+ +R E (t,t+1) 99+ +ΔNP R (t,t+1) 99+ +Δ Ninter (t,t+1) 99+ +Δ Nintra (t,t+1) 99+ + Resid (t,t+1) 99+ MathType@MTEF@5@5@+= feaagKart1ev2aaatCvAUfeBSjuyZL2yd9gzLbvyNv2CaerbuLwBLn hiov2DGi1BTfMBaeXatLxBI9gBaerbd9wDYLwzYbItLDharqqtubsr 4rNCHbGeaGqiVu0Je9sqqrpepC0xbbL8F4rqqrFfpeea0xe9Lq=Jc9 vqaqpepm0xbba9pwe9Q8fs0=yqaqpepae9pg0FirpepeKkFr0xfr=x fr=xb9adbaqaaeGaciGaaiaabeqaamaabaabaaGcbaGaamiuamaaDa aaleaacaGGOaGaamiDaiabgUcaRiaaigdacaGGPaaabaGaaGymaiaa icdacaaIWaGaey4kaScaaOGaeyypa0JaamiuamaaDaaaleaacaGGOa GaamiDaiaacMcaaeaacaaI5aGaaGyoaiabgUcaRaaakiabgkHiTiaa dseadaqhaaWcbaGaaiikaiaadshacaGGSaGaamiDaiabgUcaRiaaig dacaGGPaaabaGaaGyoaiaaiMdacqGHRaWkaaGccqGHRaWkcaWGjbWa a0baaSqaaiaacIcacaWG0bGaaiilaiaadshacqGHRaWkcaaIXaGaai ykaaqaaiaaiMdacaaI5aGaey4kaScaaOGaeyOeI0IaamyramaaDaaa leaacaGGOaGaamiDaiaacYcacaWG0bGaey4kaSIaaGymaiaacMcaae aacaaI5aGaaGyoaiabgUcaRaaakiabgUcaRiaadkfacaWGfbWaa0ba aSqaaiaacIcacaWG0bGaaiilaiaadshacqGHRaWkcaaIXaGaaiykaa qaaiaaiMdacaaI5aGaey4kaScaaOGaey4kaSIaeyiLdqKaamOtaiaa dcfacaWGsbWaa0baaSqaaiaacIcacaWG0bGaaiilaiaadshacqGHRa WkcaaIXaGaaiykaaqaaiaaiMdacaaI5aGaey4kaScaaOGaey4kaSIa eyiLdqKaaeOtaiaabMgacaqGUbGaaeiDaiaabwgacaqGYbWaa0baaS qaaiaacIcacaWG0bGaaiilaiaadshacqGHRaWkcaaIXaGaaiykaaqa aiaaiMdacaaI5aGaey4kaScaaOGaey4kaSIaeyiLdqKaaeOtaiaabM gacaqGUbGaaeiDaiaabkhacaqGHbWaa0baaSqaaiaacIcacaWG0bGa aiilaiaadshacqGHRaWkcaaIXaGaaiykaaqaaiaaiMdacaaI5aGaey 4kaScaaOGaey4kaSIaaeOuaiaabwgacaqGZbGaaeyAaiaabsgadaqh aaWcbaGaaiikaiaadshacaGGSaGaamiDaiabgUcaRiaaigdacaGGPa aabaGaaGyoaiaaiMdacqGHRaWkaaaaaa@A7DE@


where, for each subprovincial region:

