Estimates of Population by Age and Sex for Census Divisions, Census Metropolitan Areas and Economic Regions (Component Method)

Detailed information for July 1, 2007

Status:

Active

Frequency:

Annual

Record number:

3608

This estimates program provides estimates of population by age and sex for Census Divisions, Census Metropolitan Areas and Economic Regions.

Data release - February 5, 2008

Description

This estimates program provides estimates of population by age and sex for Census Divisions, Census Metropolitan Areas and Economic Regions.

This estimates program is used in the calculation of demographic, social and economic indicators (fertility rates, mortality rates, nuptiality rates, divorce rates, school enrolment rates, etc.) in which the population, or a part thereof, serves as the denominator. These data are used in calculation of weights for use in Statistics Canada's Surveys (Labour Force Survey, General Social Survey, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, etc.). In addition, the data helps in the preparation of population projections by Statistics Canada, where estimates of population by age and sex are used as the base population.

Subjects

  • Population and demography
  • Population estimates and projections

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The population universe covered by the Demographic Estimates Program is similar to the population universe of the census. The following groups of persons are included:

- Canadian citizens (by birth or by naturalization) and immigrants with a usual place of residence in Canada;

- Canadian citizens (by birth or by naturalization) and immigrants who are abroad, either on a military base or attached to a diplomatic mission;

- Canadian citizens (by birth or by naturalization) and immigrants at sea or in port aboard merchant vessels under Canadian registry;

- persons with a usual place of residence in Canada who are claiming refugee status and members of their families living with them;

- persons with a usual place of residence in Canada who hold a Study Permit and members of their families living with them;

- persons with a usual place of residence in Canada who hold a Work Permit and members of their families living with them.

For census purposes, the last three groups in this list are referred to as non-permanent residents (NPR).

Foreign residents have not been enumerated since 1991. Foreign residents are persons who belong to the following groups:

- Government representatives of another country attached to the embassy, high commission or other diplomatic body of that country in Canada, and members of their families living with them;

- members of the Armed Forces of another country who are stationed in Canada, and members of their families living with them;

- residents of another country visiting Canada temporarily (for example, a foreign visitor on vacation or on business, with or without a visitor's permit).

Data sources

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

Description of the Component Method - To estimate the population of census divisions (CDs), census metropolitan areas (CMAs) and economics regions (ERs) for each single year of age and sex, the component method uses the most recent Census of Population (record no. 3901) adjusted for net census undercoverage (including adjustment for incompletely enumerated Indian reserves) as the base population to which are added the components of demographic change, such as births, deaths, immigration, non-permanent residents, returning Canadians, emigration, internal migration (interprovincial and intraprovincial migration). For each component, the sum of the CDs conforms to the corresponding provincial totals, and so the population estimates during these components are also consistent with the provincial population estimates.

Estimation

Description of the Component Method - To estimate the population of census divisions (CDs), census metropolitan areas (CMAs) and economics regions (ERs) for each single year of age and sex, the component method uses the most recent Census of Population (record no. 3901) adjusted for net census undercoverage as the base population to which are added the components of demographic change, such as births, deaths, immigration, non-permanent residents, returning Canadians, emigration, internal migration (interprovincial and intraprovincial migration). For each component, the sum of the CDs conforms to the corresponding provincial totals, and so the population estimates during these components are also consistent with the provincial population estimates.

Quality evaluation

Measure of the precocity errors

The quality of preliminary estimates of components is analysed using precocity errors. Precocity error is defined as the difference between preliminary and final estimate of a particular component in terms of its relative proportion of the total population for the relevant geographical area. Precocity error allows for useful comparisons between components, as well as between provinces and territories or geographical areas of different population size.

When compared to the total population for an area, the differences between preliminary and final estimates of the components are quite small (generally less than 0.1%). There are, however, differences in the amount of impact on the population estimates between components and between provinces and territories. Generally speaking, net interprovincial migration yields the greatest precocity errors (with the exception of Ontario, where in three of the five years, errors for estimates of non-permanent residents were higher). This is likely the result of the use of different data sources for preliminary and final estimates of interprovincial migration. In most years and for most provinces, births, deaths and immigration estimates yielded the smallest precocity errors. For immigration estimates, this reflects the completeness of the data source and the ready availability of data for the more timely preliminary estimates. In the case of births and deaths, small precocity errors support the use of short-term projections for preliminary estimates.

Measure of the error of closure

The Census is considered to be a reliable benchmark for validating the postcensal population estimates. The error of closure (the difference between the postcensal estimate and the enumerated census population, adjusted for net undercoverage) provides a measure of accuracy for the postcensal estimates. It should be noted that it represents errors that have accumulated over the five-year period since the previous census.

At the national level, the differences are small (0.32% for 1986, 0.15% for 1991 and 0.61% for 1996). At the provincial/territorial level, however, the differences are understandably larger, since the provincial/territorial estimates are affected by errors in estimating interprovincial migration, in addition to the other components which affect the total population estimates. Nevertheless, excluding the territories, the provincial postcensal estimates fall within 1% of the census counts with few exceptions (Newfoundland and Labrador in 1986, 1991 and 1996; Alberta in 1986; Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan in 1991; and Quebec in 1996.

Subprovincial population estimates can be considered as having a respectable degree of quality. The magnitude of the errors of closure by the number of CDs for each province and territory falling within specific ranges of error. The majority of CDs (71%) have errors less than 2.0%, and 40% are actually less than 1.0%.

For more detailed information on the quality evaluation of the demographic estimates, see Population and Family Estimation Methods at Statistics Canada, Demography Division, Catalogue 91-528-XIE.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects that 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

Non-final postcensal data are revised once a year. After each census, postcensal estimates are revised to produce the intercensal estimates.

Data accuracy

The estimates contain a certain margin of inaccuracy stemming both from errors in corrections for net census undercoverage and errors arising from the component estimation methods. The average absolute errors for all CDs in Canada for the period 1986-1991 is about 3% for all broad age groups but 20-29 (9%). For CMAs, the errors are 2% or less. For the 1991-1996 period, the average absolute error for all CDs and CMAs in Canada is 1.59% and 0.61%, respectively. Finally, for the 1996-2001 period, the average absolute error for all CDs, CMAs and ERs in Canada is 1.26%, 0.14% and 0.95% respectively. The total net undercoverage rate for Canada in the 1991 Census of Population (record number 3901) was about 2.82%, in the 1996 Census of Population it was of 2.61% and in the 2001 Census of Population the rate was of 3,1%. The quality of the data sources varies according to the component. Births, deaths, immigration and non-permanent residents are produced using administrative files where the universe is complete and controlled by law. However, total emigration and interprovincial and intraprovincial migration may be a more substantial source of error since administrative files do not entirely cover the targeted universe.

Documentation

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