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Statistics Canada. Canadian Heritage. Statistique Canada. Patrimoine canadien. THE ETHNIC DIVERSITY SURVEY Content and Data Availability. Ethnic Diversity Survey objectives.

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the ethnic diversity survey content and data availability









THE ETHNIC DIVERSITY SURVEYContent and Data Availability

ethnic diversity survey objectives
Ethnic Diversity Survey objectives
  • To provide information on the ethnic and cultural backgrounds of people in Canada and how these backgrounds relate to their lives today
  • To provide information to better understand how Canadians of different ethnic backgrounds interpret and report their ethnicity
  • Survey funded jointly by Statistics Canada and the Department of Canadian Heritage
target population sample design
Target population & sample design
  • Non-Aboriginal individuals aged 15 and older living in private dwellings in Canada’s ten provinces
  • 57,200 persons selected to be interviewed between April and August 2002
  • Two-phase stratified sampling design based on responses to the 2001 Census ethnic origin, birthplace & birthplace of parents questions; 15strata were created
reference period data collection
Reference period & data collection
  • Computer Assisted Telephone interviews April to August 2002
  • Average length of interview: 35 to 45 minutes
  • No proxy reporting
  • 42,500 respondents: response rate = 75.6%
languages of interview









Languages of interview
response rates
Response Rates

Total cases 57,242 100%

Out-of-scope 1,026 2%

Cases in-scope 56,216 98%

Final Response Rate 42,480 76%

Complete 41,097 73%

Partial 1,383 3%

Non response* 13,736 24%

*Includes no contact, refusals, interviews prevented due to the respondent’s medical/ physical condition, language barriers, respondents absent for the duration of the survey, etc.

content development
Content development
  • Theoretical framework developed
  • Balance of content, response burden and manageable costs
  • Operationalization of concepts into workable questions to be asked of a diverse population
  • Consultation with Advisory Committees
  • Focus groups, one-on-one testing, pilot test
survey themes questionnaire content
Survey themes & questionnaire content
  • Entry
    • Age, sex, marital status
    • Family / household composition
  • Ethnic self-definition
    • Ethnic ancestry
    • Ethnic identity
    • Importance of ancestries and identities
survey themes and content continued
Survey themes and content (continued)
  • Respondent background
    • Birthplace
    • Citizenship
    • Year of immigration
    • Other countries lived in
    • Visible minority status
    • Religion: importance of, participation
survey themes and content continued10
Survey themes and content (continued)
  • Knowledge & use of languages
    • First language: understood & spoken
    • Knowledge of languages
    • Home languages
    • Languages used with friends
    • Languages used with family to age 15
    • Languages used at work
survey themes and content continued11
Survey themes and content (continued)
  • Family background
    • Ethnicity, first language, highest level of schooling and religion of mother and father
    • Birthplace of parents and grandparents
    • Ethno-cultural, immigration, language, education and religion data for spouse
    • Language data for child aged 3 or older
survey themes and content continued12
Survey themes and content (continued)
  • Family Interaction
    • Frequency of contact with family living in Canada
    • Frequency of contact with family living in parents’ & grandparents’ birthplaces and in other countries
    • Visits to country of birth & parents’ & grandparents countries of birth
survey themes and content continued13
Survey themes and content (continued)
  • Social Networks
    • Friends in ethnic group, up until respondent was age 15 and now
      • For 2 highest rated ancestry groups other than “Canadian”
    • Importance of carrying on customs and traditions
      • For 2 highest rate ancestry groups other than “Canadian” ranked a 4 or 5 in importance in ID module
survey themes and content continued14
Survey themes and content (continued)
  • Civic Participation
    • Participation in groups or organizations in the past 12 months (ethnic and other types)
    • Frequency of participation (for 3 groups)
    • Ethnicity of co-members (for 3 groups)
      • For 2 highest rated ancestry groups other than “Canadian” ranked a 4 or 5 in importance in ID module
    • Volunteering (for 3 groups)
    • Voting in federal, provincial & municipal elections
survey themes and content continued15
Survey themes and content (continued)
  • Interaction with Society
    • Feeling uncomfortable because of ethnicity, culture, race, language, religion: up until the age of 15 and now
    • Discrimination or unfair treatment in the past 5 years as a result of ethno-cultural characteristics: frequency, reason & place
    • Hate crime: experience, reason & worry
survey themes and content continued16
Survey themes and content (continued)
  • Attitudes
    • Rating of sense of belonging to family, ethnic group, town/ city/ municipality, province, Canada, North America
  • Trust & Satisfaction
    • General life satisfaction
    • Trust: general, family, neighbours, people at work or school
survey themes and content continued17
Survey themes and content (continued)
  • Socio-economic activities
    • Highest level of schooling, country of schooling & current school attendance
    • Labour force questions, occupation, industry & income (personal & household)
    • Ethnicity of co-workers
      • For 2 highest rated ancestry groups other than “Canadian” ranked a 4 or 5 in importance in ID module
ethnic diversity survey products
Ethnic Diversity Survey products
  • Official release in Statistics Canada’s The Daily September 29, 2003
  • Analytic article: Ethnic Diversity Survey: portrait of a multicultural society
  • Analytical file at Research Data Centres
  • Custom tabulations
  • Possible Public Use Microdata File (2005)
research data centres rdcs
Research Data Centres (RDCs)
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Western Ontario
  • University of Waterloo
  • University of Toronto
  • McMaster University
  • University of Montréal
  • University of New Brunswick
  • Dalhousie University
analytical data file at rdc s
Analytical data file at RDC’s
  • Access granted through Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council:

