Data Search Page
Statistics Canada socioeconomic data is available through the data search page on the Statistics Canada website. This page lets you use keyword searching and filters to help find the data you're looking for. This page is an updated way to access Statistics Canada data that replaces the CANSIM (Canadian Socioeconomic Information Management) Database. The old CANSIM table numbers can still be used in the keyword search to find specific tables, or their equivalent new content. A table providing concordance between the CANSIM IDs and new table IDs can be found here. CANSIM is still available through the University of Toronto's CHASS (Computing in the Humanities and Social Sciences) interface, which you can access here: CANSIM @ CHASS
Each table has information about its data. The table number is shown, as well as the frequency of the data and the geography. Not all Statistics Canada tables can show break downs by province so make sure to check the table's geography limitations.
Tables can be customized using the "Customize table" section and more options are available by clicking on the "Add/Remove data" button. Tabs are available to select additional data to display and to change the table layout. More options can be found by clicking the plus icon next to a label. Use the check boxes to select the data that will display and then click "Apply" to refresh the table.
Use the customize layout tab to change what data is displayed as a column or row in the table.
Each table has a "Related Information" section at the bottom of the page which provides more information on the data used in the table.
Download the data table using the "Download Options" button at the top right of the table. There are multiple options for downloading. Choose which version of the data you want to download by clicking on it and save it to your device.
Statistics Canada also has a video about how to use data tables: What's new on our website
Public Use Microdata Files (PUMFs) are one way Statistics Canada provides data from many of its surveys. These files are based on master files and remove any possible identifying information, so some variables may be suppressed due to privacy legislation. PUMFs are non-aggregated and allow researchers to perform their own analysis on survey responses. Many PUMFs are available for free through the Statistics Canada data page, and many can also be found in UBC's data repository, Abacus.
Statistics Canada provides an analytical platform called Rich Data Services (RDS) for exploring PUMFs. The RDS has an Explorer section and a Tabulation Engine that allows users to browse, interact with, and download data and metadata.
Statistics Canada provides data from many of its surveys in Public Use Microdata Files (PUMFs). Some variables are excluded or grouped in PUMFs to protect respondent confidentiality. Researchers who need the complete data may apply for access through the Research Data Centres (RDC) Program. RDCs provide secure access to Statistics Canada data that would not otherwise be available, including microdata Master Files from population and household surveys, administrative data holdings, and linked data. RDC research may be appropriate when:
For a list of Master Files and variables available through the RDC Program visit the official list of files available.
Note that there is an application approval process which can take some time (weeks or even months) and is generally not available for undergraduate work. All analysis must be done within the secure environment of a Research Data Centre. The UBC RDC is located on the second floor of Koerner Library.
Real Time Remote Access (RTRA) allows researchers to get aggregated data from Statistics Canada's masterfile subsets without requiring direct access to the microdata through a Research Data Centre. This involves running SAS programs that will extract results into a table, allowing users to calculate descriptive statistics at the national or provincial level. Due to concerns around respondent confidentiality, some variables are suppressed in the queried data. Any output produced through RTRA is released under the Statistics Canada Open License.
RTRA may be useful when: