Canadian Internet Use Survey (CIUS)

Summary of changes

Activity on this program started: October 1997

Reference period of change - 2020

The 2020 survey is built off the previous iteration of the CIUS, last conducted in 2018. The 2020 iteration has been updated to collect data to meet new data needs.

The 2020 cycle was revised to measure new trends, in order to take account of the rapid evolution of Internet-related technologies. This edition includes additional content in existing modules, questions on well-being in the digital age, the impact of COVID-19 on Internet use and increased demographic variables, such as population group, perceived health, and disability status, to paint an accurate picture of the Canadian population.

To make room for this new content without adding to the response burden of respondents, some questions or modules from the 2018 edition have been rotated out.

Reference period of change - 2018

CIUS 2018 was built off the previous iteration of the CIUS, last conducted in 2012 and is no longer a hybrid survey.

The 2018 iteration was redesigned to reflect the rapid pace at which Internet technology has evolved since the previous survey iteration and measures a wider range of online activities, including those related to social media, e-commerce, e-government, peer-to-peer services, online work, digital skills, content streaming, and security privacy and trust as it relates to the Internet. The survey also measures household access.

The target population is all persons 15 years of age and older living in the ten provinces of Canada. It excludes full-time (residing for more than six months) residents of institutions.

The sample is no longer taken from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) sample, as was done in 2012 and prior. This survey uses a frame that combines landline and cellular telephone numbers from the Census and various administrative sources with Statistics Canada's dwelling frame. This sampling frame is used to obtain a better coverage of households with a telephone number. Information is collected from one randomly selected household member aged 15 or older, and proxy responses are not permitted.

Data are collected through an electronic questionnaire or computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI). The respondent has the choice to respond in French or in English. The average time to complete the survey is estimated at 30-60 minutes.

Reference period of change - 2012

Collection instrument - For 2012, an electronic help text was created for the Household Component based on questions that respondents had raised during collection in 2010. The electronic help text was incorporated into the computer application for data collection to provide interviewers with easy access to relevant information.

For 2012, there were minimal content and design changes. In some cases, the examples and terminology for answer categories were revised to maintain relevancy given the changing nature of technology. In addition, questions on security concerns while using the Internet were added to the Privacy and Security module (PS).

Reference period of change - 2010

As of 2010, this survey is conducted occasionally.

The Canadian Internet Use Survey (CIUS) was redesigned in 2010 to better measure the type and speed of household Internet connections. It is a hybrid survey that measures both household Internet access and the individual online behaviours of a selected household member. The new survey has two distinct components - household and individual - with revised and streamlined questions.

Reference period of change - 2007

Target population - The target population includes residents of Canada 16 years of age or older.

For 2007, content was modified to reflect feedback from respondents as well as interviewers from 2005 and to reflect changing Internet uses and activities as identified by an inter-departmental working group. In addition, some modules asked in 2005 were not repeated for 2007.

Reference period of change - 2005

The CIUS replaces the Household Internet Use Survey (HIUS), conducted from 1997 to 2003, which focused on household Internet penetration. The survey was redesigned to focus more on Internet use by individuals and to conform to international standards regarding Internet statistics. Because CIUS collects information from the individual and HIUS was based on the household, it is not appropriate to directly compare results from 2005 with previous surveys.

Target population - The target population includes residents of Canada 18 years of age or older.

Instrument design - Testing of the questionnaire instrument was done in two phases by Statistics Canada's Questionnaire Design Research Centre (QDRC) using focus group methodology in the latter part of 2003. A total of 13 focus group consultations along with a number of one-on-one interviews were conducted in both English and French by the QDRC in 8 cities across the country.

Reference period of change - 2003

The Household Internet Use Survey will not be conducted for the 2004 reference year and is targeted to be replaced by an individual level survey for reference year 2005.

Reference period of change - 1999

A component related to personal consumption of products and services (electronic commerce) is a component of HUIS since 1999.

Target population - The target population includes residents of Canada 15 years of age or older.

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