  • Output subject to Statistics Canada’s confidentiality rules, disclosure analysis, data quality, etc.
final content of the analytical file
Final content of the Analytical File
  • All content from the survey (raw data)
  • Derived variables
  • Some 2001 Census information (e.g. major field of study, number of rooms in dwelling)
  • Postal code and other detailed geographic identifiers are present
documentation available
Documentation available
  • Survey overview and questionnaire:

  • Codebooks with and without frequencies
  • Users’ Guide
  • WesVar Users’ Guide (bootstrap weights)
survey weights
Survey weights
  • Final weights & bootstrap weights (used to determine coefficients of variation) are included on the Analytical File present in the RDCS
  • A weight is associated with each respondent and must be used for all estimates and analysis
the u se of survey weights is crucial
The use of survey weights is crucial
  • The sampling ratio differs widely from one strata to another;
  • The final weight assigned to each respondent underwent numerous adjustments for non-response and post-stratification;
  • The weighting of data ensure that the EDS sample is representative of the target population;
  • Without the weights : false / misleading results for most types of analysis.
wesvar software
WesVar software
  • Used to verify coefficients of variation (cvs)
  • Can also be used for regression analysis
  • WesVar reads .ssd, .xpt, .sav, .dat and .txt files
  • Does not alter the original file, but creates a new one; can be used to view or print output
  • Tip: include all the variables in the first WesVar file you create - otherwise you will need to repeat later and importing files can be slow
analysis level of geography
Analysis: Level of geography
  • Good quality data are generally available at national, regional and provincial levels and for Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver CMAs;
  • Atlantic provinces are always aggregated;
  • Counts at the census subdivision and municipality level are generally small and the results of survey estimations will probably be unreliable and/or the results may be unsuitable for publication because of the risk of statistical disclosure.
analysis complexity of data
Analysis: Complexity of data
  • Some concepts are similar yet distinctly different from one another: ancestry, identity, visible minority status, language, religion, etc.
  • Multiple response variables: e.g. ethnic ancestry, identity, languages, organizations, etc.
  • Follow-up questions for some topics:

(a) universe is restricted;

(b) requires link to inserted ethnic ancestry/language/group or organization.


Jennifer Chard

Senior Analyst, Ethnicity & Immigration Statistics

Vancouver, B.C.


Marjorie Kirk

Technical Manager

Ethnic Diversity Survey

Ottawa, Ontario