Canadian Health Survey on Children and Youth (CHSCY)

Detailed information for 2016 (pilot)





Record number:


The Canadian Health Survey on Children and Youth (CHSCY) is designed to paint a portrait of the health and well-being of Canadian children and youth by collecting information about factors influencing their physical and mental health. The survey covers a broad range of topics related to the overall health of children and youth including chronic conditions, injuries, physical activity, nutrition and their social environment (family, friends, and communities).

Data release - Pilot data will be released if the quality is determined to be acceptable.


The main objectives of the Canadian Health Survey on Children and Youth are:

- To provide current, detailed and ongoing health-related information on children and youth at the national, provincial and territorial levels;
- To provide information to support evidenced-based policy and program development and evaluation;
- To support research initiatives on children's health and well-being; and
- To support children's health surveillance programs by providing information on a regular and timely basis.

The data collected from the main survey will be used by Statistics Canada, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, provincial and territorial ministries of health, as well as by other federal and provincial departments. The information collected from respondents will be used to monitor, plan, implement and evaluate programs to improve the health of Canadian children and youth. Researchers from various fields are also interested in the survey data and will use the information to conduct research into the various factors that affect the health and well-being of children and youth in Canada.

The pilot survey for the Canadian Health Survey on Children and Youth will test survey content, methodology, computer applications, interviewer procedures, reference material and data processing techniques in preparation for the main survey collection. In addition, data tables will be released for some indicators at the national level.

Collection period: 2016-10-17 to 2016-12-23


  • Children and youth
  • Health and well-being (youth)

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The Canadian Health Survey on Children and Youth pilot covers the population age 1-17 living in the ten provinces and the three territories. Excluded from the survey's coverage are: persons living on reserves and other Aboriginal settlements in the provinces; institutionalized population and children and youth living in foster homes.

Based on a 2011 study comparing the Canadian Child Tax Benefit file with the 2011 Census of Population, there is at least 96% coverage for all provinces and 94% coverage for all Northern territories.

Instrument design

The questionnaire was developed by Statistics Canada, in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada. Qualitative testing by Statistics Canada's Questionnaire Design Resource Centre, using face-to-face interviews, was conducted in November 2014, March 2015 and November 2015. Testing of the e-questionnaire was conducted in June 2016.


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

The sampling frame for the Canadian Health Survey on Children and Youth is the Canadian Child Tax Benefit file.

The sampling units are children/youth aged 1 to 17 years of age.

The pilot sample has been stratified into three age groups: children aged 1 to 4 years old, children aged 5-11 years old and youth aged 12 years and older. The pilot sample has also been stratified by province and territory.

The sample size for the pilot survey is 2,500 raw units.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2016-10-17 to 2016-12-23

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Respondents are given an opportunity to complete the questionnaire online using an e-questionnaire. If an e-questionnaire is not completed in a given period of time, a Statistics Canada interviewer will call and ask the respondent to complete the questionnaire over the telephone.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s).

Error detection

Some editing of the data is performed at the time of the interview by the computer-assisted interviewing (CAI) application. It is not possible for respondents or interviewers to enter out-of-range values and flow errors are controlled through programmed skip patterns. For example, CAI ensures that questions that do not apply to a respondent are not asked. In response to some types of inconsistent or unusual reporting, warning messages are invoked but no corrective action is taken at the time of the interview.

Several edits are performed at Head Office during the data processing step. A critical error edit is done that rejects respondent entries (for instance, excluded populations). Flow errors are also adjusted during processing and a data inconsistency detection and correction program is applied. Where appropriate, edits are instead developed to be performed at Head Office after data collection. Inconsistencies are usually corrected by setting one or both of the variables in question to "not stated". Response frequency obtained during the current period and previous reference periods is also compared to identify errors prior to release.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

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