Census variables are essentially topics (for example Age and Sex) to which numerical data are assigned. Data for these variables are presented according to a standardized, hierarchical system such as those for occupations, industries, or geographic areas.
Census characteristics can be descibed as the subheadings that fall under the Census Variable heading. For example a variable heading is Type of Dwelling- census characteristics are single detached house, semi-detached house, row house, apartment - building with fewer than five storeys etc. that fall under the variable heading.
Definitions of variables are available in the Census Dictionary published with each census.
Census variables are grouped into the following categories:
|Counts & Demographic data||Language|
|Ethnic Origin||Aboriginal Places|
|Place of Birth, Place of Birth of Parents, citizenship &immigration||Labor market activities|
|Income||Families & Households|
|Housing||Institutions & Other Collectives|
Variables are also organized into four distinct "Universes":