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2006 Census Geography Files

Click on the level of geography to see available files.

census geography diagram

Dissemination Area (DA)

Small area composed of one or more neighbouring dissemination blocks, with a population of 400 to 700 persons. All of Canada is divided into 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 5,076 census tracts within 33 CMAs and 111 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 5,418 census subdivisions.

Census Metropolitan Area (CMA)

Area consisting of one or more neighbouring municipalities situated around a major urban core. A census metropolitan area must have a total population of at least 100,000 of which 50,000 or more live in the urban core. There were 27 CMAs and 111 CAs.

Dissemination Block (DB)

Area equivalent to a city block bounded by intersecting streets. These areas cover all of Canada.

Designated Place (DPL)

A small community or settlement that does not meet the criteria established by Statistics Canada to be a census subdivision (an area with municipal status) or an urban area (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, to provide data for submunicipal areas.

Urban Area (UA)

Area with a population of at least 1,000 and no fewer than 400 persons per square kilometre.

Census Consolidated Subdivision (CCSD)

Area comprised of adjacent census subdivisions used by the Census of Agriculture. 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 2,341 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.

Economic Region (ER)

Grouping of complete census divisions (with one exception in Ontario) created as a standard geographic area for analysis of regional economic activity. There were 76 economic regions.

Federal Electoral District (FED)

An area represented by a member of the House of Commons. The federal electoral district boundaries used for the 2006 Census are based on the 2003 Representation Order which has a total of 308 federal electoral districts.

Forward Sortation Area (FSA)

The first three characters of the postal code which represent a geographic area.

Province and Territory

Boundaries of the 10 provinces and three territories.


  • Coast (Great Lakes are included in this file)
  • Lakes (all of Canada)
  • Rivers (all of Canada)

Last Updated: 21 November 2014

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Kingston, Ontario, Canada.