(t,t+1) MathType@MTEF@5@5@+= feaagKart1ev2aaatCvAUfeBSjuyZL2yd9gzLbvyNv2CaerbuLwBLn hiov2DGi1BTfMBaeXatLxBI9gBaerbd9wDYLwzYbItLDharqqtubsr 4rNCHbGeaGqiVu0Je9sqqrpepC0xbbL8F4rqqrFfpeea0xe9Lq=Jc9 vqaqpepm0xbba9pwe9Q8fs0=yqaqpepae9pg0FirpepeKkFr0xfr=x fr=xb9adbaqaaeaacaGaaiaabeqaamaabaabaaGcbaacbaGaa8hkai aa=rhacaWFSaGaa8hDaiabgUcaRiaa=fdacaWFPaaaaa@3B79@
interval between times t and t+1
a MathType@MTEF@5@5@+= feaagKart1ev2aaatCvAUfeBSjuyZL2yd9gzLbvyNv2CaerbuLwBLn hiov2DGi1BTfMBaeXatLxBI9gBaerbd9wDYLwzYbItLDharqqtubsr 4rNCHbGeaGqiVu0Je9sqqrpepC0xbbL8F4rqqrFfpeea0xe9Lq=Jc9 vqaqpepm0xbba9pwe9Q8fs0=yqaqpepae9pg0FirpepeKkFr0xfr=x fr=xb9adbaqaaeGaciGaaiaabeqaamaabaabaaGcbaGaamyyaaaa@36DC@
age
P (t+1) MathType@MTEF@5@5@+= feaagKart1ev2aaatCvAUfeBSjuyZL2yd9gzLbvyNv2CaerbuLwBLn hiov2DGi1BTfMBaeXatLxBI9gBaerbd9wDYLwzYbItLDharqqtubsr 4rNCHbGeaGqiVu0Je9sqqrpepC0xbbL8F4rqqrFfpeea0xe9Lq=Jc9 vqaqpepm0xbba9pwe9Q8fs0=yqaqpepae9pg0FirpepeKkFr0xfr=x fr=xb9adbaqaaeaacaGaaiaabeqaamaabaabaaGcbaGaamiuamaaBa aaleaacaGGOaGaamiDaiabgUcaRiaaigdacaGGPaaabeaaaaa@3AE2@
estimate of the population at time t+1
P (t) MathType@MTEF@5@5@+= feaagKart1ev2aaatCvAUfeBSjuyZL2yd9gzLbvyNv2CaerbuLwBLn hiov2DGi1BTfMBaeXatLxBI9gBaerbd9wDYLwzYbItLDharqqtubsr 4rNCHbGeaGqiVu0Je9sqqrpepC0xbbL8F4rqqrFfpeea0xe9Lq=Jc9 vqaqpepm0xbba9pwe9Q8fs0=yqaqpepae9pg0FirpepeKkFr0xfr=x fr=xb9adbaqaaeGaciGaaiaabeqaamaabaabaaGcbiqaaWubqaaaaa aaaaWdbiaadcfapaWaaSbaaSqaaiaacIcapeGaamiDa8aacaGGPaaa beaaaaa@39EB@
base population at time t (census adjusted for (CNU)Note 1 or most recent estimate)
B MathType@MTEF@5@5@+= feaagKart1ev2aaatCvAUfeBSjuyZL2yd9gzLbvyNv2CaerbuLwBLn hiov2DGi1BTfMBaeXatLxBI9gBaerbd9wDYLwzYbItLDharqqtubsr 4rNCHbGeaGqiVu0Je9sqqrpepC0xbbL8F4rqqrFfpeea0xe9Lq=Jc9 vqaqpepm0xbba9pwe9Q8fs0=yqaqpepae9pg0FirpepeKkFr0xfr=x fr=xb9adbaqaaeGaciGaaiaabeqaamaabaabaaGcbaGaaeOqaaaa@36BB@
number of births
D MathType@MTEF@5@5@+= feaagKart1ev2aaatCvAUfeBSjuyZL2yd9gzLbvyNv2CaerbuLwBLn hiov2DGi1BTfMBaeXatLxBI9gBaerbd9wDYLwzYbItLDharqqtubsr 4rNCHbGeaGqiVu0Je9sqqrpepC0xbbL8F4rqqrFfpeea0xe9Lq=Jc9 vqaqpepm0xbba9pwe9Q8fs0=yqaqpepae9pg0FirpepeKkFr0xfr=x fr=xb9adbaqaaeGaciGaaiaabeqaamaabaabaaGcbaGaaeiraaaa@36BD@
number of deaths
I MathType@MTEF@5@5@+= feaagKart1ev2aaatCvAUfeBSjuyZL2yd9gzLbvyNv2CaerbuLwBLn hiov2DGi1BTfMBaeXatLxBI9gBaerbd9wDYLwzYbItLDharqqtubsr 4rNCHbGeaGqiVu0Je9sqqrpepC0xbbL8F4rqqrFfpeea0xe9Lq=Jc9 vqaqpepm0xbba9pwe9Q8fs0=yqaqpepae9pg0FirpepeKkFr0xfr=x fr=xb9adbaqaaeGaciGaaiaabeqaamaabaabaaGcbaGaaeysaaaa@36C2@
