Section 2 Overview

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The Postal Code Conversion File (PCCF) is a digital file which provides a correspondence between the Canada Post Corporation (CPC) six-character postal code and Statistics Canada's standard geographic areas for which census data and other statistics are produced. Through the link between postal codes and standard geographic areas, the PCCF permits the integration of data from various sources.

The geographic coordinates attached to each postal code on the PCCF are commonly used to map the distribution of data for spatial analysis (e.g., clients, activities). The location information is a powerful tool for marketing, planning, or research purposes.

In April 1983, the Geography Division released the first version of the PCCF, which linked postal codes to 1981 Census geographic areas and included geographic coordinates. Since then, the file has been updated on a regular basis to reflect changes.

For this release of the PCCF, the vast majority of the postal codes are directly geocoded to 2006 Census geography. This improves precision of the file over the previous conversion process used to align postal code linkages to new geographic areas after each census.

About 94% of the postal codes were linked to geographic areas using the new automated process. A quality indicator for the confidence of this linkage is available in the PCCF.