Glossary of ComBase terms

Since ComBase is so complex, it is useful to define the terms of reference for the study. The geography of ComBase markets will be built with audited circulations for each market, reported by the six-digit postal code (FSA LDU). Those will then be plotted within EAs to determine the market to be surveyed. The Enumeration Area (EA) is the smallest geographic building block used to develop ComBase markets.

Canada Post Terms
FSA – Forward Sortation Area ÔÇô this is a Canada Post term for the first three letters of the Postal Code. It is used to send mail to a central sorting station. There are 1,477 FSAs in Canada.

LDU – Local Delivery Unit ÔÇô the last three digits of a Postal Code indicates a very precise location such as one side of a street. There are 680,910 Postal Codes in Canada (six-digit).

Statistics Canada Terms
CA – Census Agglomeration ÔÇô is a large urban area together with the adjacent urban and rural fringes with an urban core population of at least 10,000 people. However, if the urban core population declines below 10,000 from one census to another, the CA is retired. Like CMAs, CAs are divided into Census Tracts.

There are 112 CAs in Canada (fewer than in the 1991 Census), over half of which are in Ontario and Quebec. British Columbia has the next highest number with 21 CAs.

CMA – Census Metropolitan Area ÔÇô a Statistics Canada term for a very large urban area (known as urban core) together with adjacent urban and rural areas (known as urban and rural fringes) that have a high degree of social and economic integration with the urban core. A CMA has an urban core population of at least 100,000. Once an area becomes a CMA, it is retained as a CMA even if the population of its urban core declines below 100,000. All CMAs are divided into Census Tracts (see below).

There are only 25 CMAs in Canada, primarily in Ontario and Quebec (16).

CT – Census Tracts (4,223 in Canada) ÔÇô are small geographic units representing urban or rural neighbourhood-like communities created in CMAs and CAs with an urban core population of 50,000 or more at the previous census. CTs are usually delineated by a committee of local specialists (e.g. planners, health and social workers, educators) in conjunction with Statistics Canada. The average population of CT is between 2,500 and 8,000 with an average of 4,000. In order to maintain comparability of data across censuses, the rules applying to the definition of CTs are strict:

┬À Boundaries must follow permanent and easily recognizable physical features
┬À Should be as homogeneous as possible in terms of socio-economic characteristics
┬À CT shape should be as compact as possible

CSD – Census Subdivisions (5,984 in Canada) — are municipalities or their equivalent (e.g. Indian reserves, unorganized territories). In Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and British Columbia, the term also describes geographic areas that have been created by Statscan in cooperation with the provinces as equivalents for municipalities for the dissemination of statistical data.

Within CSDs Statscan defines 43 sub-areas to help social planners. These include Boroughs, Cities, Villages, Counties, Municipalities etc. For a full list, see page 195 of Stat scanÔÇÖs 1996 Census Dictionary.

EA – Enumeration Area (49,361 in Canada) is defined by Statistics Canada as the geographic area canvassed by one census representative. It is the smallest standard geographic area for which census data (such as population projections) are reported. All the territory of Canada is covered by EAs.

Like the CT, EA definitions are rigid to allow for comparability of data. The number of dwellings in an EA generally varies between a maximum of 440 in large urban areas to a minimum of 125 in rural areas.

Statistics Canada also provides definitions and rules for areas such Primary Census Areas which may apply to ComBa