Wednesday, July 26, 2017


I am trying to get a better understanding of the PCCF/PCCF+ products in order to assist its use by health researchers at Dalhousie. I will use an example to illustrate my questions.
A researcher is working with patient data for the time period (year) 2008 to 2011 including postal codes. He would like to use the PCCF/PCCF+ product to better identified each patient’s locality. My questions are:

E.g. 1. Census 2006 has multiple PCCF+ version 5 releases.

Release Including Postal Codes through
c Mar 2008
d Sep 2008
e Mar 2009
f Jul 2009
g Dec 2009
h Oct 2010
j May 2011
k May 2011

Should he be using multiple releases of the PCCF+ to correspond with the patient year data? That is PCCF+ 5d for patient data in year 2008, PCCF+ 5g, PCCF+ 5h for patient data in year 2009, PCCF+ 5k for patient data in year 2009? Or can he just use PCCF+ 5k to identity patient locality info for the full 4 years patient data?

E.g. 2. If the patient data only came with FSA, is/are there any advantage(s) in using PCCF+ over PCCF? If not, given that there are multiple PCCF releases (see below), should he be matching up the PCCF releases with the patient year data? Can he just use the latest PCCF release to allocate patient locality info for the full 4 years patient data?

E.g. 1. Census 2006 has multiple PCCF+ version 5 releases.

Release Including Postal Codes through
Pccf_sep2008 Sep 2008
Pccf_dec2009 Dec 2009
Pccf_oct2010 Oct 2010
Pccf_may2011 May 2011

Thank you for the question. We have received the following response from Subject Matter:

“With regards to your client’s situation, I would suggest using the PCCF+ over the PCCF because the PCCF+ provides correspondence to historical dissemination/enumeration areas (back to 1981) and it also processes partial postal codes, such as FSAs (although the geocoding is less precise than full 6-digit postal code). 

In general, we recommend always using the latest letter version of a PCCF+ census release because they are the cleanest versions of the product.  For example, if your client chose to use the PCCF+ based to the 2006 Census then he would use version 5K.  Having said that, I would recommend that he uses the most recent version of the product, PCCF+ 6D (based to the 2011 Census geography), because it will assign both the 2011 and 2006 DAs to the patient record and it also includes improvements that are not part of version 5. 

FYI, I have attached a document which provides some guidance on when to use the PCCF+ over the PCCF, along with a more detailed overview presentation."

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Canadian Cancer Registry documentation

I’m trying to help a researcher who’s interested in using the CCR. For the moment all he needs is documentation (data dictionary, code book, or even just a variables list) to determine if it’s worth going the RDC route, but the items linked on the CCR page at StatCan are rather dated, the newest having a 2008 release date. Is there newer documentation available?

Attached is the 2015/2016 edition of the CCR Data Dictionary. The author division did clarify that the most recent documents will be made public and put online once they’re fully translated.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Student responses about culture of higher ed. institutes

I have an inquiry from a researcher who is looking for responses from students about the culture and behaviours found in higher educational institutes. I am new to DLI and as such am sure that I haven’t looked in all the possible places, but if such data exists I would appreciate being pointed in the right direction!

I couldn’t find anything from a quick search on our website, so I’ve asked our Education team for information. Please stay tuned for a response.

Unfortunately the education team does not have any data collected for student culture and behaviour. Do you mind elaborating on what the researcher is specifically looking for? We might be able to find something similar if we can get a sense of the context of these terms.

Most current SHS PUMF

Is the PUMF for the 2015 SHS available? I’m finding loads of tables, and Nesstar has the 2009 PUMF, but that’s all I’m seeing.

I last asked this question in March. The SHS was revised and changed in 2010. No PUMF has been done since the revision. We keep asking but the author division has not had the resources to produce a PUMF.

We will keep making the case that even doing a PUMF every couple of years would be a huge benefit from or this very important and heavily used survey.

Unfortunately the last PUMF produced for this survey was in 2009, but I have passed this thread along to the author division and I’ve asked them whether they have any news on releasing a PUMF. Unfortunately there is no plan yet in the decision to produce a SHS PUMF. The more recent data remains the SHS PUMF 2009. As Peter said, we’ll continue to make the case for a PUMF to be produced and highlight its importance in the data community.

Ultrafiltered milk exports and imports

There is a researcher interested in getting the import and exports in Canada and US for ultrafiltered milk. The CIMT has trade data on milk that is full cream, partially and completely skimmed milk not ultrafiltered milk.

Is US and Canada import/export data available on ultrafiltered milk?

Unfortunately the division responsible checked and could not find a Harmonized Classification System code specified for ultra-filtered milk, whether for exports or imports.

HS codes are employed to track the international trade of commodities; this specific product isn’t tracked.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Most popular Census release

Of the standard census releases below,  which is the most popular ?

Population and dwelling counts - Age and sex - Type of dwelling - Families, households and marital status – Language – Income - Immigration and ethnocultural diversity – Housing - Aboriginal peoples – Education – Labour - Journey to work - Language of work -Mobility and migration

That is, which ones do they  get the most questions about and the most interest on day of release ?  Which gets the most media interest?

I would have thought that Pop. And Dwelling counts gets the most buzz,  just because it is the first release, and people are interested in communities changes in population size. I would have thought that income would be the next most popular, giving a look at poverty changes. But does  the Census division have any information on whether these assumptions are correct or not. They may be able to comment more on past census releases, rather than the current one which is not finished yet. What was most popular in 2006 and 2011 would be great.

The most popular standard census release is Pop and Dwell by a large margin.

2011 Census release

NHS release

Friday, July 7, 2017

CTUMS variance tables for 2007

Can anyone tell me why the variance tables for CTUM 2005 are available on the Statistics Canada website but 2007 aren't?

2005 seems to be available from but all I can find for 2007 are the user guides.

Variability tables for CTUMS 2007 can also be found on the DLI PUMF EFT safe: /MAD_PUMF_FMGD_DAM/Root/4440_CTUMS_ESUTC/2007/annual/doc

If you require any assistance with accessing your EFT account, please let us know.

I inquired whether they would be placed online and unfortunately there are no plans to put them online; but they are part of our release package for the PUMF that the DLI receives and uploads to the EFT.