number of immigrants
E MathType@MTEF@5@5@+= feaagKart1ev2aaatCvAUfeBSjuyZL2yd9gzLbvyNv2CaerbuLwBLn hiov2DGi1BTfMBaeXatLxBI9gBaerbd9wDYLwzYbItLDharqqtubsr 4rNCHbGeaGqiVu0Je9sqqrpepC0xbbL8F4rqqrFfpeea0xe9Lq=Jc9 vqaqpepm0xbba9pwe9Q8fs0=yqaqpepae9pg0FirpepeKkFr0xfr=x fr=xb9adbaqaaeGaciGaaiaabeqaamaabaabaaGcbaGaaeyraaaa@36BE@
number of emigrants
RE MathType@MTEF@5@5@+= feaagKart1ev2aaatCvAUfeBSjuyZL2yd9gzLbvyNv2CaerbuLwBLn hiov2DGi1BTfMBaeXatLxBI9gBaerbd9wDYLwzYbItLDharqqtubsr 4rNCHbGeaGqiVu0Je9sqqrpepC0xbbL8F4rqqrFfpeea0xe9Lq=Jc9 vqaqpepm0xbba9pwe9Q8fs0=yqaqpepae9pg0FirpepeKkFr0xfr=x fr=xb9adbaqaaeGaciGaaiaabeqaamaabaabaaGcbaGaaeOuaiaabw eaaaa@3793@
number of returning emigrants
ΔNPR MathType@MTEF@5@5@+= feaagKart1ev2aaatCvAUfeBSjuyZL2yd9gzLbvyNv2CaerbuLwBLn hiov2DGi1BTfMBaeXatLxBI9gBaerbd9wDYLwzYbItLDharqqtubsr 4rNCHbGeaGqiVu0Je9sqqrpepC0xbbL8F4rqqrFfpeea0xe9Lq=Jc9 vqaqpepm0xbba9pwe9Q8fs0=yqaqpepae9pg0FirpepeKkFr0xfr=x fr=xb9adbaqaaeGaciGaaiaabeqaamaabaabaaGcbaGaeyiLdqKaae OtaiaabcfacaqGsbaaaa@39D6@
net non-permanent residents
ΔNinter MathType@MTEF@5@5@+= feaagKart1ev2aaatCvAUfeBSjuyZL2yd9gzLbvyNv2CaerbuLwBLn hiov2DGi1BTfMBaeXatLxBI9gBaerbd9wDYLwzYbItLDharqqtubsr 4rNCHbGeaGqiVu0Je9sqqrpepC0xbbL8F4rqqrFfpeea0xe9Lq=Jc9 vqaqpepm0xbba9pwe9Q8fs0=yqaqpepae9pg0FirpepeKkFr0xfr=x fr=xb9adbaqaaeGaciGaaiaabeqaamaabaabaaGcbaGaeuiLdqKaae OtaiaabMgacaqGUbGaaeiDaiaabwgacaqGYbaaaa@3CDE@
net interprovincial migration
ΔNintra MathType@MTEF@5@5@+= feaagKart1ev2aaatCvAUfeBSjuyZL2yd9gzLbvyNv2CaerbuLwBLn hiov2DGi1BTfMBaeXatLxBI9gBaerbd9wDYLwzYbItLDharqqtubsr 4rNCHbGeaGqiVu0Je9sqqrpepC0xbbL8F4rqqrFfpeea0xe9Lq=Jc9 vqaqpepm0xbba9pwe9Q8fs0=yqaqpepae9pg0FirpepeKkFr0xfr=x fr=xb9adbaqaaeaacaGaaiaabeqaamaabaabaaGcbaGaeuiLdqKaae OtaiaabMgacaqGUbGaaeiDaiaabkhacaqGHbaaaa@3CD6@
net intraprovincial migration
Resid MathType@MTEF@5@5@+= feaagKart1ev2aaatCvAUfeBSjuyZL2yd9gzLbvyNv2CaerbuLwBLn hiov2DGi1BTfMBaeXatLxBI9gBaerbd9wDYLwzYbItLDharqqtubsr 4rNCHbGeaGqiVu0Je9sqqrpepC0xbbL8F4rqqrFfpeea0xe9Lq=Jc9 vqaqpepm0xbba9pwe9Q8fs0=yqaqpepae9pg0FirpepeKkFr0xfr=x fr=xb9adbaqaaeGaciGaaiaabeqaamaabaabaaGcbaacbaGaa8Nuai aa=vgacaWFZbGaa8xAaiaa=rgaaaa@3A7B@
residual deviation (for intercensal estimates)

