National Culture Indicators (NCI)

Detailed information for second quarter 2023





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The National Culture Indicators provide timely information which facilitates ongoing monitoring and analysis of culture and sport activities in Canada.

Data release - September 28, 2023


The National Culture Indicators provide timely quarterly information which facilitates ongoing monitoring and analysis of culture and sport activities in Canada. The NCI are an extension to the Provincial Territorial Culture Satellite Account (PTCSA) and the Provincial Territorial Culture Indicators (PTCI).

The NCI are available about 90 days after the reference quarter. The statistical tables include data on GDP expressed in both nominal and real dollars, both at basic prices. As well as data on output and jobs. Data has been seasonally adjusted.

The NCI can be used to assess the current economic state of culture and sport in Canada, to analyse developments in terms of trends, and to support policy and strategic decisions.

Statistical activity

The Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts provides a conceptually integrated statistical framework for studying the state and behaviour of the Canadian economy. The accounts are centered on the measurement of activities associated with the production of goods and services, the sales of goods and services in final markets, the supporting financial transactions and the resulting wealth positions.

Collection period: Three months after the reference quarter


  • Culture and leisure
  • Economic accounts

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The National Culture Indicators (NCI) covers the economic activity of culture (inclusive of the arts and heritage) and sport in Canada.

Instrument design

This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.


This methodology does not apply.

Data sources

Data are extracted from administrative files and derived from other Statistics Canada surveys and/or other sources.

There are several main data sources for the National Culture Indicators (NCI), all originating from Statistics Canada. The Culture Satellite Account (CSA) and Provincial and Territorial Culture Indicators (PTCI) provide annual benchmark totals, in current dollars. The CSA is a biennial product and the PTCI is an annual product which both were first published for reference year 2010.

For dividing the annual benchmarks into quarters, sub-annual estimates of various indicators are used. This includes Gross domestic product at basic prices, by industry, monthly and the Survey of Employment and Payroll Hours (SEPH).

For years in which the Provincial and Territorial Culture Indicators are unavailable, monthly gross domestic product by industry and SEPH are the primary sources used as principal indicators. In addition, selected components of consumer spending from the Income and Expenditure Accounts are used.

Survey data on services industries, administrative tax data on non-profit industries serving households as well as other internal CSMA data are used as secondary sources where necessary and to evaluate the quality of the estimates. They may also provide more detailed information on an industry or product in cases where CSMA data is only available at an aggregate level.

Error detection

This methodology does not apply.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.


The indicators of current dollar GDP, output and jobs are produced from the product perspective, and benchmarked to the Canadian Culture Satellite Account (CCSA) levels and are estimated for the years preceding and following the benchmarks. Benchmarks are incorporated biennially. In years following the availability of the CCSA, those indicators are benchmarked to the Provincial and Territorial Culture Indicators (PTCI).

The National Culture Indicators (NCI) uses results from Statistics Canada's supply and use tables, which are based on quarterly and annual surveys of industries and their revenues (production). For periods not covered by the most recent supply and use data, the indicators are projected on the basis of: i) industry-specific production figures (GDP); ii) results of selected employment surveys; iii) selected components of consumer spending from the Income and Expenditure Accounts.

Once supply estimates have been calculated, output is allocated to the culture domains and subdomains based on split factors generated during the CCSA. These split factors disaggregate the codes used in the supply and use tables into data that better reflects the culture and sport sectors so that we can reallocate it into the domains and subdomains. These split factors are also used to allocated current dollar gross domestic product.

Like the supply indicators, the NCI employment estimates are benchmarked to the CCSA and PTCI estimates, which in turn are based on measures from the Labour Productivity Accounts. The Labour Force Survey is used primarily to produce control totals, and Survey of Employment, Payroll and Hours is used primarily to compute the industry-by-industry breakdown. The latter data are also used to project the quarterly estimates on a current basis. The data, which estimate direct employment, are then seasonally adjusted.

Similarly, current dollar GDP estimates are based on CCSA and PTCI annual benchmarks. Quarterly movements and non-benchmark year estimates are calculated using gross domestic product by industry at basic prices.

Constant dollar GDP estimates are not currently produced in the CCSA and PTCI, and so are not benchmarked to those series. The benchmarked current dollar GDP estimates are deflated using selected components of consumer spending from the Income and Expenditure Accounts in order to generate constant dollar estimates.

Quality evaluation

The National Culture Indicators are based on a wide array of related and comparable data. Supply estimates generally follow the trends of the output measures for industries in the supply and use system and the GDP by industry accounts.

Constant dollar GDP data in the NCI are comparable to GDP by industry data. The NCI, however, only includes the production that is attributable to a culture and sport product.

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.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

The NCI revision policy follows a structured approach of revisions that is aligned with the Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (CSMA) as well as regular benchmarking to new Culture Satellite Accounts (CSAs) and PTCIs. The revision policy serves to improve the reliability and accuracy of the NCI time series estimates. It is adapted from the policy followed for the PTCI and CSMA. The data are not normally revised again except when historical revisions are carried out.

These revisions allow for newly published Supply and Use Tables (SUTs) to be incorporated into the time series.
The NCI estimates will be revised according to revisions in the PTCI. This will permit new culture and sport ratios to be incorporated into the NCI estimates. See Revisions under the PTCI for more information.

Revisions to the NCI, within the current reference year, are open for all quarters through the first quarter of the following year in order to incorporate additional data as it becomes available. These revisions are carried out in order to incorporate the most recent data on gross domestic product and employment for culture and sport.

Seasonal Adjustment

Culture is dominated by large seasonal fluctuations exhibiting similar patterns from one year to the next. For the convenience of users, these regular variations are removed, through a statistical technique known as seasonal adjustment, to help isolate underlying trends.

All seasonally adjusted series of the quarterly NCI are derived using the X-12-ARIMA method. In practice, only seasonally adjusted indicators are chosen when deriving quarterly movements. As such, all estimates from the NCI can be considered seasonally adjusted. Raw estimates are not calculated.

Data accuracy

No direct measures of the margin of error in the estimates can be calculated. The quality of the estimates can be inferred from analysis of revisions and from a subjective assessment of the data sources and methodology used in the preparation of the estimates.

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