The Long Form Census, Disaster Planning and Other Uses You Didn't Know You'd Be Missing Ottawa Statistical Society 8th Annual Seminar Wendy Watkins Carleton University Library Data Centre October 25, 2010
Introduction Purpose of this presentation is to introduce you to things you wouldn’t normally associate with a census To do this we will: have a brief look at products from the 2006 census check out the levels of geography available with the 2006 census look at the continuum of access from free to restricted examine a couple of examples of things we will NOT be able to do with the National Household Survey (NHS)
Or, more simply …. 2006 census geography Canada Province Large cities Municipalities Neighbourhoods Areas smaller than neighbourhoods Blocks 2011 National Household Survey Likely to lose everything below the municipal level because of data quality issues
Continuum from DiY to DiSTC Completely Open Statistics Canada Census 2006 website Open on location Depository Services Program Level of detail is slightly better here Open with membership Data Liberation Initiative Academics only; desktop analyses Restricted (requires intervention by Statistics Canada) Research data centres Largely academics; some government All output vetted for disclosure by Statistics Canada Custom tabulations Anyone with money Remote job submission Experimental; real thing coming soon
What we Won’t be Able to Do As Well Many research questions require several types of data Aggregate data at fine levels of geography Not likely to survive Census public use microdata (PUMF) No PUMF for 2011 Too few variables NHS PUMF No idea what it may or may not be able to contain Depends on data quality Could produce a distorted picture of Canadians as richer, whiter and better educated than we really are Not likely useful for policy-making
3 Examples of things you didn’t know you’d be missing Public health H1N1 vaccination plans Study of refugee adaptation Very detailed study 5 years after Project 4000 Disaster Planning Sophisticated modelling using detailed Census data to increase the ratio between rescue and recovery
Public Health – H1N1 Officials used 2006 Census data to locate clinics in neighbourhoods with: high density low income high proportion of new Canadians Also used language data to determine whether languages other than English and French were required Can certainly get density information from 2A form Cannot get the same level of refinement for planning with the NHS
There has been considerable commentary about the federal government's decision to replace the 2011 mandatory long-form census with the voluntary National Household Survey. The government made this decision because we do not believe Canadians should be forced, under threat of fines, jail, or both, to disclose extensive private and personal information.
We believe it is not appropriate to compel citizens to divulge how many bedrooms they have in their houses or what time they leave for work in the morning.
Project 4000, Refugee Adaptation Study Complex study of Vietnamese refugees Used interviews, survey questionnaires and Census data Census variables used: Crowding Number of bedrooms Number of people in the household Employment Education Official language acquisition Language spoken at home Language spoken at work Etc., etc.
Disaster Planning Remember Clement’s intrusive variables: Number of bedrooms Time people leave for work Complex study undertaken by an Environmental Studies graduate student and a researcher in the US Developed a model to be used to try to increase the ratio of the rescued (alive) to the recovered (dead) Used a wide selection of long form data
Disaster Planning (con’t) Housing stock variables Age of dwelling State of repair Time people left for work Distances travelled Crowding Number of bedrooms Number of people in the household Developed scenarios for first responders based on which structures were likely to collapse when certain areas were likely to be occupied or empty (time of day, day of week, etc.) Based response decisions on various scenarios
Where does this leave us? Census decision may actually end up costing more than data quality, but perhaps for the government, the following is more important: Canadians will not be able to hold the government accountable for its policies since its election without comparable data.
Question Could this be what’s really behind the decision to kill the long form census?
More Information http://datalibre.ca/census-watch/ http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=134479453241171 http://www.evaluationcanada.ca/affichage/ccsd_20101029_e.pdf http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/economy-lab/the-economists/economists-unite-you-have-nothing-to-lose-but-data/article1829559/ http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/12/12/ns-long-form-census-being-challenged-in-court-again.html http://www.evaluationcanada.ca/affichage/ccsd_20101029_e.pdf