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A question about historical Canadian census data

 
 
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 12:48 pm
OK, first of all, this isn't for homework.

I'm looking for historical census data on the largest Canadian cities, starting with the 1871 census and continuing on to the present. What I'm looking for is something like this for the largest 100 American cities (I'll be satisfied with the 20 largest Canadian cities -- I know that, once you get below the top 20, you start talking about Inuit igloo settlements and French fur trappers living inside polar bear carcasses).

I've checked the Canadian Bureau of Statistics, which gives data for the last census, but I'm also looking for historical data. Wikipedia gives some numbers for individual cities, but there are gaps, and there's no unified list of the largest cities. Any natives of Canuckistan want to help out?
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View best answer, chosen by joefromchicago
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 12:58 pm
@joefromchicago,
this page has the 2006, 2001 and 1996 census, plus a section for historical census records
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 01:06 pm
@djjd62,
then again it might not be helpful at all
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 01:10 pm
@djjd62,
this may be what you're looking for
0 Replies
 
Joeblow
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Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 02:10 pm
@joefromchicago,
I just gave a quick call to statscan. Apparently the info’s not available on line (at least, they don’t have it on-line). They’d be more than happy to request the information from their census division though, and offered to email it to me if they've got it/or when they get it (my query was regarding population data - 20 largest cities, 1871 to date).

I explained that my call was for a third party in the U.S. and he suggested you forward the information request to them directly by email. Not sure if this would take too long, but they seemed more than willing to assist if they can.

I won't post the email addy, but you can find it under "contact us" from your link.
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 02:39 pm
@joefromchicago,
Canada became a country in 1867.
Some of the largest Canadian cities at that time, late 1800's are now ghost towns. There are several tiny, tiny towns in British Columbia that once equaled San Francisco during the height of the gold rush, with populations of 40,000 souls.
B.C. joined confederation in 1871, Alberta and Saskatchewan in 1905 and Newfoundland in 1949.
New Westminster (now part of the greater Vancouver area) was at one time the largest city west of Toronto and the capital of the province. That changed when Victoria became the capital the railroad pushed it's way through to Vancouver. This province had a fairly transient population for a long time. So data is hard to find.
Hope this helps a bit.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 03:09 pm
@Joeblow,
Thanks! That confirms for me that this information isn't on-line -- at least I don't feel like an idiot for failing to find it. There's no urgency here, so I'll drop them an e-mail and see what they come up with.
Joeblow
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 05:10 pm
@joefromchicago,
It'll be nice if it works out for you. Good luck.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 04:29 pm
Here's how Statistics Canada/Statistique Canada responded to my request:

Quote:
Hello,

Thank you for contacting Statistics Canada.

Please note that the historical data you are requesting for smaller geographic levels is not available as a standard product on our website. [comment -- "duh!"] The Census data broken down by city on our website is only for the 1996, 2001, and 2006 Census. However, it may be available through a custom order. If you are interested in a custom data order, we can provide you with a free cost and time estimate. To initiate a request for a custom data order, please respond to this email with your complete contact information. Be sure to include all the necessary request information (variables, geographic areas, time period and frequency of data) so that we may produce an accurate estimate. Etc. etc. etc.


Really, how friggin' hard can it be to come up with a list of the 20 largest cities by census? Just look at each census, count down twenty spots from the top, copy the results, and you're done! It's not like I'm asking for the average number of Canadian's eaten by polar bears during the Diefenbaker prime ministry (answer: 12). I'm tempted to ask for a free estimate from them just to see how much this massive statistical project will cost.
Joeblow
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 05:05 pm
@joefromchicago,
Ah. Frustrating.

I’m guessing most of the data is probably stored on microfiche.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 05:26 pm
You're lucky they didn't order a royal commission.
0 Replies
 
 

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