Hierarchy of standard geographic units tutorial, part 1
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To take full advantage of census data, users should have a basic understanding of the geography of the data. Just as a population can be subdivided by sex, age groups, income ranges or occupation categories, it can also be subdivided by different geographic units.
Each box in the hierarchy of standard geographic units represents a level of geography, or geographic area, used by Statistics Canada for analysing and publishing data. These areas are either administrative, meaning that they are legislated by federal or provincial laws, or statistical, which means that they are not legislated and are created by Statistics Canada to support the collection and dissemination of data.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2011 Census of Population.