Economic region (ER)

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Detailed definition

An economic region (ER) is a grouping of complete census divisions (CDs) (with one exception in Ontario) created as a standard geographic unit for analysis of regional economic activity.

Image of economic region

Census years

2011, 2006, 2001, 1996 (economic region)
1991, 1986, 1981, 1976, 1971 (subprovincial region)


Within the province of Quebec, economic regions (régions administratives) are designated by law. In all other provinces and territories, economic regions (ERs) are created by agreement between Statistics Canada and the province/territory concerned. Prince Edward Island and the three territories each consist of one ER. In Ontario, there is one exception where the ER boundary does not respect census division boundaries: the census division of Halton is split between the ER of Hamilton--Niagara Peninsula and the ER of Toronto.

Each economic region is assigned a two-digit code. In order to uniquely identify each ER in Canada, the two-digit province/territory (PR) code must precede the two-digit ER code. For example:

Table - Example of economic region codes
PR-ER code ER name
10 10 Avalon Peninsula (N.L.)
35 10 Ottawa (Ont.)

Changes to economic regions for the 2011 Census

In New Brunswick, the boundary between Campbellton--Miramichi (ER 13 10) and Fredericton--Oromocto (ER 13 40) was affected because part of Stanley, P (CSD 13 10 036) was taken from York (CD 13 10) and annexed to Upper Miramichi, RCR (CSD 13 09 027) in Northumberland (CD 13 09).

In Ontario, the boundary between London (ER 35 60) and Stratford--Bruce Peninsula (ER 35 80) was affected because part of Perth East, TP (CSD 35 31 030) was taken from Perth (CD 35 31) and annexed to East Zorra-Tavistock, TP (CSD 35 32 038) in Oxford (CD 35 32).

In Alberta, the boundary between Edmonton (ER 48 60) and Banff--Jasper--Rocky Mountain House (ER 48 40) was affected because part of Yellowhead County, MD (48 14 003) was taken from Division No. 14 (CD 48 14) and annexed to Brazeau County, MD (CSD 48 11 032) in Division No. 11 (CD 48 11).

Table 1 in the Introduction shows the number of economic regions by province and territory.

Refer to the related definitions of census division (CD); census subdivision (CSD) and Standard Geographical Classification (SGC).

Changes prior to the current census

In 2006, the composition of West Coast--Northern Peninsula--Labrador (ER 10 30) in Newfoundland and Labrador changed due to the creation of the new census division, Division No. 11 (CD 10 11). In Quebec, the composition of Chaudière-Appalaches (ER 24 25) changed due to the dissolution of the CD of Desjardins (CD 24 24). In Manitoba, the boundary between Southwest (ER 46 30) and Parklands (ER 46 70) changed due to a CSD boundary change. Finally, in British Columbia, the composition of Lower Mainland--Southwest (ER 59 20) and Thompson--Okanagan (ER 59 30) were affected by CSD changes that did not, however, result in a boundary change.

For 2001, the province of Quebec increased the number of economic regions from 16 to 17.

The boundary between Centre-du-Québec (ER 24 33) and Estrie (ER 24 30) was modified because of a CSD change. Also, the name of the région administrative of Québec (ER 24 20) was changed to Capitale-Nationale (ER 24 20).

In Ontario, the boundary between Muskoka--Kawarthas (ER 35 20) and Kingston--Pembroke (ER 35 15) was modified because of CSD changes.

In Alberta, five economic regions were affected by boundary and name changes of census divisions. Boundary changes included moving CD 48 09 from ER 48 50 to ER 48 40, moving CD 48 10 from ER 48 80 to ER 48 20, and moving CD 48 13 from ER 48 40 to ER 48 70. The name changes included Camrose--Drumheller (ER 48 20), Banff--Jasper--Rocky Mountain House (ER 48 40), Red Deer (ER 48 50), Athabasca--Grande Prairie--Peace River (ER 48 70), and Wood Buffalo--Cold Lake (ER 48 80).

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