To ensure concordance between the subprovincial estimates and the provincial and territorial estimates by age and gender, two-way raking is used.

Special treatment for postcensal estimates for Quebec

Quebec’s postcensal population estimates by age and gender at the of CDs, CMAs and CAs are calculated in accordance with the equations of the component method presented above, but some components are directly taken from the Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ) estimates. Special treatment specific to those components is explained in sections D and K.

Population estimates for economic regions

A different method is used to produce population estimates for economic regions (ERs). In this case the census division's (CD) aggregate method is used. First, the ERs are defined in terms of CDs using the most recent Standard Geographical Classification (SGC) specifications. When the geographic delineation of the CDs and ERs are the same, no adjustment is required; the population estimates for the CDs that make up the ER are simply added together.

However, when the geographic delineation of the CD does not match that of the ER, i.e., when a CD is in more than one ER, distribution of the CD's demographic components are allocated on the basis of its demographic weight in each ER in question. The proportions are referred to as conversion factors. They are calculated using the most recent census counts.

Thus, demographic components (births, deaths and migration) initially measured at the CD level can be allocated to each ER. Using the census division's aggregate method by the ERs' geographic delineation, the population and demographic components of ERs can be estimated.

However, the census division's aggregate method cannot be used to estimate the number of intraprovincial in-migrants and out-migrants, since it overestimates those figures. In-migrants to a given CD from another CD in the same ER should not be counted since the migration occurred within the ER's boundaries. These are false in-migrants. The same is true for out-migrants from one CD to another CD in the same ER: they are false out-migrants. However, the net intraprovincial migration calculated with the CD aggregate method is correct because the false in-migrants and out-migrants cancel each other out. As a result, only the net intraprovincial migration of ERs can be estimated accurately using the CD aggregate method. This is why the estimates for intraprovincial in-migrants and out-migrants are not available at the ER level.

Population estimates for census subdivisions

A different method is used to produce population estimates for census subdivisions (CSDs). Postcensal estimates are based on the latest census counts adjusted for census net undercoverage (including adjustment for incompletely enumerated reserves and settlements) and on the estimated population growth that occurred since that census, as calculated using fiscal data. Intercensal estimates are based on postcensal estimates and census counts adjusted of the censuses preceding and following the considered year.

Population estimates for CSDs in Quebec are provided by the Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ). Population estimates for CSDs in Alberta are provided by Alberta’s Office of Statistics and Information (OSI) in current geography for July 1, 2022 and after. They are converted to the appropriate standard geographical classification (SGC) using geographical relationships provided by OSI. Due to this geographical difference, small discrepancies may exist between CSD populations released by Statistics Canada for Alberta and those found directly on the OSI’s website. CSD population estimates for Alberta prior to July 1, 2022 are produced using the same method adopted for provinces and territories that do not provide their own estimates.

Territorial-level population estimates for Yukon are produced by Statistics Canada, while census subdivision population estimates are supplied by the Yukon Bureau of Statistics for July 1, 2019 and after. Variations in total population estimates at the territorial level between both sources are due to methodological differences. Population estimates for census subdivisions in Northwest Territories are provided by the Northwest Territories Bureau of Statistics for July 1, 2001, and after. Data for unorganized regions is suppressed, resulting in total population estimate variations when comparing to estimates produced by Statistics Canada for other levels of geography.

To ensure consistency between the CSD and CD population estimates, the CSD population estimates produced by Statistics Canada are adjusted using two-way raking.

B. Levels of estimates

The difference between preliminary and final postcensal population estimates lies in the timeliness of the components. When all the components are preliminary, the population estimate is deemed preliminary postcensal (PP). When all the components are final, the population estimate is deemed final postcensal (PD). Any other combination of levels is considered updated postcensal (PR).

