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Resources by Document Type - Statistics > Census Geography

This guide provides fast and easy access to free resources providing statistics and survey microdata on various topics.

The main objective of this guide is to explain basic notions concerning the types of geographic regions that are commonly used when doing statistic research in Canada. The information presented in this guide is associated with the last national census, which has taken place in 2016.

In order to select and obtain statistical data for specific geographic regions, you can use the following applications: GeoSuite (2016 version) and GeoSearch. Both of these have been developed by Statistics Canada.

You can also check some other census geography tools and resources by Statistics Canada.

If you are looking for the geography of the older Canadian census of the population, you can go on the "Geography products" website of Université Laval.

Economic Regions and Municipalities

Click on the following types of geographic regions to see a complete definition as well as a map showing what they look like.

Economic Region (ER)

Census Division (CD)

Census Subdivision (CSD)

Dissemination Area (DA)

Dissemination Block (DB)

 

***Previous information has been taken from the Dictionary of the Census Population of 2016 (Geography Index) by Statistics Canada. All maps have been created with the open-source software QGIS while the geographic layer data are from Statistics Canada and DMTI Content Suite (2016).

Simplified hierarchy of census geography

In order to have access to detailed definitions and images of each type of geographic region, click on the links included on each side of this central box.

See the complete hierarchy of standard geographic areas for dissemination for the 2016 census.

Postal Codes

For information concerning the Postal Code Conversion File (PCCF), see page Postal Codes of the guide Research by Document Type - Maps and Geospatial Data.

Metropolitan areas and census agglomerations

Click on the following types of geographic regions to see a complete definition as well as a map showing how they look like.

Census metropolitan area (CMA) and census agglomeration (CA)

Census tract (CT)

Dissemination area (DA)

Dissemination block (DB)

 

***Previous information has been taken from the Dictionary of the Census Population of 2016 (Geography Index) by Statistics Canada. All maps have been created with the open source software QGIS while the geographic layer data are from Statistics Canada and DMTI Content Suite (2016).