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Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one.

OCTOBER 7, 2010

A Statistics Canada Study Reveals Important Errors in a Voluntary Census

Quoted from the Globe and Mail, September 9, 2010 and the analysis of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association.

A study recently published by Statistics Canada revealed that considerable errors could occur in censuses conducted on a voluntary basis. Statistics Canada came to this conclusion after statisticians compared simulated answers that would be obtained on the 2B Census questionnaire should it be administered on a voluntary basis to the actual data gathered as part of the 2001 and 2006 censuses. The study's objective was to get a sense of the data that would have been obtained had the long Census form been administered on a voluntary basis in 2006. It also compared those simulated data to the actual data.

More specifically, a trend reversal (when comparing the 2001 actual Census data to the 2006 actual Census data and to the 2006 simulated Census data) was observed for the following characteristics:

Moreover, for the following characteristics, the general trend was the same for the simulated and actual 2006 Census data, but the difference between the two trends (when compared to the actual 2001 Census data) was greater than 1 percent.

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