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Consumer Research: Demographics & Statistics

A starting point for consumer behaviour and demographic research.

Census 2016

Much of the data you will want to find about your market will be from government sources, like the Census of Population. The latest Census was conducted in 216. That data is slowly rolling out. 

On February 8, 2017, the population and dwelling counts were released (see Census Profile link below). Age and Sex data was released in May 2017. Data releases for the following topics will be released later this year:

August 2, 2017 - Families, households and marital status, Language
September 13, 2017 - Income
October 25, 2017 - Immigration and ethnocultural diversity, Housing, Aboriginal peoples  
November 29, 2017 - Education, Labour, Journey to work, Language of work, Mobility and migration

Data from any of the topics that have not yet released will be from the previous Census, in 2011.

Target Consumer

Who are you selling to?

1. The key elements of the demographics of a customer are age and sex.
2. Individual income, family income, and expenditures are critical elements.
3. Mobility, family structure, and dwellings can be important but are not as important as 1 and 2 above.
4. Any unique features that may be required for your product such as health, specific activity, recreation, or travel.

Target Location

What is the location of your market?

The geography of the market is based on the way in which Statistics Canada collects its statistics.
The geographic areas include:

Census Division (CD): regional district
Census metropolitan area (CMA) or a census agglomeration (CA): one or more adjacent municipalities around a major urban core
Census Subdivision (CSD): municipality
Census Tract (CT): areas in urban cores
Dissemination Area (DA): small neighbourhood dissemination blocks

For more detailed information:

Target Location Resources

Statistics Canada's Census 2006 Community Profiles

  • provides maps of census geographic areas
  • for example: Kelowna City

Statistics Canada's Census 2011 Census Profiles

  • presents information from the 2011 Census of Population for various levels of geography, including provinces and territories, census metropolitan areas, communities and census tracts.
  • for example: Kelowna City

Statistics Canada's GeoSearch2006 and GeoSearch2011

      BCStats 2011 regional district maps

      Consumer Statistics

      Other Guides

      Market Profile Resources

      What are the characteristics of your market?

      Use these resources to search for demographic, socio-economic, and economic characteristics of your market.

      Statistics Canada

      Census 2006 Community Profiles, 2011 Census Profiles, and 2011 National Household Survey

      In 2011 the mandatory long-form census was discontinued and replaced with a voluntary survey. The National Household Survey (NHS) is where some of the information previously gathered in the census may now be found. See below to find out where different types of data are disseminated:

      • profiles present community-level information from the  Census
      • 2006 Census includes population, gender, age, education, income and earnings, and more
      • 2011 Census includes population, gender, age, dwellings, families, marital status and language
      • 2011 National Household Survey includes income, education, labour, housing, aboriginal peoples, immigration, mobility and migration
      • the 2011 NHS Profiles combine data from the 2011 census and the 2011 NHS survey to provide a more comprehensive overview

      Statistics Canada Census 2006 topic based tabulations and Census 2011 topic-based products.

      CANSIM: (Canadian Socio-Economic Information Management System)

      • "Statistics Canada's computerized database of time series covering a wide variety of social and economic aspects of Canadian life."

      The Community Information Database (CID)

      • "A free internet-based resource developed to provide communities, researchers, and governments with access to consistent and reliable socio-economic and demographic data and information for all communities across Canada."


      Central Okanagan Development Commission Economic and Community Profiles

      • 2013 Economic Profile: Okanagan Valley 
      • The Economic Profile is considered a ‘living’ document and updated regularly. Includes economic profiles of communities within the Okanagan Valley; information about education, housing, taxation, infrastructure etc.

      TIP: See the Customer section of this guide for more market segmentation resources.


      How much do consumers earn: Income & Earnings

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