Estimates of Total Population for Canada, the Provinces and the Territories

Detailed information for July 1, 2003





Record number:


This survey provides annual estimates of total population for Canada, provinces and territories.

Data release - September 25, 2003


This survey is conducted under record number 3601 - bearing the same name.

This survey provides annual estimates of total population for Canada, provinces and territories.


  • Population and demography
  • Population estimates and projections

Data sources and methodology

Instrument design

This methodology does not apply.


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

This methodology does not apply.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected from other Statistics Canada surveys and/or other sources.

Postcensal estimates are obtained by the component method, using the most recent census of population (record no. 3901) adjusted to July 1 and for net census undercount as the base population. For example, to estimate the population as of July 1 of a non-census year, demographic events experienced by each cohort since the previous census have to be taken into account. To the base population count, births, immigrants, net non-permanent residents and returning emigrants are added, and deaths, emigrants and net temporary emigrants are subtracted. It is also necessary to add the net interprovincial migration. This produces a postcensal estimate of total population as July 1 of the non-census year considered. The components of population change are estimated on the basis of data gleaned from various sources.

Error detection

This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.


This methodology does not apply.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

Data are revised once a year. After each Census, postcensal estimates are revised to produce final intercensal estimates. 1988-01 - Population estimates from June 1982 to 1986 have been revised to take into account the 1981 and 1986 Census results.

Data accuracy

The estimates contain a certain margin of inaccuracy stemming both from errors in the census data and errors arising from the component estimation methods. The errors attributable to census data include: coverage errors which are primarily the result of undercoverage. The total undercoverage rate for Canada in the 1986 Census was 3.2%. On the basis of the quality of the data sources, the components can be divided into two categories: the first consists of births, deaths and immigration, for which the sources can be considered nearly perfect where final data is used; and the second is international emigration and particularly interprovincial migration, for which the methods used, may be a more substantial source of error.


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