C. Base population and components of population growth

Base population

The base populations are derived from the quinquennial censuses. The population universe of the 2021 Census includes the following groups:

  • Canadian citizens (by birth or by naturalization), landed immigrants (permanent residents), and (since 1991) non-permanent residents. Non-permanent residents are persons who have claimed refugee status [asylum claimants], or persons who hold a work or study permit and their family members living with them.Note 2 All such persons are included in the population provided they have a usual place of residence in Canada.
  • The total population also includes certain Canadian citizens and landed immigrants (permanent residents) living outside the country: government employees working outside Canada; embassy staff posted to other countries; members of the Canadian Armed Forces stationed outside Canada; and Canadian crew members of merchant vessels and their families. Together, they are referred to as ‘persons living outside Canada.’
  • Foreign residents are excluded from census data: for example, residents of another country visiting Canada temporarily, government representatives of another country posted in Canada and members of the armed forces of another country stationed in Canada.

These base populations are adjusted as follows:

  • adjustment of the population for census net undercoverage (CNU);
  • addition of independent estimates for incompletely enumerated reserves and settlements;
  • Integration of population count amendments;
  • at the provincial level, the first postcensal population estimate is July 1 of the census year. This is obtained by addition or subtraction of the components of growth between Census Day and June 30. At the subprovincial level, the estimate of the July 1 population estimate is obtained by applying to the annual components of growth, a fraction of the year that corresponds to the period between Census Day and June 30. These are adjusted to the appropriate provincial and territorial components.

Adjustment for census net undercoverage (CNU)

The adjustment for CNU is important. The CNU is the difference between the number of persons who should have been enumerated but were missed (undercoverage) and the number of persons who were enumerated but should not have been or who were counted more than once (overcoverage).

To estimate census net undercoverage (CNU) at the subprovincial level, provincial and territorial CNU rates by age and gender are applied to census subdivisions (CSDs), which are aggregated to create the base population of higher subprovincial levels (census metropolitan areas (CMAs)), census agglomerations (CAs), and census divisions (CDs) in the province).

D. Births and deaths

The numbers of births and deaths for census divisions (CDs), census metropolitan areas (CMAs) and census agglomerations (CAs) are derived directly from the vital statistics database of Statistics Canada’s Centre for Population Health Data. Although Statistics Canada manages the National system of vital statistics, the central vital statistics registries of the provinces and territories are responsible for collecting and processing the information from those administrative files. Under provincial and territorial vital statistics statutes (or similar legislation), all live births and all deaths must be registered, and all provinces and territories provide the information to Statistics Canada.

The vital statistics universe closely parallels the census universe. Both universes include births and deaths of all Canadians, immigrants, and non-permanent residents (NPR) and exclude foreign residents.

Vital statistics by province or territory of residence are used to produce our final estimates of births and deaths.

When there are no vital statistics, the number of births is estimated using fertility rates by mother’s age. The number of deaths is estimated using mortality rates by age and gender. These methods are used to calculate preliminary estimates at the provincial and territorial levels.

Levels of estimates

Estimates of births and deaths are categorized as final when they are directly taken from the vital statistics of Statistics Canada’s Centre for Population Health Data. They are then adjusted to the provincial and territorial totals using a two-way raking process to ensure their concordance.

When no birth or death data are available, preliminary provincial or territorial estimates are broken down, using the most recent known subprovincial distribution derived from vital statistics of Statistics Canada’s Centre for Population Health Data, to produce estimates by region. In that case, estimates of births and deaths are categorized as preliminary. They are then adjusted to the provincial and territorial totals using a two-way raking process to ensure their consistency.

Special treatment for preliminary and updated postcensal estimates for Quebec, British Columbia, and Yukon

For birth and death components of Quebec’s subprovincial areas, the estimates by age and sex at birth of the Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ) are used as a distribution for preliminary and updated estimates. It has been decided to use those data because they are available in a timelier manner. Final estimates of births and deaths for Quebec’s subprovincial areas are derived from the vital statistics database of Statistics Canada’s Centre for Population Health Data.

