Canadian Defence, Aerospace, Marine and Cybersecurity Industries Survey

Detailed information for 2020





Record number:


This survey is designed to produce statistical information to create a profile of businesses engaged in the manufacture and delivery of products and services related to the defence, aerospace, marine and cybersecurity sectors in Canada.

Data release - February 14, 2022


Statistics Canada conducts this survey in collaboration with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada to produce statistical information on goods and services, sales, exports, innovation, skills and business practices among firms engaged in defence, aerospace, marine and cybersecurity sectors in Canada. The data will be used to better understand the characteristics of businesses engaged in these activities, as well as to develop policies and programs to help them.


  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation equipment

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population comprises enterprises engaged in the manufacture and delivery of products and services related to the defence, aerospace, marine and cybersecurity sectors in Canada. This population includes enterprises belonging to a diverse group of industries classified under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

Instrument design

The survey questionnaire was designed by Statistics Canada in collaboration with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. The Questionnaire Design Resource Centre of Statistics Canada made suggestions to improve the questionnaire and then field-tested the questionnaire with approximately ten different businesses. The results of those tests were used to further improve the questionnaire.


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

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada compiled a list of businesses that they identified as being engaged in the manufacture and delivery of products and services related to the defence, aerospace, marine and cybersecurity sectors in Canada for the 2020 iteration of the survey. The list was matched to the Statistics Canada Business Register. In addition to this, Statistics Canada included all businesses on the Business Register that had between 10 and 19 employees and were in one of the following NAICS groups: 541514, 511211, 541710 and 517911. This resulted in a final sample size of 4,772 businesses.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2021-01-18 to 2021-07-21

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Before the electronic questionnaire was e-mailed, businesses were pre-contacted by telephone to confirm that they were in-scope for the survey based on their activities, to identify the person best able to respond to the questionnaire and to collect their contact information. As a result of this pre-contact, electronic questionnaires were ultimately mailed to 3,012 enterprises. They were asked to return the completed questionnaires within 30 days of receipt. Preliminary editing was performed to ensure the validity of the collected data. Follow-up was done for collection edit failures.

Follow-up for non-response was conducted by telephone or fax.

Canada Revenue Agency reported tax data will be used to supplement missing data and to enhance data quality of the reported data.

Linkages to administrative data and to data from previous iterations of this survey will be carried out for purposes of data confrontation and to fill data gaps in reported data.

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

Error detection

Error detection is an integral part of both collection and data processing activities. Automated edits were applied to data records during collection to identify capture and reporting errors. Respondents were asked to validate their reported data when these collection edits failed.

Consistency edits were applied during post-collection data processing. These edits ensure, for example, that the sum of total exports plus domestic sales was not greater than the value of total sales, or that the sum of sales to the various subsectors was equal to the value reported for total sales. If records failed one or more edits, they were reviewed to correct the problems.

Errors and inconsistencies in the data were reviewed and resolved by referring to data from previous iterations of the survey and information from external sources.


Imputation was performed to reduce the amount of missing, inconsistent or incomplete data. Imputation was simple, and only focused on imputing for priority cases. Administrative data, data from previous iterations of the survey and data provided by subject matter experts were used to impute for or to replace missing values. Where imputation occurred, edits were run on the records with imputed values to ensure that the imputed data were consistent with existing data and that the new values were not outliers. In cases where no alternate data source could be identified to assist with imputation, imputation was not performed.


Since the survey was conducted as a census of all units on the frame, each unit had a weight of one. No adjustment was done to the weights to account for non-response. Estimation was based on a simple aggregation of the reported or imputed data by businesses in the defence, aerospace, and commercial and civil marine sectors. Totals were produced at the national level for businesses conducting activities in each of the defence, aerospace, and commercial and civil marine sectors.

Quality evaluation

Where possible, estimates were compared with similar data from previous iterations of the survey to ensure that the survey results were consistent with historical findings as well as the Canadian Revenue Agencies tax data for 2020. In addition, subject matter experts from outside Statistics Canada were given an opportunity to review the survey microdata and estimates, as well as provide feedback on their quality prior to their official 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.

Confidentiality analysis includes the detection of possible "direct disclosure", which occurs when the value in a tabulation cell is composed of a few respondents or when the cell is dominated by a few companies. Residual disclosure occurs when confidential information can be derived indirectly by piecing together information from different sources or data series.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology does not apply to this survey.

Data accuracy

There are two types of errors which can impact the data: sampling errors and non sampling errors. Since this was a census survey, no sampling was done and therefore there were no sampling errors.

Non-sampling errors may occur for various reasons during the collection and processing of the data. For example, non-response is an important source of non-sampling error. Under or over-coverage of the population, differences in the interpretations of questions and mistakes in recording and processing data are other examples of non-sampling errors. To the maximum extent possible, these errors are minimized through careful design of the survey questionnaire, verification of the survey data, and non-response follow-up to maximize response rates.

The overall response rate of the Canadian Defence, Aerospace, Marine Cybersecurity Industries Survey, 2020 was 83.9%. Data from this survey are representative of those establishments that responded to the questionnaire. Since no imputation was done for businesses which did not respond to the survey or which provided only some of the requested data (unless they were identified as priority units), the coverage of the estimates will differ across variables. Response rates by survey question are available to help evaluate the quality of the survey data in terms of their coverage.

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