The objective of every Census is to provide detailed information at a
single point in time on the demographic, social and economic conditions
of the population. One of its goals is to enumerate the entire
population on Census Day. Inevitably, however, some people are not
counted, either because their household did not receive a Census
questionnaire (for example, a household living in a separate apartment
in a house) or because they were not included in the questionnaire
completed by the household (for example, a boarder or lodger). Some
people may also be missed because they have no usual residence, and did
not spend census night in any dwelling. On the other hand, a small
number of people may also be counted twice (for example, a student
living away from home).
To determine how many individuals were missed, or counted more than
once, Statistics Canada conducts post-censal coverage studies of a
representative sample of individuals. The results of these studies
provide information that is used to adjust the Census counts for the
purpose of producing current (quarterly and annual) population
estimates, which take into account net under-enumeration in the Census.
For example, in 2006, after adjustment for net under-enumeration, the population
estimate for Canada was 2.8% higher than the population enumerated in the Census and the population
estimate for British Columbia was 2.9% higher than the Census count.
Population estimates are periodically revised for a number of reasons, including revisions to the
underlying indicator data, methodological improvements and to reflect updated base year
data from a new census. Projections are updated annually to reflect the latest
estimates based on actual indicator data, as well as any new information on likely
future demographic and economic changes (e.g., the expectation of a mine
closure due to mineral depletion). Census data are never revised except in the
event that an error is discovered.
Note that when population data are revised, other measures
such as employment rates, GDP per capita and so forth, that use population as a
denominator, will be revised also.
The most up-to-date population estimate for British Columbia as a whole is available in our quarterly
Population Highlights release or on the Population Estimates
page. This page also has annual totals as well as estimates of total population (i.e., without
age/sex detail) for municipalities (i.e., cities, towns, etc.),
regional districts and development regions and estimates for Canada by province and territory.
Projections of future population are available at the British Columbia level, as well as for
various sub-provincial regions.
The three basic components of population change are births, deaths and migration.
The difference between births and deaths is termed the "natural increase", or "natural change."
Migration is typically expressed as a "net" measure (i.e., Net migration
is the difference between the movements into a region and those out of a
region) and can be segmented into (i) international, (ii)
inter-provincial, and (iii) intra-provincial migration:
(i) International migration includes immigrants (people moving to Canada) and emigrants (people moving away from Canada). Statistics Canada also
estimates non-permanent residents as part of the population (e.g., foreign students and workers, refugees) and Canadian citizens and immigrants who are temporarily abroad
people who are not maintaining a usual residence in Canada, but who will
eventually return to Canada and therefore are not true emigrants). In
Statistics Canada estimates the number of Returning Emigrants (i.e., people who emigrated from Canada at one point, but then decided to return to Canada);
(ii) Inter-provincial migration occurs between provinces and territories as interprovincial in- and out-migration. At the Canada-level, net inter-provincial migration equals zero; and
(iii) Intra-provincial migration represents movement
within a province. This type of migration is considered when
sub-provincial estimates and projections are produced.
Data related to migration and immigration and births and deaths are also available.