Households and the Environment Survey (HES)

Detailed information for 1994





Record number:


This survey is conducted to allow the detailed analysis of social and economic characteristics associated with household environmental practices as well as spatial analysis at the sub-provincial level.

Data release - May 1, 1995 (in "Households and the environment", online catalogue # 11-526-XPB.)


The Household Environment Survey was designed to collect information on the extent to which households were adopting facilities, products and behaviours that were, or were perceived to be, "environmentally friendly". It was also used to monitor changes in behaviour resulting from public concern for the environment.

Statistical activity

The Canadian System of Environmental-Economic Accounts provides a conceptually integrated framework of statistics (in physical and monetary terms) and analysis for studying the relationship between the environment and human and economic activity. It presents detailed statistics describing 1) the size of Canada's natural resource stocks and their contribution to national wealth; 2) the extraction of these same resources and their disposition among businesses, households, governments and the rest of the world; 3) the generation of various wastes (liquid, solid and gaseous) by industries, households and governments and the management of these wastes; and 4) the expenditures made by businesses, households and governments for the purposes of protecting the environment. The accounts are, to the greatest extent possible, compatible with the Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (CSMA). They were developed in response to the need to better monitor the relationship between economic activity and the environment.


  • Environment
  • Pollution and waste

Data sources and methodology


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

The Household Environment Survey was administered to the same households as the Household Facilities and Equipment Survey (record number 3505) and two-thirds of the Labour Force Survey (record number 3701). The interviewers asked a responsible household member for information on household lifestyle which has an impact on the environment.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

The questionnaire data are captured in the regional offices. When the data is transmitted to head office, and edit procedure is applied to completed Household Environment Survey (HES) and Household Facilities and Equipment Survey (HFE) questionnaires, focusing on consistency of the data. A computer imputation procedure for HES data is applied to partial and total non-responding households (whose Labour Force Survey characteristics are known) to create complete HFE records. Response errors are difficult to establish.


Each usable record is weighted by: 1) a simple survey weight that reflects the sample design and incorporates the inverse of the sampling ratio (which varies significantly by geographic area) and the differential response rate, and 2) a final weight created by applying a ratio estimation procedure to the simple survey weight. This procedure incorporates independent, census-derived control totals of the population by province, age, sex and sub-provincial area, and of households (1 person and 2 more persons), economic families and census families.

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.

In order to prevent any data disclosure, confidentiality analysis is done using the Statistics Canada Generalized Disclosure Control System (G-Confid). G-Confid is used for primary suppression (direct disclosure) as well as for secondary suppression (residual disclosure). Direct disclosure occurs when the value in a tabulation cell is composed of or dominated by few enterprises while residual disclosure occurs when confidential information can be derived indirectly by piecing together information from different sources or data series.

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