National Household Survey and data supression

Statistics Canada has started releasing data from the National Household Survey (the infamous Census long form replacement), along with some information about what they won’t be releasing. This release includes data on Aboriginal Peoples and on Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity.

Data was suppressed for areas with less than a 50% response rate. No data at the neighbourhood (census tract and census dissemination area) level has been released yet, but there is a list of Census subdivisions (towns) that are being suppressed.  Some of these have populations in excess of 2500, about the size of a census tract (and much larger than a dissemination area), making me wonder how many holes will be in the neighbourhood data and even if they will release it at all.

Here’s the list of suppressed towns:

Update: a researcher tells me that contacts at Statistics Canada have told him that dissemination area data will be available “at least as a custom tabulation.” Hmm.

Update #2: Tracey Lauriault at has a nice summation of news stories on and reactions to the NHS release, including some very cogent criticisms.

Well, we all knew it could be bad. Now we’re seeing how bad.


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