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Statistics Canada (Database Instruction)

This guide will give you an introduction to using the STATISTICS CANADA webpage to find interactive data tables, microdata and data visualizations, maps and more on a wide range of subjects.

Search Results Navigation

Depending on your results some pages might have different elements, but for the most part, these are the common parts you will encounter. 

1. Search box - use keywords to refine your results. (keep it simple, this is not the place for boolean operators)

2. Checkboxes - filter your results by Subject, Geographic region, Frequency, Survey/Statistical program and other categories (availability will depend on the types of data products in the results set)

3. Resort the list by Date, Most popular, Relevance or Title (make a selection and click Apply)

4. Show the number of results which defaults to 10 at a time, you can change this to 24, 50 or 100 results.

5. Refine by vector - If you have a vector number you can refine by that variable. 

6. Documentation specific to the data products in the results list.

7. Product tabs will filter by data product type. All is always first (in the example we can see 10,273 items in that category), these will change depending on your results and the portal you used to get here. This example shows data tables, community/region profiles, thematic maps, public use microdata, etc. 

8. Title of the data table, Use this link to open the data table
    Titles will most often include the variables that are included in the table. Ex. Provisional weekly death counts, by age group and sex, tell us that we will be able to work with age groups as well as sex groupings, 

9. Type of data product. Ex. type = Data visualization and 71-607... = the product identification number (you can search by these numbers)

10. Description of the table, click More, to expand the description
      The description may also include information such as the geography covered by the table, and the frequency that it's updated (daily, weekly, monthly, annually, occasional, etc.)

11. The release date, some tables will have multiple versions, this identifies the most recent version.

Table navigation

0. Title - provides information on the variables available in this table.
Ex. Health characteristics of seniors aged 65 and over, Canadian Health Survey on Seniors, two-year period estimates. a) health characteristics, b) age groups from 65 and up, c) Information from the Canadian Health Survey on Seniors, d) over a 2-year span

1. table information - frequency (occasional means that its not regularly updated), table identification number, date of the release and the geography (this is another variable we will be able to manipulate)

2. Save my Customizations - clicking this button will provide you with a PERMALINK, that will bring you back to this table exactly as it is now with whatever options you have selected. 

3. Customize table - this is the first level of customization. Most tables have at least one dropdown that will allow you to change one element at a time. The most common will be geography,
Ex. show only the data for Prince Edward Island.

4. Add/Remove data - this is the second level of customization, here we can select WHICH variables we want to be displayed on the table.
Ex. Include only Women who are 65-74 years old in British Columbia.

5. Download your customized data table in a variety of formats (note: there are lots of options, I recommend CSV-download_as_displayed for best results if you have made customizations, alternatively you could select CSV-download_entire_table if you want everything available in this table and want to make your modifications manually in Excel 

6. Table data, the top of the table shows the hierarchy of variables. Ex. Geography, Age group, time period, characteristics and indicators, the table also shows how the information is displayed, Ex. The table shows All ages, but broken up by both sexes, males, and females, it's further divided by the number of persons and the percentage of persons with that characteristic.

7. Footnotes, data tables will often have footnotes to indicate important information or exceptions. these are small hyperlinked numbers. 

8. Legend, if the table is using any codes or indicators a legend will be supplied

9. Citation, Statistics Canada supplies a potential citation for this table. NOTE: this may not be in the appropriate style for your paper. Information on citing statistics Canada tables.

10. Related information will provide links to the source surveys or other related information important to this table. 

Table: Health characteristics of seniors aged 65 and over, Canadian Health Survey on Seniors, two-year period estimates