Population and Family Estimation Methods at Statistics Canada

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This manual provides detailed descriptions of the data sources and methods used by Statistics Canada to estimate population. They comprise post-censal and intercensal population estimates; base population; births and deaths; immigration; emigration; non-permanent residents; interprovincial migration; subprovincial estimates of population; population estimates by age, sex and marital status; and census family estimates. A glossary of principal terms is contained at the end of the manual, followed by the standard notation used.

Until now, literature on the methodological changes for estimates calculations has always been spread throughout various Statistics Canada publications and background papers. This manual provides users of demographic statistics with a comprehensive compilation of the current procedures used by Statistics Canada to prepare population and family estimates.


This manual was prepared by the Demographic Estimates Section, Demography Division under the editorship of Shirley Loh. The written work was based on numerous sources and represents the collaborative work of many individuals in Demography Division and other related divisions, such as Social Survey Methods Division, Income Statistics Division and Health Statistics Division at Statistics Canada. Demographic methods also rely on a number of administrative records maintained by various government bodies responsible for managing these programs; namely, the Canada Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the various provincial and territorial bodies responsible for reporting vital events to the bureau.

Inspired from previous editions of this report, the implicit contribution of many others is thus acknowledged. While many people provided valuable input or assistance, special recognition must be given to André Cyr, Vincent Dale, Sylvie DeBlois, Hubert Denis, Hélène Landry, André Lebel and Denis Morissette who spent countless hours editing and providing guidance and information in all stages of the development of the manual. Selected chapters were written by or largely based on the work of the following persons in Demography Division: Julien Bérard-Chagnon, André Cyr, Denis Morissette and Peter Wilkinson. Christian Thibault and Peter Dick (Social Survey Methods Division), Geneviève Ouellet and Julie Dussault (Demography Division) also offered their expertise, background information and editorial comments.

Finally, Nicole Montsion and Janie Saumure provided technical expertise in the publication process.

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