A special case is also relevant to the provincial and territorial totals on which subprovincial estimates are prorated. Quebec, British Columbia and Yukon provide their most recent estimates of births and deaths at the provincial or territorial level. These estimates are used for the preliminary and updated estimates. However, the final estimates of births and deaths for these provinces are derived directly from the vital statistics database of Statistics Canada’s Centre for Population Health Data.

E. Immigration

An immigrant refers to a person who is a permanent resident or a landed immigrant. Such a person has been granted the right to live in Canada permanently by immigration authorities. Persons who are born abroad to a Canadian parent are not immigrants but are included in the returning emigrant component.

For the Centre for Demography, the terms “immigrant”, “landed immigrant” and “permanent resident” refer to the same concept.

Like the numbers of births and deaths, Canadian immigration statistics must be kept by law. In Canada, immigration is regulated by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) of 2002. This statute superseded the Immigration Act, which was passed in 1976 and amended more than 30 times in the years thereafter. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) collects and processes permanent residents’ administrative files. It then provides Statistics Canada with information from Global Case Management System (GCMS) files (until October 2015, data came from the Field Operational Support System files (FOSS)). The information is used to estimate the number and characteristics of people granted permanent resident status by the federal government on a given date.

Estimates of the number of immigrants are based mainly on the date on which the person was granted permanent residence or landed in Canada.

To determine the subprovincial distributions where immigrants settle, their postal code information coming from IRCC’s "mailing address file" is used for estimates of periods 2011-2012 and up.Note 3 When this information is missing, then their intended municipality of residence is used. Finally, to ensure their consistency, subprovincial estimates are then adjusted to the provincial and territorial totals using two-way raking.

Levels of estimates

The difference between preliminary and final estimates lies in the timeliness of the sources used to estimate this component. Immigration estimates are preliminary the first year and final the following year. Since the subprovincial estimates of immigrants are adjusted to provincial and territorial estimates, the level of subprovincial estimates will be the same.

F. Net non-permanent residents

Non-permanent resident refers to a person from another country with a usual place of residence in Canada and who has a work or study permit or who has claimed refugee status (asylum claimant, protected person and related groups).

Family members living with work or study permit holders are also included unless these family members are already Canadian citizens, landed immigrants (permanent residents), or non-permanent residents themselves.

For the Centre for Demography, the terms “non-permanent resident” and “temporary immigrant” refer to the same concept.

Like the numbers of births and deaths, Canadian immigration statistics must be kept by law. In Canada, temporary residents and asylum claimants are regulated by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) of 2002. This statute superseded the Immigration Act, which was passed in 1976 and amended more than 30 times in the years thereafter. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), along with other government departments, collect and process the administrative files of asylum claimants. IRCC also collects and processes the administrative files of the holders of work, study and temporary residence permits in Canada. It then provides Statistics Canada with information from Global Case Management System (GCMS) files (until October 2015, data came from the Field Operational Support System files (FOSS)). This information is used as the basis for obtaining the number and characteristics of people who are granted temporary resident status by the federal government, or who are asylum claimants. Statistics Canada then applies various methodological adjustments, notably from the linkage of census and IRCC data, to obtain estimates of non-permanent residents (NPR).

The number of non-permanent residents, which have been provided by IRCC’s administrative data, are estimated as of a specific reference date. First, the end-of-period number of NPR is estimated, and then the start-of-period number of NPR is subtracted from that estimate. That yields the net number of NPRs.

All non-permanent residents who have been admitted to Canada at a date prior to the reference date are included in the estimate. In the case of asylum claimants, protected persons and related groups, they are counted as NPR from the date of their application for refugee status in Canada.

A person will be excluded from the non-permanent resident estimate if they meet certain criteria which depend on whether they are a permit holder or asylum claimant. A permit holder is excluded from the population if the permit expiry date is reached, if they obtain permanent resident status (in which case they leave the NPR population to be counted as an immigrant), or if they are deported. The same conditions also apply to asylum claimants, protected persons and related groups. However, since an asylum application has no end date, the person is considered to be in the country for a maximum of ten years.

In 2023, the method for estimating the number of NPRs in Canada was changed. The new method will be applied from July 2021 onwards. It includes new adjustments for:

  • family members living with work or study permit holders who are not Canadian citizens, landed immigrants (permanent residents) or non-permanent residents themselves;
  • delays in processing IRCC permit extensions, notably due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • open work permits for which the province or territory of intent is missing.

