Household Facilities and Equipment Survey (HFE)

Detailed information for 1996





Record number:


The Household Facilities and Equipment Survey was conducted to collect up to date data on household equipment, to provide an indication of the Canadian life standard and to pick up changes in the household characteristics.

Data release - March 19, 1998 (in "Household facilities by income and other characteristics", online catalogue # 13-218-XPB.)


The Household Facilities and Equipment Survey (HFE) has been integrated into the Survey of Household Spending (record number 3508) as of 1997.

It was conducted each year by Statistics Canada to collect up to date data on household equipment, to provide an indication of the Canadian life standard and to pick up changes in the household characteristics.


  • Families, households and housing
  • Household spending and savings
  • Housing and dwelling characteristics
  • Income, pensions, spending and wealth

Data sources and methodology


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

The Survey of Household Facilities and Equipment is conducted once a year, in May, as a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS) (SDDS ID 3701). In 2/3 of the LFS sample households, one repondent per household is asked questions pertaining to the household's facilities and equipment at the time of the survey. It should be noted that only households living in standard private dwellings are represented in publications. Excluded are: 1) Residents of the Yukon and Northwest Territories; 2) Residents of Indian Reserves; 3) Residents of military barracks; 4) Inmates of institutions; 5) Residents of collective-type households; 6) Private households living in summer cottages, etc.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

The questionnaires are data captured in the regional offices, and every batch is verified for accuracy. When the data is transmitted to head office, an edit procedure is applied to completed Household Facilities and Equipment Survey (HFE) questionnaires, focusing on consistency of the data. A computer imputation procedure for HFE data is applied to partial and total non-responding households (whose Labour Force Survey (LFS) (SDDS ID 3701) characteristics are known) to create complete HFE records. Published data are accompanied by estimated sampling errors of household items. 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 or more persons), economic families and census families.


No preliminary estimates. Final estimates are published in the fall of the survey year. Estimates are revised following release of the most current Census of Population (SDDS ID 3901) data. For example, data for 1981-1987 have been revised based on updated counts from the 1986 Census and a new weighting procedure. The survey being on-going, some items are standard every year, other items rotate every second year. New items can be added in response to demand from users.

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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