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The Long Form Census, Disaster Planning and Other Uses You Didn't Know You'd Be Missing

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Ottawa Statistical Society 8th Annual Seminar …

Ottawa Statistical Society 8th Annual Seminar


Wendy Watkins
Carleton University Library Data Centre
October 25, 2010


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  • 1. 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
  • 2. 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)
  • 3. Census Data Products
  • 4. Geography
  • 5. Geography
    _______________________________________________
  • 6. 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
  • 7. 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
  • 8. 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
  • 9. 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
  • 10. Public Health – H1N1 Planning
  • 11. 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
  • 12. Tony Clement, July 21, 2010
    • 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.
    • 13. 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
  • 14. Project 4000, Refugee Adaptation Study
  • 15. 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.
  • 16. Disaster planning
  • 17. 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
  • 18. 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
  • 19. 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.
  • 20. Question
    Could this be what’s really behind the decision to kill the long form census?
  • 21.
  • 22. 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