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Quality of Canadian Census Data due to Privacy Concerns
May 22, 2013 Tyson B
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The Conservative Government of Canada instituted a National Household Survey, which was voluntary for the 2011 Federal Census (Basic information, such as age, # people per dwelling unit was still mandatory). In previous censuses this same information was provided through the long form census, which was sent to 20% of the population and was mandatory to complete for those that received it.

The Conservative Government did this due to "Privacy Issues" that it appears only a small number of citizens were concerned about. The first set of data from the National Household Survey was released recently and, as expected, there are a number of issues with data quality. middle class, caucasian citizens were over-represented, while lower class and minorities (especially aboriginals) were under-represented. This is problematic for a number of users of this data, including planners and agencies that provide services to those at the lower end of the social spectrum.


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