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2001 Road Network, Skeletal Road Network Files and Reference Maps

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census geography diagram

Dissemination Area (DA)

Small, relatively stable geographic unit composed of one or more blocks. It is the smallest standard geographic area for which all census data are disseminated. Dissemination areas cover all the territory of Canada. There were 52,943 dissemination areas.

Census Tract (CT)

Small, relatively stable geographic areas that usually have a population of 2,500 to 8,000. They are located in census metropolitan areas and in census agglomerations with an urban core population of 50,000 or more in the previous census. There were 4,798 census tracts within 27 CMAs and 113 CAs.

Census Subdivision (CSD)

General term for municipalities, as determined by provincial and territorial legislation, or areas treated as municipal equivalents (Indian reserves, Indian settlements and unorganized territories). There were 5,600 census subdivisions.

Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) / Census Agglomerations (CA)

A census metropolitan area (CMA) or a census agglomeration (CA) is formed by one or more adjacent municipalities centred on a large urban area (known as the urban core). The census population count of the urban core is at least 10,000 to form a census agglomeration and at least 100,000 to form a census metropolitan area. To be included in census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations, other adjacent municipalities must have a high degree of integration with the central urban area, as measured by commuting flows derived from census place of work data. There were 27 CMAs and 113 CAs.

Urban Area (UA)

An urban area has a minimum population concentration of 1,000 persons and a population density of at least 400 persons per square kilometre, based on the current census population count. All territory outside urban areas is classified as rural. Taken together, urban and rural areas cover all of Canada. There were 913 urban areas.

Census Consolidated Subdivision (CCSD)

A grouping of adjacent census subdivisions. Generally the smaller, more urban census subdivisions (towns, villages, etc.) are combined with the surrounding, larger, more rural census subdivision, in order to create a geographic level between the census subdivision and the census division. There were 2,446 census consolidated subdivisions.

Census Division (CD)

General term for provincially legislated areas such as county, municipalité régionale de comté and regional district or their equivalents. There were 288 census divisions.

Federal Electoral District (FED)

An area represented by a member of the House of Commons. The federal electoral district boundaries used for the 2001 Census are based on the 1996 Representation Order which had a total of 301 federal electoral districts.

Foward Sortation Area (FSA)

Designated Place / Designated Place Part

Usually a small community that does not meet the criteria used to define municipalities or urban areas (areas with a population of at least 1,000 and no fewer than 400 persons per square kilometre). Designated places are created by provinces and territories in cooperation with Statistics Canada.

Population Ecumene Census Division Boundary File

Ecumene is a term used by geographers to mean inhabited land. It generally refers to land where people have made their permanent home, and to all work areas that are considered occupied and used for agricultural or any other economic purposes. Thus, there can be various types of ecumenes, each having their own unique characteristics (population ecumene, agricultural ecumene, industrial ecumene, etc.).

Province and Territory

Boundaries of the 10 provinces and three territories.


Last Updated: 21 November 2014

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