Statistics Canada, established in 1918 as the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, is the nation's central statistical agency. It adopted its present name in 1971.
Statistics Canada, established in 1918 as the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, is the nation's central statistical agency. It adopted its present name in 1971. Under the Statistics Act of that year, it has the responsibility to "collect, compile, analyse, abstract and publish statistical information relating to the commercial, industrial, financial, social, economic and general activities and condition of the people of Canada." The agency collaborates with government departments in the development of integrated social and economic statistics for Canada and the provinces. In addition, Statistics Canada is a scientific research organization responsible for leadership in the development of statistical and survey design methodologies and techniques.
The agency, which is subject to the budgetary control of Parliament, is committed to meeting the statistical needs of all levels of government and the private sector for research, policy formulation, decision making and general information purposes. Some of its major programs are the Census of Population, the System of Vital Statistics, the Labour Force Survey, the Consumer Price Index, the Gross Domestic Product and the International Balance of Payments.
Statistics Canada issues about 900 titles a year, many of which are now in electronic format only. The Canada Handbook, the monthly Labour Force Infomat, The Canadian Economic Observer Monthly, a weekly summary of statistical highlights, the Statistics Canada Daily, vehicle of first release for agency data, now available through the Statistics Canada website, and Canadian Social Trends, a monthly journal of topical articles, are among the agency's most widely used publications. Statistics Canada also makes its information available on microfiche, microfilm, computer tape and through the agency's extensive machine-readable database, CANSIM. Regional offices in Halifax, Montréal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver conduct survey and census operations and also offer reference and consultative services to statistical users.