We post a lot about PCensus and demographic data here. We think it’s useful for business and the businesspeople and groups we speak to think it’s useful for business. That makes the news we have to share unfortunate, because it makes our job of providing you with demographic information that much harder.
First, we learned that FP Demographics, a publication produced by the Financial Post, is no longer being published. We have the 2011 edition (and 2010) and the 2012 is on order (but delayed for some reason). FP Demographics is a useful book that provides great demographic and spending data on a municipal level. Unfortunately, Financial Post has decided to get out of this part of the business altogether and there aren’t any replacement products in any format.
Fortunately, we have PCensus to take up the slack. But there is some news that will affect the data available there as well. One of the great things about PCensus is that it provides data down to the neighbourhood level. So not only can you find out how much Whitby (or whatever Ontario town you choose) residents spend on pet food or brewing their own beer, you can also find out which specific neighbourhoods where people spend the most in Whitby. However, there was a major and controversial change made for the 2011 Census. The former mandatory long-form census was replaced by a voluntary household survey. Some of the survey data has been released, but unfortunately, due to the change in how the data is gathered, it can’t be applied to the neighbourhood level. This means that we may not be able to provide neighbourhood data for variables like income (which everyone asks about), ethnicity, education, labour force and more. Tetrad, the company behind PCensus, is working on the problem.
Please note that spending data is gathered separately and is not affected by this change. Nor are regular census variables, like age, gender, children and marital status.
We’ll keep you posted on when the data is available and Tetrad’s solution to this problem. And despite these challenges, remember that the Whitby Public Library provides and is committed to providing the best demographic data available to meet your business needs.