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The Census Experience in Canada Strategies to Manage Cost Connie Graziadei, Assistant Chief Statistician The Census Experience in Canada Strategies to Manage Cost Connie Graziadei, Assistant Chief Statistician November, 2012

Canada’s Census Experience § In 1871, the first Census of Population was conducted for Canada’s Census Experience § In 1871, the first Census of Population was conducted for the new country of Canada, with enumerators visiting every household. § Until 1971, comprehensive data was collected from all households. § Starting in 1971, a “short form” Census was distributed to approximately 67 percent of households and contained selected questions. Others received a “long form” with all questions. § In 1981, sample size for the long form was decreased to 20 percent. § In 2011, the mandatory Census questionnaire was limited to questions previously found on the “short form” and a voluntary National Household Survey (NHS) replaced the mandatory long form questionnaire. 2 Statistics Canada • Statistique Canada 3/18/2018

Recent Census Experience § Focus on cost reduction: § Reduce the need for field Recent Census Experience § Focus on cost reduction: § Reduce the need for field enumerators (the most expensive portion of the Canadian Census) ― Use of self-enumeration approaches ― Centralized mail-out § § Use of technology in data processing (scanning, intelligent character recognition, automated coding, etc. ) § 3 Introduction of an Internet response application in 2006 – reduce printing and processing of paper questionnaires. Disseminate results on the Internet (no paper publications). Statistics Canada • Statistique Canada 3/18/2018

Internet Response in 2006 § Respondents were given the option to complete their questionnaires Internet Response in 2006 § Respondents were given the option to complete their questionnaires using the Internet, via access codes provided on printed questionnaires. § Approach piloted with 40, 000 dwellings during 2001 census. § Limited functionality - duplicated the paper questionnaire. § Issues with accessibility for visually impaired people. § 18 percent Internet response rate - started to reduce reliance on paper and traditional mail service. 4 Statistics Canada • Statistique Canada 3/18/2018

Centralized Mail-Out in 2006 § Mail-out operation consolidated from regional offices to a centralized Centralized Mail-Out in 2006 § Mail-out operation consolidated from regional offices to a centralized operation. § Resulted in reduced costs and simplified logistics. § Mail-out increased to 73% of dwellings. 5 Statistics Canada • Statistique Canada 3/18/2018

Data Processing § Scanned images simplify logistics and reduce costs associated with physical paper Data Processing § Scanned images simplify logistics and reduce costs associated with physical paper inventories, including archival costs. § Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) avoids manual keying effort. § § § 97 percent of all check boxes can be accurately captured 50 to 80 percent of other character types can be accurately captured High automated coding rates yielding significant savings in operator costs. § 6 Iterative approach with updates to code files as coding progresses Statistics Canada • Statistique Canada 3/18/2018

Dissemination § Print and CD-ROM products have been discontinued in favour of the Internet. Dissemination § Print and CD-ROM products have been discontinued in favour of the Internet. § § 7 Infrastructure to sell, package and distribute products is no longer required. § § Standard products are available for free. Reduced reliance on paper. Micro-data files provided to Research Data Centres minimizes requests for custom products. Statistics Canada • Statistique Canada 3/18/2018

2011 Census Experience § Continued focus on cost reduction: § § 8 Wave methodology 2011 Census Experience § Continued focus on cost reduction: § § 8 Wave methodology - multiple contact approaches to promote Internet response, significantly reducing reliance on paper questionnaires and traditional mail service for return of complete forms Response rate management – optimize the use of the field workforce to maximize the national response rate and efficiently produce highly uniform response rates at the subnational level Statistics Canada • Statistique Canada 3/18/2018

Wave Methodology in 2011 § Mail-out to 79 percent of private dwellings, 75 percent Wave Methodology in 2011 § Mail-out to 79 percent of private dwellings, 75 percent of them only receiving a letter with an Internet access code: § § 9 Letter and subsequent follow-ups boosted the return rate, using the Internet, to nearly 54 percent, from 18 percent in 2006. § § Included instructions for obtaining a paper questionnaire. Internet application accessibility issues resolved. Canadian citizens have spoken – the Internet has now become the primary response option for our Census Program. Statistics Canada • Statistique Canada 3/18/2018

Response Rate Management in 2011 § As the desired response level increases: § § Response Rate Management in 2011 § As the desired response level increases: § § Variable costs increase (direct enumeration cost) § § Fixed infrastructure costs climb (field operations lasts longer) More difficult cases remain In 2011, a tolerance management plan was introduced to: § § Efficiently produce a highly uniform response rate sub-nationally § 10 Achieve a high national response rate Control availability of work based on pre-defined triggers and a tiered approach (via the Field Management System) Statistics Canada • Statistique Canada 3/18/2018

Response Rate Management in 2011 § Four tiers – implemented at Local Census Office Response Rate Management in 2011 § Four tiers – implemented at Local Census Office level (37 in total) § § Tier 3 – collection activities ceased when the response rate equalled 2006 results and met a minimal quality threshold § 11 Tier 2 – stop collection in very small collection units or in collection units that had very little impact on data quality § § Tier 1 – when response target reached, a signal is automatically sent to the field to stop all collection activities Tier 4 – strategic case by case review Achieved a 98. 1% collection response rate and increased uniformity of response rates, while completing collection on time. Statistics Canada • Statistique Canada 3/18/2018

Contact Information § Connie Graziadei § (613) 951 -7081 § Connie. Graziadei@statcan. gc. ca Contact Information § Connie Graziadei § (613) 951 -7081 § Connie. [email protected] gc. ca 12 Statistics Canada • Statistique Canada 3/18/2018