General Social Survey - Social Engagement (GSS)

Summary of changes

Activity on this program started: 2003 reference period

Reference period of change - 2013 (Cycle 27)

Sampling - In 2013, the survey was implemented using the newly redesigned GSS frame, which integrates data from sources of telephone numbers (landline and cellular) available to Statistics Canada and the Address Register (AR). This new frame includes "cell phone only" households. Our sampling unit is also different in 2013 where it is now defined as groupings of telephone numbers linked to the same address.

Estimation - The use of a new sampling frame and a new definition of our sampling unit have led to a new weighting strategy for the 2013 GSS SI. Also, bootstrap weights have been changed from mean bootstrap to standard bootstrap weights.

Reference period of change - 2008 (Cycle 22)

The purpose of Cycle 22 is to collect data on social networks, and social and civic participation. Information is also collected on major changes in respondents' lives and the resources they used and needed during these transitions.

Reference period of change - 2003 (Cycle 17)

This is the first time that Statistics Canada has assembled questions on social participation, civic participation, trust and reciprocity into one national survey on social engagement. Data from this cycle complement other Statistics Canada surveys, particularly the National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating (NSGVP), which asks questions about Canadian contributory behaviour, including giving, volunteering and participating; the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) and National Population Health Survey (NPHS), which include questions on social support and well-being; the Ethnic Diversity Survey (EDS), which asks questions on social participation, voting and levels of social contact; the Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS), which includes questions on social participation, involvement in social networks, and sources of support.

Although this is the first time the GSS has been dedicated to this topic, questions on several sub-themes of social engagement have appeared in earlier cycles, including questions about contact with friends and relatives (Cycle 16, Cycle 15, Cycle 14, Cycle 11, Cycle 10), giving and receiving informal help (Cycle 16, Cycle 11), volunteering (Cycle 16, Cycle 14, Cycle 12, Cycle 9), voting and other political activity (Cycle 14).

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