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1996 Census Notes

The text that follows has been taken from the original published by Statistics Canada. Some terms that refer specifically to types of social and political organization peculiar to other provinces have been removed in the interest of brevity and to avoid confusion. However, census geography that is not included in our presentation, such as census agglomerations and census metropolitan areas, are described here so that users may become familiar with these definitions. Many of the census publications that can be ordered from Statistics Canada will include the complete notes. The definitions of geographic terms and census concepts are presented here in summary form only. Users should refer to the 1996 Census Dictionary (Statistics Canada Catalogue No. 92-351-XPE) for the full definitions and additional remarks related to these concepts and definitions.

Data Quality

Please see the complete notes published by Statistics Canada for a discussion of data quality.

Temporary Residents

Unlike previous censuses, the Temporary Residents Study was not carried out in 1996. Therefore, the census did not verify, on a sample basis, if temporary residents (persons found on Census Day at a place other than their usual place of residence) were enumerated at their usual place of residence. In the 1991 Census, the number of people included as a result of the Temporary Residents Study was as follows (see Catalogue No. 92-341E, pages 19-26):

Province or
Canada 92,584 2,307
British Columbia 15,330 943

Incompletely Enumerated Indian Reserves

On some Indian reserves and Indian settlements in the 1996 Census, enumeration was not permitted, or was interrupted before it could be completed. Moreover, for some Indian reserves and Indian settlements, the quality of the collected data was considered inadequate. These geographic areas (a total of 77) are called incompletely enumerated Indian reserves and Indian settlements.

Data for 1996 are therefore not available for the incompletely enumerated reserves and settlements and are not included in tabulations. Data for geographic areas containing one or more of these reserves and settlements are therefore noted accordingly. Because of the missing data, users are cautioned that for the affected geographic areas, comparisons (e.g., percentage change) between 1991 and 1996 are not exact. While for higher level geographic areas (Canada, provinces, census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations) the impact of the missing data is very small, the impact can be significant for smaller areas, where the affected reserves and settlements account for a higher proportion of the population. A list of incompletely enumerated Indian reserves in British Columbia, along with Population and Occupied Private Dwelling Counts from the last two censuses (where available) is presented below:

Incompletely Enumerated
Indian Reserves
Population Dwellings
1986 1991 1986 1991 Regional District
Anahim's Flat 1 499 478 85 105 Cariboo
Anahim's Meadow 2 1 2 1 1 Cariboo
Anahim's Meadow 2A 28 -- 5 -- Cariboo
Chuchuwayha 2 31 35 10 8 Okanagan-Similkameen
Coquitlam 1 -- 10 -- 4 Greater Vancouver
Coquitlam 2 -- 4 -- 2 Greater Vancouver
Dead Point 5 -- -- -- -- Mount Waddington
Esquimalt + + + + Capital
Lukseetsissum 9 25 24 6 7 Fraser Valley
Mount Currie 1 + + + + Squamish-Lillooet
Mount Currie 2 + + + + Squamish-Lillooet
Mount Currie 6 -- + ? + Squamish-Lillooet
Mount Currie 8 + + + + Squamish-Lillooet
Mount Currie 10 + + + + Squamish-Lillooet
Nesuch 3 + + + + Squamish-Lillooet
Pentledge 2 1 1 1 1 Comox-Strathcona
Quesnel 1 29 68 8 22 Cariboo
South Saanich 1 + 473 + 139 Capital
Union Bay 4 + 63 + 19 Capital

? Figures not available
-- Nil or zero
+ Incompletely enumerated Indian reserve

Non-permanent Residents

In 1991 and 1996, the Census of Population included both permanent and non-permanent residents of Canada. Non-permanent residents are persons who hold student or employment authorizations, or Minister's permits or who are refugee claimants.

Prior to 1991, only permanent residents of Canada were included in the census. (The only exception to this occurred in 1941.) Non-permanent residents were considered foreign residents and were not enumerated.

Today in Canada, non-permanent residents make up a significant segment of the population, especially in several census metropolitan areas. Their presence affects the demand for such government services as health care, schooling, employment programs and language training. In 1991, the census enumerated 223,410 non-permanent residents in Canada, representing slightly less than 1% of the total population. The inclusion of non-permanent residents in the census facilitates comparisons with provincial and territorial statistics (marriages, divorces, births and deaths) which include this population. In addition, this inclusion of non-permanent residents brings Canadian practice closer to the UN recommendation that long-term residents (persons living in a country for one year or longer) be enumerated in the census.

Total population counts, as well as counts for all variables, are affected by this change in the census universe. Users should be especially careful when comparing data from 1991 or 1996 with data from previous censuses in geographic areas where there is a concentration of non-permanent residents. These include the major metropolitan areas in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

Although every attempt has been made to enumerate non-permanent residents, factors such as language difficulties and the reluctance to complete a government form or understand the need to participate may affect the enumeration of this population. Non-permanent residents can only be identified through the long questionnaire completed by 20 per cent of Canadian households. The 1996 Census estimate of non-permanent residents will not be known until the release of the immigration data in November 1997.