To determine the subprovincial distributions where NPRs settle, their postal code information coming from IRCC’s "mailing address file" is used for estimates of periods 2011-2012 and up.Note 4 When this information is missing, then their intended municipality of residence is used. Finally, to ensure their consistency, subprovincial estimates are then adjusted to the provincial and territorial totals using two-way raking.

Levels of estimates

The difference between preliminary, revised, and final estimates lies in the timeliness of the source used to estimate this component. NPR estimates are preliminary the first year and updated the following year. They become final two to three years after the reference year, when all other components are also final. Since the subprovincial estimates of the net number of NPRs are adjusted to provincial and territorial estimates, the level of the subprovincial estimates will be the same.

G. Emigration

An emigrant is a Canadian citizen or immigrant who has left Canada to establish a long-term or short-term residence in another country, involving a change in usual place of residence. Short-term emigration used to be included in the net temporary emigration component. Only estimates of the number of emigrants, which combine short-term and long-term emigrants, are published.

Unlike immigration, there is no legal provision in Canada to maintain records for emigrants. Therefore, provincial/territorial estimates of the number of emigrants and their characteristics are reliant on secondary sources such as the Canada Child Benefit (CCB), T1 Family File (T1FF), immigration statistics from the United States and undercoverage Study (CUS). The distribution of long-term emigrants at the subprovincial level is derived by comparing addresses provided on personal income tax returns over two consecutive tax years, using the T1FF. Because the estimates are available only by broad age groups (0-17, 18-24, 25-44, 45-64, 65+), they are broken down by age and gender based on the provincial or territorial distribution. They are then adjusted to the provincial and territorial totals using two-way raking to ensure their consistency. Short-term emigrants are assumed to follow the same distribution as long-term emigrants.

Levels of estimates

The difference between preliminary and final estimates lies in the timeliness of the sources used to estimate this component. Since the subprovincial estimates of emigrants are adjusted to provincial and territorial estimates, the level of the subprovincial estimates will be the same.

H. Net temporary emigration

For demographic estimates from 1991 to June 2016, 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. From July 2016, net temporary emigration is distributed among emigrants and returning emigrants. Due to this change, the net temporary emigration component is no longer calculated from July 2016.

At the subprovincial level, net temporary emigration estimates by age and gender are broken down based on the subprovincial distribution of emigrants. They are then adjusted to the provincial and territorial totals using two-way raking to ensure their consistency.

Levels of estimates

The subprovincial estimates of the net temporary emigration are final.

I. Returning emigrants

A returning emigrant is a Canadian citizen or immigrant who has previously emigrated from Canada and subsequently returned to the country. Using a similar method that for emigration, short-term returning emigration used to be included in the net temporary emigration component. Only estimates of the number of returning emigrants, which combine short-term and long-term returning emigrants, are published.

The provincial and territorial estimates of the number of returning emigrants and their characteristics are reliant on secondary sources such as the Canada Child Benefit (CCB), T1 Family File (T1FF), census and Centre for Demography’s estimates.

The distribution of long-term returning emigrants at the subprovincial level is derived by comparing addresses provided on personal income tax returns over two consecutive tax years, using the T1FF. Because the estimates are available only by broad age groups (0-17, 18-24, 25-44, 45-64, 65+), they are broken down by age and gender based on the provincial or territorial distribution. They are then adjusted to the provincial and territorial totals using two-way raking to ensure their consistency. Short-term returning emigrants are assumed to follow the same distribution as short-term emigrants.

Levels of estimates

The difference between preliminary and final estimates lies in the timeliness of the sources used to estimate this component. Since the subprovincial estimates of returning emigrants are adjusted to provincial and territorial estimates, the level of the subprovincial estimates will be the same.

J. Interprovincial migration

Interprovincial migration represents movements from one province or territory to another, involving a change in usual place of residence. As is the case for emigration, there is no provision for recording interprovincial migration in Canada. Consequently, such movements are estimated using data from the Canada child benefit (CCB) of Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and T1FF.

Final estimates of interprovincial migration are obtained by comparing addresses indicated on personal income tax returns over two consecutive tax years, by making use of the T1FF. However, the migration status of tax filers’ dependents must be imputed. An adjustment is also required to consider migrants who do not file income tax returns.

