In a piece for FiveThirtyEight, Ben Casselman writes:
But even the larger, more expensive survey couldn’t collect enough information to produce reliable estimates for many small groups and less populated areas. Statistics Canada lowered the bar for the minimum acceptable response rate to 50 percent from 75 percent yet couldn’t meet even that reduced threshold for hundreds of small communities representing about 3 percent of the population. It chose not to publish detailed data for those communities; in other cases, it flagged information as potentially unreliable after identifying possible flaws in the survey results.
Want to know where the Canadian government — and any other government for that matter — gets the information they need?
Tax returns and the Canada Revenue Agency.
Why send out an expensive and mandatory census every five years when your age, gender, date of birth, home address, marital status, net income, spouse’s name, spouse’s net income, dependents’ names, and dependents’ net incomes are all filed on your annual tax return? I bet 95% of Canadians file taxes every year. That blows census numbers out of the water.
We can scratch our heads all day regarding the reality (or unreality) of Statistics Canada’s numbers. Or we can realize the Canadian government probably has all the information they need from a thousand other sources.
The same goes for every other country on the planet.
And that title? Come on. Casselman is just trolling us. “Sorry” is the second word in the Canadian dictionary.