Deprivation in Canadian cities: An analytical tool

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The Canadian Population Health Initiative (CPHI) has examined disparities in health status and health service use based on area socio-economic status in urban Canada in several recent reports (including Urban Physical Environments and Health Inequalities, Hospitalization Disparities by Socio-Economic Status for Males and Females, Reducing Gaps in Health: A Focus on Socio-Economic Status in Urban Canada and Exploring Urban Environments and Inequalities in Health: Data Briefs of Canada’s 33 Census Metropolitan Areas). We have received requests for the underlying classification file from researchers who wish to replicate our studies and expand the range of health indicators presented for the different socio-economic areas in their cities. To facilitate access by others who may also be interested in obtaining this socio-economic classification file, we are making it publicly available on our website.

The following Excel tables provide a classification tool for dissemination areas (DAs) in all census metropolitan areas (CMAs) in the country in 2006. For each CMA, DAs are classified into population quintiles (approximately 20% of the population in each category) according to the Deprivation Index developed by Pampalon and Raymond in 2000 (updated for the 2006 census). Three measures are provided: classification into quintiles based on the material component of the index, classification into quintiles based on the social component of the index and classification into quintiles based on both the social and material components of the index. Population counts are also included in the file.

More information

For more information on the Deprivation Index, its development and use, publications and other classification files that are freely available, please visit the Institut national de santé publique du Québec’s Santéscope portal.

For more information on CPHI’s use of the Deprivation Index, please consult our data and analysis methodology reports:

Reducing Gaps in Health: A Focus on Socio-Economic Status in Urban Canada—Data and Analysis Methodology

Urban Physical Environments and Health Inequalities: Data and Analysis Methodology

For more information on census geography and on linking geography to administrative data, please consult these files on Statistics Canada’s website:

Introduction to the Geography Universe (2006 census)

Postal Code Conversion File (2006 census)