The estimates by broad age groups and gender are broken down by age based on distributions stemming from the most recent census or NHS (for 2011) mobility question on place of residence one year ago. From 2011/2012 to 2020/2021, NHS and census distributions have been modelled to minimize the impact of outliers found in some subprovincial regions, mostly for smaller geographies. From 2021/2022, the distribution by single year of age and gender is based solely on the T1FF. Subprovincial estimates are then adjusted to the provincial and territorial totals using two-way raking to ensure their consistency.

Subprovincial estimates are then adjusted to the provincial and territorial totals using two-way raking to ensure their consistency.

Levels of estimates

The difference between preliminary and final estimates lies in the timeliness of the sources used to estimate this component.

Because income tax returns are not available at the time preliminary estimates are produced, the method to estimate preliminary interprovincial migration is different. For subprovincial areas, CCB administrative files are used to determine the preliminary migration of children (aged 0 to 17), while the preliminary migration of adults is derived by using rates from the previous year, calculated with final data.

Since the subprovincial estimates of interprovincial migrants are adjusted to provincial and territorial estimates, the level of the subprovincial estimates will be the same.

K. Intraprovincial migration

Intraprovincial migration represents movement from one region to another within the same province or territory, involving a change in usual place of residence. As is the case for emigration and interprovincial migration, there is no provision for recording intraprovincial migration in Canada. Consequently, such movements must be estimated using data from the Canada child benefit (CCB) of Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and T1FF.

Final estimates of intraprovincial migration are obtained by comparing addresses indicated on personal income tax returns over two consecutive tax years, by making use of the T1FF. However, the migration status of tax filers’ dependents must be imputed. An adjustment is also required to consider migrants who do not file income tax returns.

The components of intraprovincial migration derived from the T1FF for each subprovincial region are produced by broad age groups and gender. They are then broken down by age based on distributions stemming from the most recent census or NHS (for 2011) mobility question on place of residence one year ago. From 2011/2012 to 2020/2021, NHS and census distributions have been modelled to minimize the impact of outliers found in some subprovincial regions, mostly for smaller geographies. From 2021/2022, the distribution by single year of age and gender is based solely on the T1FF.

Levels of estimates

The difference between preliminary and final estimates lies in the timeliness of the sources used to estimate this component.

Because income tax returns are not available at the time preliminary estimates are produced, the method to estimate preliminary intraprovincial migration is different. For subprovincial areas, CCB administrative files are used to determine the preliminary migration of children (aged 0 to 17), while the preliminary migration of adults is derived by using rates from the previous year, calculated with final data.

Special treatment for Quebec’s estimates

In the case of the component of intraprovincial migration for Quebec’s subprovincial areas, ISQ data are used for preliminary, updated, and final estimates. These estimates are based on data from the Fichier d'inscription des personnes assurées (FIPA), the health-insured persons register, from the Régie de l'assurance-maladie du Québec (RAMQ). It has been decided to use those data because the provincial data source is more complete and is available in a timelier manner.

L. Intercensal population estimates

Intercensal estimates – population estimates for reference dates between two censuses – are produced following each census. They reconcile previous postcensal estimates with the new census counts.

There are three main steps in the production of intercensal estimates:

  • the correspondence of the geographic boundaries between the two censuses
  • calculation of the error of closure
  • linear distribution of the error of closure (residual deviation).

To ensure geographical concordance, the base populations and components of population growth must be adjusted according to geographical boundaries at the time of the most recent census. For areas whose geographical boundaries changed between the two censuses (as measured by the SGC), historical conversion factors are used based on population transfers at the census subdivision level during the most recent intercensal period. In general, corrections to CDs, CMAs, CAs and ERs are minor (see the “Quality of demographic data” section).

Error of closure is defined as the difference between the postcensal population estimates on census day and the population enumerated in that census adjusted for census net undercoverage (CNU)Note 1. The error of closure is spread evenly over the intercensal period, based on the number of days in each month. Intercensal estimates by age and gender are adjusted the same way (i.e., by distributing the error of closure evenly across the age and gender cohorts). As with postcensal estimates, the intercensal subprovincial estimates by age and gender are adjusted to provincial and territorial estimates using two-way raking to ensure their consistency.


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